Aggressive, all-conditions runners will love these stable, protective, and well-cushioned shoes. Rocks, logs, unstable sand, and even snow gave us no trouble, thanks to a lug pattern that grips in all directions. The gel cushioning absorbs impact on hardpacked trails, and the forefoot flexes easily for a comfortable stride. The sewn-in tongue helps keep out pebbles and other trail debris. 9.2 oz; asics.com
Bonus: The weight is low for the level of cushion and protection.
Bummer: One tester felt the rub of the integrated tongue.