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Saucony ProGrid Outlaw
$110, 11.9 oz, www.saucony.com
The Dirt. The outside-the-box ProGrid Outlaw drew almost as many inquisitive glances on the trail as the big Hoka for its unique high-top design. The shoe evokes a basketball-esque look with a padded cuff that extends up over the ankle bone. The cuff contours in the rear, where it features a soft, Achilles-cuddling extension. Testers praised the shoe’s out-of-the-box comfort, which was enhanced on the gusseted tongue with two EVA, lace-bite-reducing pads.
On the trail, the shoe ran much more nimbly than testers thought it might, and the sticky-rubber, aggressive tread gripped well on nasty roots, rocks and mud. Testers liked the shoe’s quick-draining properties after stream crossings, and low heel-to-toe profile. A minor downside is that the laces are a little short, so you may not be able to double knot them.
Fit. Best fits narrow to medium-volume feet, and, with the supportive ankle cuff, is a good choice for those looking for added stability.
Best For. All-around technical trails; high-top keeps out debris. Overbuilt for fire roads and smooth trails.
Tester-monial. “In the past, I felt like I would have to sacrifice weight to get the stability and support that the Outlaw offers. It made me feel comfortable in rough terrain and that I could fly over the trails. The tread held firm on mossy rocks, wet roots and even running through streams.” —Michael Hammond, Killingworth, Connecticut