Throughout the late winter and early spring, GearGuide put a set of trail runners to the test. In the wet and muck, through pooling water, on dirt, gravel and granite, and even on the road. We found that even within the category, there’s a huge amount of variability and a range of design approaches employed by shoe manufacturers. Some come at it from a pure running perspective, others view trail running as a deviation from hiking, and still others look at it from the perspective of an ultra-distance runner.
Here are three options we uncovered in out tests:
ASICS FujiTrainer 2 – This Japanese company comes to trail running from a road runners perspective, looking to shave weight while still maintaining sufficient support. They engineered the soles to grip both on the trail and road. See review.
LOWA S-Crown GTX – Hailing from Germany, the LOWA S-Crown GTX delivers solid almost boot-like construction and fit. Trail grip is solid but suffered on rain-slicked pavement. See review.
New Balance Leadville 1210 – Built for the ultra marathoner, the Leadville is optimized for high mileage. Heavy-duty construction and underfoot cushioning are definite standouts on this shoe. See review.