Gear Guy

What are the best spring running shoes?

What are the best trail running shoes for handling spring mud and rain?

What are the best spring running shoes?

Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 GTX trail shoe Photo: Courtesy of Salomon

Spring rain and mud, indeed. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we’ve had a full-on La Nina spring—meaning rain, more rain, and the occasional snowfall. So yeah, muddy trails have been on my mind.

The challenge is finding a shoe with grip that can also keep your feet dry. At the high end, price-wise, is Salomon's XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 GTX trail runners ($155). (I think they charge by the number of words in the name.) Salomon knows plenty about adventure racing, however, and it shows in this shoe, which comes with high-traction Contagrip outsoles (a proprietary design); a supportive EVA midsole; toe and heel caps; and one-pull lacing. The upper is built with a Gore-Tex liner for waterproofness. I’m always skeptical about putting Gore-Tex in footwear, but when you're running through wet grass it's a no-brainer. That'll soak a shoe in seconds.

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