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Shoes

The Dirty Dozen

Trail Runner’s picks for the top trail shoes for Spring 2019.

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SCARPA
SPIN ULTRA
MSRP: $150
Weight: 9.3 oz (M 8.5), 7.8 oz (W 7.5)
Drop: 6mm
Rock plate: No
Fit: True to size / narrow

One of the lightest shoes we reviewed, the Scarpa Spin Ultra (men’s version here) is a super functional all-arounder…

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SALOMON
SPEEDCROSS 5
MSRP: $130
Weight: 11.6 oz (M 9), 9.9 oz (W 7)
Drop: 10mm
Rock plate: Yes
Fit: Runs long

The Speedcross 5 (women’s version here) has a few significant feature changes…

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ON
CLOUDVENTURE
MSRP: $150
Weight: 10.6 oz (M 8.5), 8.6 oz (W 7)
Drop: 6mm
Rock plate: No
Fit: True to size / narrow

The unique new lugs for the Cloudventure (men’s version here) by On are boxy yet hollow, making for a seemingly…

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HOKA ONE ONE
SPEEDGOAT 3
MSRP: $140
Weight: 10.3 oz (M 9), 9.1 oz (W 7)
Drop: 4mm
Rock plate: No
Fit: True to size / narrow

The HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 3 (women’s version here) has a high stack height (M’s: 32MM heel, 28MM forefoot/W’s: 30MM heel, 26MM forefoot) for extra cushioning on longer runs, deep lugs and…

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TOPO ATHLETIC
HYDROVENTURE 2
MSRP: $140
Weight: 10.2 oz (M 9), 8.3 oz (W 7)
Drop: 3mm
Rock plate: Yes
Fit: True to size

Topo Athletic has updated the Hydroventure to feature deeper, more widely spaced lugs for better traction in mud or over slippery terrain. Designed for those gray, long days when you don’t want to get outside, or mucky sloshy races, the Hydroventure 2 (men’s version here) has a single-layer waterproof upper…

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SHOE TALK

Rock plate

Specific to trail-running shoes, rock plates are hard plastic inserts situated between the midsole and outsole of the shoe to prevent sharp objects from injuring the foot. They can run the full length of the shoe, only under the forefoot or some variation thereof.

Drop

The change in height from the heel of the shoe to the toe of the shoe. Some shoes have zero drop (like Altra) and some shoes have very high drops (like Salomon).

Stack height

The combined height of the outsole and midsole; the distance of the footbed from the ground.

Last

The shape of the foot mold used for designing and making shoes.

NIKE
AIR ZOOM WILDHORSE 5
MSRP: $110
Weight: 10.2 oz (M 9), 8.7 oz (W 8)
Drop: 10mm
Rock plate: Yes
Fit: True to size

Nike wised up to the fact that the “flywire cables” on the upper of the Wildhorse 4 left something to be desired…

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ALTRA
SUPERIOR 4
MSRP: $110
Weight: 7.9 oz (M 9), 6.6 oz (W 7)
Drop: 0mm
Rock plate: Yes
Fit: True to size

The lightest weight of our spring-shoe round-up, the Superior 4 (women’s version here) is being called “the slipper” by our review team. It’s comfortable, just aggressive enough…

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INOV-8
ROCLITE 275
MSRP: $135
Weight: 9.8 oz (M 9.5), 9.1 oz (W 8.5)
Drop: 8mm
Rock plate: Yes
Fit: True to size

The Roclite 275 (men’s version here) is a new model from Inov-8 that is lightweight, aggressive and has an old-school feel, despite…

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NEW BALANCE
FRESH FOAM HIERRO 4
MSRP: $135
weight: 11.3 oz (M 9.5), 9.3 oz (W 8)
Drop: 4MM
Rock plate: No
fit: True to size / narrow

Though the Fresh Foam Hierro 4 (women’s version here) is an update of the 3, New Balance stayed smart and kept the midsole and outsole the same because, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Increased durability and a better fit…

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LA SPORTIVA
BUSHIDO II
MSRP: $130
Weight: 10.5 oz (M 9), 8.8 oz (W 7)
Drop: 4mm
Rock plate: Yes
fit: Runs at least a half size small

Featuring significant updates to the original Bushido, including a more comfortable heel cup and 4mm of EVA cushioning added to the midsole, the Bushido II (men’s version here) is sticky…

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MERRELL
MTL CIRRUS
MSRP: $160
Weight: 11.4 oz (M 9), 8.0 oz (W 7)
Drop: 5mm
Rock plate: Yes
Fit: Runs long

The Merrell MTL (Merrell Test Lab) Cirrus (women’s version here) was built for breathable moderate…

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ADIDAS TERREX
AGRAVIC BOA
MSRP: $150
Weight: 10.1 oz (M 9), 8.5 oz (W 7)
Drop: 7mm
Rock plate: No
fit: True to size

The standout feature of the Terrex Agravic BOA (women’s version here) is its BOA lacing system, which uses a dial to adjust and…

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