Salomon XR Mission

XR Mission     Photo: Courtesy of Salomon

THE SELL: A stable, confidence-inspiring neutral trail shoe for daily training. THE TEST: We loved the XR Mission’s wide, firm forefoot, which let testers run without fear on technical, high-speed downhills and hard-packed dirt trails alike. On sloppy mud we still felt secure, thanks to the toothy tread, and once we got used to the quick-pull laces we found ourselves missing them in other shoes. No waterproofing here, although plastic accents helped ward off light rain better than a mesh upper, like on Patagonia’s Forerunner. Bummer: the cushioning was too stiff for steady uphill runs. THE VERDICT: Our pick for technical trails. 11.5 oz; 11-mm heel-to-toe drop

Brand: Salomon $110

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