Walking on varied and challenging paths is a welcome change from the monotony of the sidewalk (or worse, the treadmill). And best of all, track racing is an incredibly easy sport to learn. Below you will find our best street runners of 2020, from soft and light shoes for smooth running to solid and stable structures for technical and alpine challenges. If you need general information about shoe types and characteristics, please see our Footprint Comparison Chart and Shoe Buying Tips below.
Best shoes for general track walking
1. Falconry 10 ($120)
Category : Total weight :
Weight: 1 pound. 5.4 ounces.
What we like: Excellent combination of traction, comfort and weight.
What we don’t do: Too flexible for high-tech areas.
The Saucony peregrine falcon has been our favourite for generations and 10 is based on a success formula. Simply put, shoes are superior in all categories that matter: Traction, shock absorption, protection and weight. We love the typical crawler sole that looks like teeth and holds everything from wet rocks to dirt in a hard-shell bag, while the premium midsole reacts and is comfortable even on high mileage days. It is not yet a high-tech field and has been converted for road paving and gravel, but the balanced design of the shoes makes it our best place for 2020.
For the latest model, Saucony has abandoned the ISOFIT system in favour of a more protective and tight-fitting upper and has replaced the midsole with a foam spring, which gives it a more energetic appearance. They also brought back a stone slab and added a dozen adjustable holes in the sole so you can drill holes for easier drainage or add screws for better traction in slippery conditions. And it should be noted that Saucony launched the ST (soft terrain) version with 10, which offers longer eyes (6.5 mm compared to the standard 5 mm version) and a hard-wearing and moisture-resistant top for the same price. There is also a waterproof GTX model ($150). Whichever version you work with, Peregrine offers an impressive combination of comfort, performance and high quality materials.
Look, look, look, look, look, look. Farmer’s sausage for men 10 Sm. Agricultural sausage for women 10
Best cross country shoe
2. Bushido Sport II ($130)
Category: Durable track
Weight: 1 lb. Five ounces.
Depreciation: Light / moderate
What we like: Excellent technical shoes with an incredible grip.
What we don’t do: Exaggerated and rigid for easy means.
La Sportiva is a mountaineering company, so don’t be surprised if your runner on the Bushido route feels most comfortable in the mountains. With its semi-rigid platform and sturdy eyes, the Bushido is our favourite technical running shoe: It reacts quickly, holds on perfectly and can withstand difficult terrain. And unlike the heavily upholstered model, the Sportiva keeps a good feeling of the track (but that can be a disadvantage if you prefer more insulation against strong shocks). Last spring the Bushido in II was slightly improved with a new EVA midsole, a rubber toecap and a moderate increase in upper thickness. It is important to note that his self-assured and evolving personality is preserved.
One thing to keep in mind with such a serious mountain runner is that the Sportiva is heavier than a normal trail shoe. It is designed for long runs where you have to climb up and down long distances, and on a flat course this extra support is too folded up and less comfortable than a multifunctional model like the walker above. But if you go through steep bends and need a reliable partner, we strongly recommend the Bushido. His performance and the high level of stability and traction really distinguish him from the others. Read full report
See Bushido II Male sport See Bushido Women’s sport II
shoesfor the best damping track
3. Hoka 1 Fast Fund 4 ($145)
Complete machines / non-machine-related routes Weight: 1 lb. 5.6 oz.
What we like: Lightweight and fantastic shock absorption.
What we don’t do: The very thick midsole minimizes the impression of markings in the technical parts.
Hoka One has become synonymous with maximum cushioning shoes, with very thick mid boots offering fantastic comfort on almost all slopes. According to their installation we prefer the Speedgoat 4 : It weighs almost the same as the popular Altra Lone Peak, but the thicker shoe stack (32 mm vs. 25 mm at the heel), the cracked sole and the quality foam give it a more energetic feel. In addition, the Speedgoat has an aggressive ear pattern thanks to the extra Megagrip from Vibram – a better grip from Lone Peak, which we found very good in several areas.
The Speedgoat 4 is a technical hoka course, and the thick padding really gives you a lot of confidence when walking over roots or sharp rocks, but the high pile height has its disadvantages. When leg positioning is very important, such as when lowering steep switches, the shoe doesn’t have the precision of a low construction like the Bushido at the top or the Norvan VT 2 by Arc’teryx at the bottom. Hoka has made a few small changes at the age of 4, including a slightly harder foam and a stronger roof, but the shoes are not as manoeuvrable as a real SUV model. If you prefer a waterproof model for extra warmth and protection, Hoka now produces a version of Gore-Tex. Finally, people with wide feet will be happy to know that you can get a Speedgoat goat in the widths EE (male) and D (female).
