The three best runners for the worst conditions. 

The North Face
(The North Face)

The North Face Ultra MT Winter 

Best For: Ankle-deep snow. 

The Test: Our eyes immediately went to the integrated gaiter, designed to keep you going while everyone else is indoors. So it was nice to discover that the shoe beneath it was no mere afterthought. The Ultra MT Winter is a highly protective, highly responsive trainer with a moderately thick midsole, a waterproof toe, and a definite spring in its step, despite slower turnover. The narrow performance last might be rough on wide feet, but it offers a solidly locked-in fit over chunky, refrozen crud, with Vibram’s IceTrek outsole adding some extra tackiness on ice. Bonus: glove-friendly one-pull laces deliver a snug fit. 

The Verdict: A midwinter soldier that still feels like a real runner. 11.9 oz; 8 mm drop

Price $170

Buy Now


 

Icebug
(Icebug)

Icebug DTS2 BugGrip GTX 

Best For: Frozen pavement and trails. 

The Test: It was no surprise that the 19 carbide spikes on the BugGrip let us fly on ice-packed roads. What pushed this shoe to the top of our list was how well it ran on dry turf, too. Fast, low, nimble, and smooth, this amply protected, waterproof trainer felt perfectly at ease ripping along at a 6:15-mile pace or parkouring over slick boulders and slimy logs—the best ride we’ve seen so far from Icebug. “I ran where once I walked,” a tester said. The moderately high volume can feel a little bit loose on fast, steep downhills, but that’s nothing a thicker winter sock won’t fix. Save up—these ain’t cheap. 

The Verdict: Puts the speed and fun back in winter runs. 12.3 oz; 12 mm drop (though it feels like less)

Price $220

Buy Now


 

Altra
(Altra)

Altra Lone Peak 3.0 NeoShell Mid 

Best For: Run hikes. 

The Test: Surprised to see a hiking boot make the grade? So were we. While the Lone Peak’s midcut, thickly padded collar looks like it limits this shoe to fastpacking missions and snowshoe jaunts, we were floored by how fluid and effortless it was running on dry mountain trails. That ankle-bracing heel collar is remarkably inconspicuous on flats and climbs but powerfully protective on rough, technical downhills. The (big) plus: the breathable NeoShell exterior waterproofing. But despite the cushy 25-­millimeter midsole, we missed having a rock plate in the fore on stony sections. 

The Verdict: A legit, fast running shoe with solid ankle support. 11.9 oz; zero drop

Price $160

Buy Now

Tech

The Best Road Running Shoes of 2017

The season’s best trainers keep you moving through nasty weather. (New Balance) New Balance Fresh Foam Gobi  Gear of the Year Take these pages as proof that we’re in the midst of a running-shoe renaissance. They feature not only the best of our extensive test, but also some of the most creative designs we’ve seen in years. Like what? Try a midcut hiking boot that doubles as a legit trail runner. Or a roadie with a knit sock for an upper. Or the do-it-all maestro of the season, the Gear of the Year–­winning Gobi. It’s a

Read More
Tech

The Best Trail Running Shoes of 2017

Our three favorite kicks for the trail. (Salomon) Salomon Speedcross 4 GTX  Best For: Techy ridge running.  The Test: If the Speedcross has a spirit animal, it’s the wily mountain goat. With its big, gummy lugs, moderately narrow performance last, and Gore-Tex waterproof bootie, this shoe is as nimble and surefooted as any in its class—a confident, capable performer on treacherous trails, shoulder-season muck, and packed snow. While the 23-millimeter heel feels thick and forgiving, and the low-riding forefoot precise and responsive, the steep ten-millimeter drop between them made the shoe a little awkward on low-angle

Read More
Tech

The Best Women's Running Shoes of 2017

Here are our favorites for road and trail. (Pearl Izumi) Pearl Izumi EM Trail N2 v3 The Trail N2 is the strong, silent type. It isn’t flashy and aims right down the middle between comfort cruiser and technical speedster—which is exactly why it’s a perennial tester favorite. This year’s iteration has a new seamless upper and retains the smooth, rockered roll on packed trails, good quick turnover, moderate cushioning, with a precise, responsive, and protective feel. 9.4 oz; 4 mm drop Price $130 Buy Now   (Inov8) Inov8 X-Claw 275 For those who like

Read More
Tech

The Best Winter Hiking Boots of 2017

From trailhead to summit, boots to keep your feet warm and dry.  (Under Armour) Under Armour Clackamas 200 Best For: Deep Snow If you tramp through half a foot of fresh every morning to get to your car, take note. The 10.5-inch-tall Clackamas rises above the snow, while its water-resistant rubber-and-canvas upper laughs off precipitation. Inside, your feet will be warm and happy, nestled above a memory-foam footbed.  Price $130 Buy Now (Saucony) Saucony Razor Ice+ Best For: Runners Who Love the Cold   Based on Saucony’s popular Peregrine, the Razor Ice+ is basically a running

