Salewa Speed Ascent

2015 Gear of the Year Winner

The Speed Ascent helps you maintain a faster pace for longer on the uphill. (Michael Karsh)
Photo: Michael Karsh

If dashing up peaks or down trails is your thing, then this is the shoe for you ($139). The secret to its speed is a rockered Vibram sole, which forces you to climb with your calf and quad muscles instead of relying on your toes and ankles. The upshot: you’ll maintain a faster pace for longer.

On descents, the rocker engages with the ground more quickly; combined with the ultrastable lugs, it improves braking and reduces leg fatigue. “It’s like the shoes are nudging you along,” said one tester. Other standout features: a double row of lacing for extra cinch and a rubber toe rand in case your hike goes vertical.

12.7 oz;

Comfort: 4
Traction: 5

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