See male Hawk 1 Speedcote 4 See female Hawk 1 Speedcote 4
Best Track Rider with Wide Arch Box
4. Altra Lonely Peak 4.5 ($120)
Category : Total weight :
Weight: 1 lb. Five ounces.
What we like: It is soft and very comfortable.
What we don’t do: Not everyone will like the long landing.
Altra has quickly gone from unknown to brand in the wake of a community of riders, and much of the rapid rise is due to the Lone Peak line of zero-crash shoes. The latest model has retained the wide Altra toe box and moderate shock absorption, but has modified the midsole to increase durability while simplifying the lacing system and upper. In addition, the 4.5 seems to be slightly narrower around the sole of the foot, which can be a potential problem for people with very wide feet, although the changes seem to be quite small.
What are the disadvantages of Lonely Peak? First of all, the big foot box isn’t for everyone. If the legs have too much space, this can lead to a messy feeling in the technical area (narrower buoyancy and recycled laces help a little here). The shoe is also slightly slower than a peregrine falcon and a redheaded goat, and does not allow you to capture segments of the trail with an extra camera. However, as in most cases with running shoes, the absence of one person is the advantage of the other. If smoothness and ride comfort are important to you and you like a spacious nose and a zero-drop design, then Lone Peak 4.5 is the winner.
See male Altra Lonely Peak 4.5 See female Altra Lonely Peak 4.5
shoe– best minimalist walking shoe
5. New balance sheet Minimus 10v1 ($115)
Category : Light Rails
Weight: 14.8 oz.
What we like: Ultra-light and available in different widths.
What we don’t do: Rough footprints can cause leg pain.
The mania for ultra-light shoes is over, but there are still a number of attractive options for those who want to maximize the feel of the footprint and minimize weight. One of those plants is the Minimus 10v1 New Balance, which is equipped with Vibram-Rubber, a soft, breathable lining and weighs 14.8 ounces. 5-7 ounces lighter than a typical track runner, the difference is immediately noticeable and gives the shoe a clear and fun performance feeling. Combined with a modest fall of 4 millimeters from heel to toe, the Minimus has a neutral trajectory that is ideal for relatively quiet races and short to medium distances.
It is therefore not surprising that compromises have to be made when walking on the track with minimalist shoes like 10v1. In the first place, very fine damping on uneven paths and long distances can lead to pain in the legs. In addition, the relatively short carnations and the generous amount of gauze at the top are conducive to dry conditions and fighting in wet and muddy weather. A longer lifespan is not a more serious option, like our top 10 ranked Peregrine Falcon. But if you concentrate on the weight and feel of the glove, it’s worth trying the Minimus.
See the new minimum balance for men See the new minimum balance for women
The best of the other
6. Speedcross Salomon 5 ($130)
Complete Machines / Non-mechanical Routes Weight: 1 lb. 6.6 oz.
What we like: Very good adhesion on soft substrates.
What we don’t do: Less stable than Bushido II above.
Salomon has been playing the track for a long time and Speedcross 5 has all the familiar features: a single-stage roof system that supports the landing and a strong but light chassis. The hallmark of Speedcross is the huge 6mm arrowhead (most 4mm boots), which provides first-class grip on soft surfaces such as mud, dirt and even snow. Speedcross is performance-oriented and very close-fitting – not for everyone, but the thick midsole and shaft support material makes Speedcross suitable for mountain work.
Under the speedcross La Sportiva Bushido II we take 5th place. That’s because it’s less stable on the summary parts of the track. While the Bushido is low and planted, the high height of the speedcross pile can give the impression that it is tilted and tends to tilt, especially on rocks. However, Solomon is a nuisance when it comes to traction and should be at the top of the list of those who go to events or adventure races like the Hard Madders. Like its predecessors, the Speedcross 5 is also available in a Gore-Tex version for those who regularly ride in the wet.
See man Salomon Speedcross 5 See woman Salomon Speedcross 5
7. Topo Athletic MTN Racer ($140)
Category : Total weight :
Weight: 1 lb. 2.6 ounces.
What we like: Lightweight, comfortable and sticky Megagrip outsole.
What we don’t do: Narrow legs swim in a wide footstool.
Topo Athletic may not be a household name like Salomon or La Sportiva, but the relatively new shoe collection speaks for itself. Founded by the former CEO of Vibram, the company knows what it takes to make good running shoes, and MTN Racer is our favorite model for trailers in their showers. With a large foot space (Topo Athletic shoes), a closed waist and heel, the MTN Racer fits in the same design as the Altra Lone Peak, but with some striking differences. Above all, you get a drop of 5 mm (compared to 0 mm for Altra), slightly more elastic damping and a slight weight loss. We have travelled over 400 miles on the tracks with just one pair of MTN Racers and we were very impressed with the high level of comfort, durability and handling of the shoes.
