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SEAMLESS DREAMTrot out the Lizards for trail-running where the term “trail” is generous. Seams in the uppers won’t blow out from abrasion—because there aren’t any. Even the synthetic-leather trim is heat-welded rather than stitched. A fat rubber toe cap provides further armoring. Serious shoe abusers, such as adventure racers and…

BRING ON THE BREEZEYou don’t know ventilation until you’ve experienced the GCS Pro. The uppers are like a screened-in porch—take off the shoe and look straight through it to read your watch, if you wish. But its real worth comes with every stride; on a warm fall day in the…

When we finally terraform Mars, the first colonists will doubtless be issued Montrail Hardrock Wides—kicks perfectly suited to the dusty slopes of 78,740-foot-high Olympus Mons. OK, admittedly, we’re reaching, but our 2005 Gear of the Year trail runners have more than proved their worth on this planet, moving effortlessly from…

ONE SWEET RIDEForget the South Beach Diet: The cushioning here will convince you that you’ve lost ten pounds. Credit trademarked midsole components (they boil down to strategically tuned EVA and a bit of foam rubber), which render each foot strike a pleasure instead of a pain. A thickly padded, noncreeping…

The makers of adventure gear and apparel had utility dialed long ago. Now R&D types are zeroing in on style.

On February 4, a team comprising explorers and kayakers from seven nations began a planned two-month-long expedition through the Tsangpo Gorge in southeastern Tibet. Their goal is to chart some of the still unvisited parts of the gorge and to complete the first-ever whitewater descent of the world’s deepest river…

How exactly do you go about getting 80 people, 14 boats, and several thousand pounds of equipment from one end of the deepest river canyon in the world to the other? You view it like a king-sized, 150-mile-long obstacle course fiendish enough to confound even the most talented river runners,…

Thanks to smart design and engineering, today's tents deliver high-altitude performance at a low-elevation price

Innovations in synthetic insulation and a glut of high-quality down are making bags lighter and warmer than ever. We burrow into six of the best.

Warm, windswept, unfettered, ever-changing—North America's four great desert regions hide untold possibilities for classic winter adventure. They may be scorching and sere, with prickly dangers over every horizon, but if you know where to go—and how to explore wisely—you'll find these 500,000 square miles of desolation downright hospitable.

Just be sure to share the load with one of this year's best backpacks

They're fast, they're feathery, they're superfly. The year's best lightweight hikers.

That's right, you should like your footwear. This will help.

The Bighorn Mountains are still one of Wyoming's great wild redoubts

The Bighorn Mountains are still one of Wyoming's great wild redoubts

In Zambia, you'll find wildlife the way it used to be

Four perfect kayaks that won't fail you, no matter what your searing obsession

The Chiricahua Mountains are as rugged and diverse as the Galápagos but have one big advantage: They're right here at home.