A:Shoes alone wont do it, Thomas. You need a comprehensive approach to keeping your feet warm and dry.
Of course, the right shoes are certainly important. And it seems that trail-running shoes would serve you well. You might, for instance, take a look at the Salomon GCS XCR ($149; www.salomonoutdoor.com), well-designed trail-runners that have a Gore-Tex XCR liner for excellent waterproofness and good breathability. Toe and heel caps help protect your feet, and the shoes have Salomons ground control system" to help you navigate over rough terrain. Whatever. Theyre a good shoe, really. The only thing I dont like is the price. Thats a lot for a pair of running shoes that youll probably need to replace in six to eight months.
You can get the goodness of XCR for a little less scratch with Montrails Hurricane Ridge XCR ($120; www.montrail.com). Its aggressive treads keep you on the trail/sloppy roads, and Montrails combination of support and cushioning is one of the best around. These shoes are designed for nutty winter runners, and I think you qualif I mean, I think youll like them.
XCR also is found in Nikes Air Zoom Orizaba ($110; www.nike.com). Nikes cushioning technology and overall design have stood the test of time, so I think these are fine shoes. However, theyre more of a beefed-up running shoe, rather than a trimmed-down hiking shoe, as the Salomon and Montrails are. So durability might not be quite on par, although I think performance would be.
The other thing Id suggest is a pair of light gaiters to wear along with the shoes. Theyll help keep snow and slush from overtopping these low-cut shoes. The North Face makes a short, Gore-Tex gaiter specifically designed for trail running, called the Winter Gaiter GTX ($20; www.thenorthface.com).
Lastly, good socks will help a lot. SmartWool (www.smartwool.com) makes a three-quarter-height sock called the Light Three-Quarter Crew for $15. Theyll help keep your feet warm and dry.
Enjoy your runs!
Get more advice from the Gear Guy as he picks this seasons top gifts in Away.coms Holiday Gift Guide. Youll probably find a few things to put on your own wish list, too.