For really rough terrain, we recommend less flexible and more protective shoes such as La Sportiva Bushido II or Arc’teryx Norvan VT 2. However, the MTN Racer is held both on rocks and roots with deep studs, Vibram Megagrip adhesive rubber (a compound often used in mountain boots) and a relatively stiff structure. And although it’s not part of the Gore-Tex model, it’s designed with minimal volume and minimal drain holes, which means your feet dry quickly when wet. After all, MTN Racer is one of our best options for a competent buddy who is in his element and covers long distances on easy tracks.
See MTN Topo Riders for men See MTN Topo Riders for women
8. Solomon Sens Ride 3 ($120)
Category : Easy Track / All-Way
Weight: 1 lb. 6.6 oz.
What we like: Nice Solomon shoe, now even better on the track.
What we don’t do: On technical terrain that is less stable and less exciting than Speedcross 5.
The Salomon Sense Ride 2 sold as a deadly tube, and the new 3-series is even better at making all shoes of the same favorite design. The previous iteration was ideal for solving the problems of short sidewalks and long distances on the track (a popular combination when running), but the new shoes improve performance on both rests. Two layers of foam in the midsole (inspired by Salomon’s roadboots) provide excellent protection and cushioning on the road and trails, while a tighter shell in the heel ensures a more precise fit. For applications where the substrate becomes more technical, add 3 raised side walls for more adhesion and protection, extend the stone slab for more coverage and increase the adhesion by the 4 mm point (compared to the 3 mm point of the previous version).
Finding a shoe that can do all this is a challenge for any track racer, but Sense Ride 3 does the job better than most. Improvements occur with significant weight gain (3.6 ounces for the pair), and it is important to note that no screen will be successful at extremes. For real technical terrain (think of off-road scrambling and especially root tracks) the Sense Ride 3 is not adapted to the full grip and stability of the Speedcross 5 as described above. On the other hand, it may have been converted for heavily paved and gravel roads. But for this cheerful middle of the track we find Sense Ride 3 one of the most versatile shoes for the Trail 2020.
See Solomon’s Ride the Senses of Men 3 See Solomon’s Ride the Senses of Women 3
9. Scarpa Ultra ($149)
Category : Total weight :
Weight: 1 lb. 2.6 ounces.
What we like: Pillow for long distances, but with excellent technical properties.
What we don’t do: No stone slab and slightly less aggressive than the Sense Ride above.
For runners who want to eat their cake, Scarpa’s Spin Ultra is one of our new favorite styles. The Italian footwear company (best known for its mountain and climbing lines) combines all this with the rigidity and protection (both for the top and bottom of the foot) you need for rocky and chamberless terrain, with generous cushioning and excellent breathability. The sole also combines the best of both worlds: Using Vibram LiteBase technology, Scarpa uses a sticky megagrip compound (perfect for rock shooting) while keeping the weight of only 9.3 ounces per shoe low. All in all, the Spin Ultra is another great option for long distance and terrain recognition that gives Sense Ride great versatility.
Scarpa did not contain a stone slab on the Spin Ultra, but two layers of foam keep you reasonably isolated from the ground. In general it looks like a shoe with maximum cushioning, like the Hoka One at the top and the Brooks’ Caldera at the bottom, but with a higher slope for a more aggressive course. You can opt for faster and more stable shoes with Spin or Spin RS, but we have discovered that the extra Ultra pillow is actually a bonus for anything but the most technical simplifications. Finally, don’t forget that the Ultra-Spin, like most of Scarpa’s range, is slightly wider than average.
Look, look, look, look, look, look. Herren Scharfer Ultra Sm. Ultra Female Hot Sm.
10. Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 6 ($130)
Category : Versatile/lightweight
Weight: 1 lb. Four and a half ounces.
What we like: Proven Nike equipment specially designed for the road.
What we don’t do: The Peregrine Falcon 10 above has a better sole construction.
Nike invests most of its efforts in road equipment, but its Terra Kiger 6 is a high-quality and smooth option for working on the track. The latest model, updated this year, has a redesigned top net designed to make it easier to remove dirt and other debris, as well as a better fit at the front of the foot. Other well-known characteristics have also remained unchanged, such as the highly sensitive reactive foam of the midsole, the segmented stone slab, the stable toe and sole cap, which is particularly well maintained in the hard foam with mud and stone. Overall, the Terra Kiger 6 is a solid all-rounder that deserves a place on this list.