Read More
Tech

The Best Fuel of 2017

Performance snacks get a natural makeover. (AlpineAire) AlpineAire Guacamole Thanks to the geniuses at Alpine-Aire, guac is no longer a luxury reserved for glamping with a well-stocked cooler—it’s a trail-ready hors d’oeuvre you’ve earned after hiking miles in the backcountry. Just add water to the 1.4-ounce package, filled with freeze-dried avocado, onion, and serrano pepper. Don’t forget the chips. Price $9 Buy Now (I Heart Keenwah) I Heart Keenwah Sweet Chili Quinoa Puffs Sure, you can cook quinoa while backpacking. The seed is easy to prepare and protein-rich, but it’s also bland on its own. That’s why we like these

Read More
Tech

The Best Cold-Weather Running Gear of 2017

Winter-training heroes require apparel with oomph. (The North Face) The North Face Flight Series Fuse Jacket “Breathable running shell” is usually an oxymoron. Not so the Fuse, which is built from a single piece of fabric with different properties woven throughout. It’s breathable where you need it to be (along the upper back and under the arms) and durable everywhere else. Elastic bands on the hood and cuffs keep out the wet.  Price $250 Buy Now (Patagonia) Patagonia Speed Waffle Crew Shirt This fleecy pullover feels like a cashmere sweater but performs like

Read More
Tech

The Best Snowshoes of 2017

Over the river and through the woods.  (Fimbulvetr) Fimbulvetr Hikr Best For: Deep Snow Breaking trail in winter is just about the most difficult workout you can do. But that Herculean endeavor is made a bit easier with a platform like the Norwegian Hikr strapped to your foot. The lightweight plastic honeycomb frame helped it float better in powder than any other snowshoe on this page. Plus, it’s 100 percent recyclable. 4.7 lbs Price $270 Buy Now (L.L.Bean) L.L.Bean Green Mountain Best For: Keeping Forever Snowshoes have been around for at least 4,000 years. And

Read More
Tech

The Best Women's Winter Workout Gear of 2017

Don't let the snow stop you. (CurrexSole) CurrexSole RunPro Insoles If you’re training year-round, you’ve got to take extra care of your feet. RunPro insoles are built from an EVA composite that’s cushy yet responsive, and they come in high, medium, or low arch.  Price $50 Buy Now (Flylow) Flylow Betty Down Hoodie  Post-workout, throw on the 800-fill Betty. It’s treated with DownTek and DWR, so you can move straight to après beers in the parking lot. Price $250 Buy Now (Stonewear) Stonewear Designs Tempo Sports Bra Made from moisture-wicking, silky polyester with a

Read More
Tech

The Best Home Gym Equipment of 2017

No snow in the forecast? That's no excuse to be lazy. (Rogue) Rogue Wood Rings Whether you’re doing standing ring rows on your way to your first pull-up or churning out full-on muscle-ups, a set of simple wooden rings can get you fitter faster.  Price $72 Buy Now (Nike) Nike Free Train Force Flyknit Shoes An air-permeable knit upper makes this the most breathable trainer we’ve worn, while the dual-density sole softens impacts from box jumps and provides a stable platform for lifts. Price $150 Buy Now (Prana) Prana Maha Towel The polyester

Read More
Tech

The Best Fat Bikes of 2017

Nearly a decade has passed since we reviewed the Surly Pugsley—the world’s first commercially available fattie—and during that time fat bikes have gone from outlandish specialty machines to must-have, all-season ATVs. Today, every major manufacturer offers an entire stable of fat-bike designs, which means that more money than ever is flowing into R&D. There are now full-suspension fatties that can shred dirt as well as snow, and even budget bikes have made huge strides in performance.  Case in point: the Heller Bloodhound (above; $1,899), which is slacker (for stability) and tighter at the chainstays (for faster acceleration) than the original Pugsley. With full-carbon

Read More
Tech

The Best Cold-Weather Biking Gear of 2017

Riding in winter doesn't have to be painful. (Rapha) Rapha Pro Team Thermal Aerosuit Think of this one-piece as a nordic skin suit for cyclists. It’s incredibly warm, courtesy of the windproof, water-resistant, waffle-weave fleece on the front. But you won’t overheat: the fabric’s lighter in back to let cool air in.  Price $440 Buy Now (Specialized/686) Specialized/686 Tech Insulator Jacket Supreme warmth and breathability: that’s what you get from the Tech Insulator, thanks to PrimaLoft insulation across the back and chest, and stretchy polyester-and-spandex panels along the sides.   Price $125 Buy Now

Read More

Obsessed with Gear?

Thank you!

Pinterest Icon