Miles Ahead

Eight ingenious innovations to help you dial in your run, hike, or scramble

Aug 1, 2004
Outside Magazine
Nike, ACG, Adidas, and Merrell

Get a grip: bright ideas from Nike, ACG, Adidas, and Merrell    Photo: Spencer Jones

TIME WAS, YOU KNEW WHERE you stood with mountain footwear. You had light off-road runners over here, beefier low-cut hikers over there, and sticky-soled approach shoes in the middle. But these days, your local shop is likely to offer a dizzying variety of specialized shoes for everything from quick trail trots to multi-day adventure racing, along with runner-hiker hybrids that—you're promised—can do it all.

The upside to the shoe revolution is choice. The downside is confusion—when you wander into a store and see a huge wall of kicks, it's hard to know where to start. Our advice: Think carefully about your planned activity, local terrain, and climate, then choose a shoe whose features are best suited to what you really do. Size up these 21 excellent choices, which feature an array of innovations to consider when you shop.

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