In many ways, Nike Terra Kiger is a direct competitor of the Peregrine Falcon in Sokonic 10 above. Both weigh approximately 10 ounces per shoe, are shifted by 4 mm and offer a similar combination of shock absorption, flexibility and ride performance. We give the peregrine falcon the advantage of its excellent sole, which lasts longer and keeps better in dirt and moisture, but they are both excellent shoes that work well on both short and long runs. As an improved alternative to the Terra Kiger for rough terrain, look for the Nike Air Zoom Wildhorse 6.
See man Nike Terra Kiger 6 See woman Nike Terra Kiger 6
11. Arc’teryx Norvan VT 2 ($170)
Category : Durable track
Weight: 1 lb. 6.6 oz.
What we like: Very suitable for overcoming steep and technical terrain.
What we don’t do: Tight landing; too specialized for most runners.
A few years ago Arc’teryx entered the shoe market with the Norvan VT mountain, and last summer the company released a second updated edition of the Norvan VT mountain. VT (vertical) supports the aggressive intentions of the original shoe, but does so with a more traditional set of features. In particular, Arc’teryx eliminated the lacing system that extends to the toes, updated the midsole for better shock absorption and cushioning, and removed the sock liner to improve breathability. All that remains is the impressive Megagrip outsole, which provides excellent grip on rocks, mud and even snow. In general, it is clear that the Norvan VT 2 was built for terrain such as the often wet and technical paths around Arc’teryx headquarters in North Vancouver, BC.
The Norvan VT surpasses rough surfaces, but it’s a bit like a stick for anything tame. A very stable ride with a reinforced top that allows us to confidently walk on rocks and roots became stiff and a bit heavy when we wore the shoe on a slippery and dirty one-way slope. That’s why the Norvan is a special shoe that is most suitable for mountain walking. For a softer, more flexible Arc’teryx option, which also feels comfortable on moderate technical terrain, you need to pay attention to your Norvan LD. And as with all Arc’teryx shoes, don’t forget that the Norvan VT is on the narrow side – one of our wide-legged testers thought the finger box was too narrow? Read detailed overview
See Arc’teryx Norvan VT 2 Female Arc’teryx Norvan VT 2
12. The Sport Akyra GTX ($160)
Category: Durable track
Weight: 1 lb. 11.4 ounces.
What we like: Sturdy shoes for rough terrain.
What we don’t do: Heavy, lethargic and often overloaded.
The Sportiva continues to produce quality shoes designed for the toughest mountain conditions, and the Akyra GTX is no exception. This trailrunner is a stable and durable choice for fast runners and packers who often run the risk of going off the beaten track. As far as protection is concerned, it couldn’t be better. With a bumper on the toes, a reinforcement in the toe clip, a stiff midsole and firm, sticky ears, the Akyra, with its roughness and size, is much closer to a walker than a trail walker.
However, the Akyra is the heaviest shoe on the list (the non-GTX version is only a few grams lighter) and certainly not for everyone. If you are used to walking lightly on the track, the stiff midsole and aggressive ears will seem slow. And the Gore-Tex runners are a special choice: They are perfect if you walk in the cold or if you can handle wet terrain, but otherwise it is usually not necessary. But under the right conditions, Akyra is a powerful and explosion-proof railway. For those who want the same grip and stability without waterproofing, we recommend La Sportiva Bushido II (see above).
See man La Sportiva Akyra GTX See woman La Sportiva Akyra GTX
13. Hoka One One Challenger ATR 5 ($130)
Category : Versatile/lightweight
Weight: 1 lb. 2.8 ounces.
What we like: One of the few hybrid shoes that can walk and roll.
What we don’t do: Under severe and technical conditions, the tread is not sufficient.
The Hoka Challenger ATR 5 combines the features of road and track shoes to provide a comfortable all-in-one solution. Like the Speedgoat goat at the top, the shoes have excellent cushioning and comfort thanks to their thick midsole, while their contoured shape and comb-like underside give the Challenger an elastic personality. For road use, the centre of the outsole is standard made of blown rubber to reduce weight and increase efficiency, while under the feet and heels of the bale are the sleeves of the trailer eyes. Wisdom dictates that Challenger hits a good center, which should attract many riders, with plenty of space in the bow box, but a comfortable shape to avoid the feeling of excessive freedom.
It is not surprising that trying to do everything for everyone goes hand in hand with some kind of compromise. In the case of the ATR 5, the narrow ends and only moderately aggressive construction are shorter in dirty and messy conditions. And on asphalt, the spectacular areas of the soles can seem a bit sticky and slow compared to special city shoes. For serious athletes who want to give the best of themselves, it’s always best to have a separate pair for each activity, but Challenger is the best design we’ve used and can double the work.
See man Hock-Challenger ATR 5 See woman Hock-Challenger ATR 5
14. Caldera Brooks 4 ($140)
Category : Total weight :
Weight: 1 lb. Celebrate.
