Gear Guy

Q:

What are the best spring running shoes?

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

Apr 2, 2012
Outside
Outside Magazine
Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 GTX trail shoe

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

A:

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.

Filed To: Gear Guy, Trail Running, Trail-Running Shoes

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