BEST FOR: Trail-racing speed freaks. THE TEST: The lightest Asics trail shoe to date has pyramid-shaped rubber nubs on the bottom for digging in to even the loosest downhills and yet somehow “never felt bulky on pavement,” according to one tester. A firm rock plate underfoot affords impressive protection for such an airy shoe, and at sub-ten ounces with drainage holes, it should make waves on the trail-racing scene. Unfortunately, those same holes can drain the other way, translating to cold, wet feet on waterlogged trails. THE VERDICT: Grip, protection, and breathability when you want to go fast, on road or off. 9.4 oz
Small perforations underfoot—present on the Asics and New Balance—allow water to drain from inside the shoe on rainy days.