What we like: Reactive and smooth driving.
What we don’t do: Very expensive and moderately stable.
Brooks is best known in the world of treadmills for his Cascadia (below), a favorite shoe of runners and riders, currently in its 14th edition. Caldera offers a completely different view of track racing, with stack heights similar to those of the Hoka One One or Altra, a lighter feel and generally more flexible, and a cushion for covering long distances in temperate terrain. We wore a bear cub in the Blue Ridge Mountains during training (and racing) for our first 50 kilometers and found it comfortable and efficient. Fourth floor. The iteration has added gauze to improve breathability, a TPU finger cover to protect against toe stains and an improved outsole that surpasses dirt and stone in hardness.
The Caldera won’t be our first choice for technical or wet terrain (you won’t have the kind of protection you see in the popular Cascadia line), but it’s an ideal shoe to go from door to door, covering both pavement and track. As with Altra Lone Peak, the thick midsole and wide insole can sometimes cause a slight twisting of the ankles on uneven surfaces. But unlike the Lone Peak, the Calder midsole doesn’t reduce track feel and sensitivity (which could partially explain the $20 price difference). In general we like what Brooks has done (and still does) with Caldera, and I think it’s a good mix of performance and comfort for long distance jogging.
See Brooks 4 Men’s Calendar Brooks 4 Women’s Calendar Brooks 4 Calendar
15. Cascade 14 Watercourse ($130)
Complete Machines / Non-mechanical Routes Weight: 1 lb. 5.4 oz.
What we like: The new model is lighter and more powerful.
What we don’t do: Even with a change, it’s still not a smart, fast shoe.
For many years in a row, Cascadia was the first shoe of Brooks, and his 14th shoe is the most popular. Iteration always comes first. That should tell you two things: Firstly, the riders (and defectors) of the Cascadia keep the technical requirements of the track year after year. On the other hand, it also means that Cascadia has been around for more than ten years and is therefore a rather outdated concept. In 2020 there are much more modern and better options, whether you want to ride on roots and stones or enjoy the comfort of long distances all day long.
But it’s not so bad with Cascadia. Model 14 is an improvement on the previous design, with a lighter structure (2 oz. per pair), a streamlined and improved upper and extra traction thanks to a new tread design and a rubber outsole. It is important to ensure that the shoes are not lost on uneven ground, with a stable and solid frame, reinforced wings and a closing and lacing system. But the Brooks are quite soft on the track (especially compared to inflatable options like the Speedgoat), and the reinforced top makes them warmer than the inflatable alternatives. Overall, Cascadia 14 is still good, but not great, and later in the list we will point out to everyone, except the biggest fans, other options.
Look, look, look, look, look, look. Men Cascade Creek 14 See Women’s waterfall streams 14
16. Innovation-8 X-Standard G 235 ($170)
Category : Durable track
Weight: 1 lb. 0,6 oz.
What we like: Super light with incredible grip on soft, loose ground.
What we don’t do: Not very comfortable; the tight fit polarizes.
The Inov-8, whose origins date back to the British autumn, is no stranger to steep terrain, long-distance travel and the wettest conditions. This is where his super light and aggressive X-Talon G 235 shines. The 8mm spikes bite into soft, smooth ground and make the X-Talon line a long-standing favourite with obstacle racers and crashers around the world. In addition, the latest G models feature a recycled tread with an innovative graphene rubber compound for added strength and durability. With a low, lightweight body and minimalist ballistic nylon on top, you get some serious, high-performance shots.
Year after year, Inov-8 X-Talon and Salomon Speedcross are at the top of the list of the most popular racing and adventure racing shoes. Although the X-Heel is similar in some respects, in pairs it is about 6 ounces lighter and athletes’ ears are even longer (8 mm vs. 6 mm). For those who appreciate the feel of the ground beneath their feet, the X-Talon offers a more responsive ride, but Speedcross is definitely more protective and comfortable. We prefer the Salomon version, because the best car, which is more resistant to long distances, has an ordinary seat in the front box (Inov-8 is quite comfortable) and has slightly fewer turns on compacted mud. But if you need an uncompromising, race-worthy machine, the X-Talon G 235 is your ticket.
See Inov-8 X-Talon G 235 Female Inov-8 X-Talon G 235
17. Adidas Terrex Agravik XT ($140)
Complete Machines / Non-mechanical Routes Weight: 1 lb. 5.8 oz.
What we like: Durable, non-slip and stable.
What we don’t do: Poor ventilation and a feeling of gravity.
