BEST FOR: Paleo runners who venture off pavement.
THE TEST: For those just dipping into minimalism, the Helion is a pretty good pick. It has a sparse 11 millimeters of foam in the forefoot but more structure in the heel than most other zero-drop shoes. Purists may pooh-pooh the slightly stiffer outsole, but we mortals preferred it: your foot muscles don’t need to work as hard as they do in a shoe like the Inov-8, and the thick rubber offers a little extra protection on gravelly dirt paths. Narrower and snugger fitting than the Skora Core, the Helion’s meshy upper also makes it the most breathable shoe here.
THE VERDICT: Versatile enough for roads or light trails. 7.7 oz.