The Adidas Outdoor Terrex Agravic XT has been developed for rough terrain and difficult weather conditions and is a serious mountain runner. The Continental’s aggressive tread pattern has an ATV tyre ear pattern, and we found it to be sticky and adhere well to rocks, mud and snow. The low stacking height and semi-rigid platform give a sense of stability on the technical parts, but most impressive is the overall design. Agravic is easily navigable on flat and steep paths and is ideal for hiking and speed tourism.
One of the disadvantages of the Terrex Agravic XT is a sense of heaviness that reduces the pleasure of long jogging distances. Moreover, the tightly woven top fights against the ventilation in hot weather (the upper part has a solid durability). Otherwise, Agravic makes La Sportiva Bushido II one of our favorite shoes for the beaten track, really running (no pun intended). And thanks to the shock absorber, Terrex Agravic is better insulated against sharp-edged rocks.
Look at Adidas Terrex Agravik XT.
18. Complete Asix Gel 7 ($70)
Category : Lightweight
Weight: 1 lb. 5.4 oz.
What we like: Affordable city shoes that are resistant to mud and stone.
What we don’t do: Not intended for technical tracks.
If you plan to stick to an essentially slippery road or pave a few kilometers away, Asics Gel-Venture 7 is very useful. The Gel-Venture has an excellent grip and offers better lateral stability and support than a city shoe, without exaggerating with a thumb cap, thick materials or solid grommets. But with the starting grid at the top, Gel-Venture has the light and airy feel of a rider on the road. For the right person, it’s the best of both worlds.
It is important to note that Gel-Venture, with its emphasis on easy routes, should not really be a crossover with the above options. If you walk on steep terrain or on rocks, roots or other bumps, the stability, grip and feel of lower feet will be disappointing. But for light applications, the Venture range is a solid choice and a good price.
See the musical gel for men Ventur 7 See the musical gel for women Ventur 7
Comparison of sports shoes Table
Tips for buying shoes on the go
- Running shoe categories
- Depreciation, amortization and impairment
- Very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very
- Respiratory capacity
- Foot guards
- Stone slabs
- Walking and backpacking with shoes for walking along the path
Running shoes category
A shoe in our Easy Trails category is the best choice for troubleshooting problems related to LANs or supported routes that are not very technical or cool. Compared to the standard model for running away, these shoes are characterized by a moderate increase in traction, stability and protection of the toes and soles. You also have to survive these shoes with a stronger construction and reinforced soles. Of the treadmills on the market, they are the most flexible and prefer comfort to grip and support. If you’ve walked a lot of kilometres or been in mountainous terrain, you can choose shoes in the overburdened or difficult categories. But for unpaved roads and barking tracks, shoes like Salomon Sense Ride and Asics Gel-Venture are a good choice.
For slippery paths it is not necessary to wear shoes that are too strong.
Most track riders choose shoes in the Tour category. The reason is simple: These are the most versatile models that offer the right balance between performance and comfort. Like our premium Saucony Peregrine, this model offers a fantastic grip on mud, dirt or stone and keeps your feet protected and comfortable. He won’t feel stiff and bent on a simple track, but just like on the Leadville Trail he has 100 pork chops to manage the race. The main reason not to take a break is that you need a more focused design (e.g. shoes like La Sportiva Bushido, which are superior in complexity, mountainous terrain). Otherwise we advise most people to start here and finish their research.
Rough terrain courses
Rough terrain courses are the most specialised courses. While special versions can range from soft ground such as the Salomon Speedcross to the Arc’teryx Norvan VT shoe, the common features are a robust construction, a stiffer structure for long climbs and difficult descents, and attachment systems to keep the feet in place. They are often heavier than trekking shoes, so they are overloaded and are not the best choice if you stick to prepared paths. However, if your jogging routes have steep slopes, rocks and roots, soft mud or grass and possibly snow, a sturdy running shoe is best.
The Sportiva Bushido II is great in mountainous and technical terrain.
We attach great importance to weight when considering shoes for running on the track. Lighter shoes are faster, less bulky and allow you to cover more ground with less fatigue. But we also like a balanced design that doesn’t evoke too much comfort and performance. In 2020, our favourite runners on the track will weigh just over a kilo per pair (measured in 9 or 10 men). This usually provides sufficient protection and support over long distances without creating a feeling of lethargy.
At the other end of the spectrum are minimalist shoes like the New Balance Minimus 10v1 (14.8 ounces) and tough, waterproof models like the Sportiva Akyra GTX (1 pound 11.4 ounces or almost double that). Merrell feels very light, while the Sportiva is super strong and designed for off-road driving. It is not surprising that every project contains compromises. Both models are best suited for short distances – Merrell because of the lack of protection and La Sportiva because of the extra weight and the lack of versatility of the universal shoe, which weighs just over a kilo.
As the kilometres accumulate, the weight of the shoe becomes more and more important.
The durable rubber sole of the running shoe is one of the features, but performance can vary considerably from model to model. In general, the level of coupling provided will be close to the level of footwear in the above categories. Shoes for easy courses offer the least grip, especially in difficult areas with slippery rocks, roots and mud. All over the world, the paths are balanced and well paid in most conditions, while those built for rough terrain often stand out in certain environments (such as mud, snow or steep, open slopes/slopes).
We like total control over the sole of a peregrine falcon.
If you take a closer look at the small size of the clutch grains, you will see that the sole rubber composition, tread depth and tread design all play a role in achieving maximum traction. Sticky rubber shoes that approach the shoe, such as La Sportiva Bushido II or Arc’teryx Norvan VT 2, are superior on rocks, while others, which are softer and more malleable, often feel better in the mud. Secondly, many manufacturers do not specify profile depth (or stud height, measured in millimetres), but you can get a good idea of the size just by looking at the illustration. High studs such as the Salomon Speedcross or Saucony Peregrine offer excellent bite on soft surfaces, but in the case of the Speedcross a higher profile has a negative effect on stability. Finally, the design of the tread must be examined: Wide, high, slightly compound studs perform better than short, tight-fitting studs and sticky rubber in mud, while the reverse is generally true for rock or hard moss.
The Salomon Speedcross has exceptional traction for riding on dirty tracks.
Depreciation, amortization and impairment
The area in which manufacturers have tried to make a difference is the level of depreciation of their footwear. The so-called stacking height, i.e. the measured height from which the foot is in the shoe to the ground, varies from very fine to very cushioned (32 mm for the Hoka One One Speedgoat 4). Minimalist designs such as the New Balance Minimus 10v1 have only a small amount of EVA foam in the midsole, making them extremely agile and giving a feeling of relief. The downside of the medal, however, is that some really sore legs are like miles of pounds. At the other end of the spectrum are the softest shoes from brands such as Hoka One One and Altra. You’re like a fat bike: The ride is smooth and you hardly notice the ground beneath you, but there is a big crossroads between you and the track (and the high altitude can make it tilt).
Hoka’s Challenger ATR 5 (front) and Speedgoat 4 (rear) have a very high stacking height.
Minimalist and softer styles both have their merits – and loyal fans – but in the end, most riders are happier somewhere in between. Shoes like Peregrine Falcon, Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger and Altra Lone Peak are soft and elastic to keep your feet happy on rough terrain and long distances, but don’t sit too high to compromise stability and confidence. It is no coincidence that most of the shoes we mentioned above have a moderate loss of value.
The Boost sole of Adidas Terrex Agravic offers moderate depreciation.
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As the name suggests, the difference in height of the shoe your foot is in, from heel to toe, is the difference. Until a few years ago, when the whim of Case Zero emerged, this specification was barely accessible to people outside the community of inveterate runners. Many boots in our all-round category have a slope of 4 to 8 millimetres, which can work for heels as well as midfielders. Real zero drop shoes have a difference of 0 millimeter, which is favourable for a landing point in the middle or the front of the foot. And many robust track models have the heaviest camber, often 8 to 10 millimeters.
We believe that one drop more than anything else in the world is a matter of comfort and personal preference. Many people like a moderate fall in their running shoes, while others prefer a zero-fall model. The trend towards fewer falls in running shoes in general, although productivity and the science of injury prevention are hotly debated. It is not the intention to make a big change at the end of the spectrum and start a long journey right away. If you are more interested in a zero-drop design, try to make it easier and safer. This reduces the risk of injury and enables you to make the right choice.
Altra Lonely Peak zero fall.
Trying to move quickly over rough terrain in a pair of lightweight shoes with a low horse may seem like a plea for injury (and it can happen), but today’s running shoes offer a stable ride that can withstand rocking ankles. It starts with a solid platform that is wide and stiff enough to withstand violent impacts on uneven surfaces. The frame, which forms the circumference of the sole of the shoe, is reinforced with rails to create this solid base. In addition, some shoes have an upper, a semi-rigid piece of plastic or nylon that is placed between the midsole and the sole to provide extra stiffness. Finally, some manufacturers create a partially plastic outer skeleton around the heel of the cup, providing additional design and protection against tipping over.
The relative stiffness and stability of footwear is usually related to its intended use or, as we have defined it, to the category of footwear for track racing. Running or mountain shoes such as the Inov-8 X-Talon G 235 are stiffer and have more structure, while light running shoes are softer and more comfortable out of the box.
The Norvan VT 2 from Arc’teryx has a rigid and very stable construction.
The most common waterproof version for trail running shoes is made by Gore-Tex and consists of a waterproof and breathable lining that is applied between the outer fabric and the inner lining of the shoe. The extra layer adds a little weight – usually about 2 ounces in total – and makes the shoe less straight than the non-waterproof version. For those who want to ride fast and easy, waterproofing is probably not the best option, but for running in the rain in cold weather or in wet snow, we’ve discovered that the Gore-Tex lining does a great job of protecting the toes from freezing.
The Sportiva Akyra GTX is the only shoe with Gore-Tex lining on our list.
Waterproof footwear such as the Sportiva Akyra GTX is particularly useful when extra warmth (i.e. reduced ventilation) is required, for example on the shoulders or in winter. Summer jogging, even when crossing streams, is often most effective with a pair of waterproof, gauze boots that flow fairly quickly. Another scenario where waterproofing can be useful is when you use your runners to run all year round. In this case you can work in the middle of the hot summer, but you have extra protection against moisture.
Even in wet conditions, we generally prefer waterproof footwear.
A sweaty leg is an uncomfortable leg that you don’t want to think about as much when you’re hoarse on a steep slope. For example, the ventilation capacity of the shoes is one of the most important factors for runners. Nylon mesh is a widely used material in running shoes and has the distinct advantage of better breathability. To maintain durability, many manufacturers use a combination of dense and fine fabrics that both resist breakage and reduce barriers to air and moisture movement. And as we’ve discovered, some of them are more advanced than others. When comparing a pair of popular Adidas Terrex Agravic XT and Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 6 shoes, we found that the mesh Terra Kiger model is better suited for long walks in the summer heat, while the wider synthetic Terrex upper can be heated.
The Nature Trail takes you to a much more complex and potentially more dangerous area than the area around you. This gives you extra protection in the construction of your shoes. Almost without exception, shoes for walking in braces have some form of toe protection. This is usually a rubber sleeve or protective cover that can absorb direct shocks well. Due to the simple purpose of the trail walker, toe protection is not as important as hiking boots, but it should prevent your toes from turning black and blue if you accidentally hit the path with a rock or root.
Reliable toe protection gives you confidence on gravel paths.
Just as a protective cap on your finger protects you from sharp rocks or other debris on the path, many hiking boots use light boulders between the midsole and the sole. These sheets vary in thickness, coating and materials, from thin, flexible ESS foam under the sole to hard TPU trees. The degree of protection required depends on your personal preferences and the terrain you are walking on (more kilometres on rough terrain deserves more protection), but in general we find stone slabs to be an excellent feature. They are discreet, minimize leg pain and add little extra weight.
The laces are easy to look at, but they play a fundamental role in the comfort of the shoes. Most of them use the standard lacing method, but Solomon and Adidas have a slightly different approach: Both have a system to quickly attach the laces to their next sneaker. We like the design of the Salomon Speedcross 5 because of its ease of use and speed. Just pull once, then remove the extra laces and forget about it. We found that the laces hold much better than some traditional sweaters. However, there is a potential setback. For those who have difficult legs and need to adjust the fit of certain parts of the leg, there really is no solution with a quick lace design. The laces are also stretched all over the leg. Therefore, we advise you to avoid fast laces if you often play with laces to get the right size.
The Salomon QuickLace is much faster to use than the standard lacing system.
Walking and backpacking with shoes for walking along the path
It is not uncommon for people walking on the slopes to change into day shoes. In most adventures of the day you don’t pull much weight, so extra support for your ankle isn’t that important. And although the track is not too disgusting, the track runner is a good choice. With a smooth to the touch but durable grip on the road, running shoes can serve a fast moving weekend warrior very well. However, if you carry a heavy bag and need extra support, light walking shoes or even a normal walking load are the best choice.
If you don’t weigh too much, a trailer can be ideal for fast journeys.
In recent years, trail running shoes have become an absolute must for fast travellers and travelers. And that makes a lot of sense: They cover large distances almost every day and with light shoes they can cover a larger area with less effort. But there are clearly problems. One of them is the long lifespan. It is unlikely that you will stray as many kilometres from your runner’s route as you would with a walking shoe, so it is important to plan for replacements (and show drop-off points) along the way. Despite some potential weaknesses, street walkers seem to remain a popular option for transit walks. We talked to several PCT players who have gone from shoes to mid-level runners and had nothing to say about their comfort and mobility – as long as they keep their weight in the tutu.
Track shoes for asphalt
Due to the unique constructions for footprints and dress shoes it is difficult to try to use one shoe for both activities. It is often very painful to walk on the pavement with a shoe, or the other way around, over long distances. From time to time there are shoes that can handle the transition well, but we wouldn’t be used to using just one shoe for long runs, be it mud or asphalt. If you need a short period of time before getting into the dirt, we’ve discovered that the Hoka One One Challenger ATR and the Asics Gel-Venture are suitable hybrid options.
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