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em>Packed Trail In a word: smooth. The Cascadia 4 can handle both big miles and varied terrain, making it an ideal training shoe for trail marathons or ultras. The environmentally sensitive BioMoGo midsole (which, Brooks claims, will break down in a landfill 50 times faster than most…

Mountain Maniac Can a shoe give you superpowers? With the amount of confidence the Raptor inspired in our testers, it came pretty close. The most protective and stable—but still fairly lightweight—shoe in our test, the Raptor let us ignore the terrain and just run. The extremely grippy proprietary rubber and…

ROAD-AND-TRAIL HYBRID Good for Packed Trails Take a road trainer and a trail runner, smash them together, and voilà: the Adrenaline ASR 5. Medial posting (a.k.a. denser foam) in the midsole delivers moderate pronation support, a rarity in trail runners, and the slender fit feels nimble…

If cushioning shoes are mattresses, the Cruise is a futon. “It’s firm, but good firm,” said one tester. The Cruise has Pearl Izumi’s trademark seamless upper, fabric eyelets that allow fine-tuning of the laces, and unique cushioning pads under the forefoot and heel that deliver a responsive ride. Best…

Wave Runner “It feels like a racer with more cushioning,” said one tester. Indeed, this neutral trainer may not be as feathery as the Kinvara (page 50), but at a mere ten ounces it’s no slogger, either, thanks to a redesigned TPU “wave plate” (Mizuno’s springy cushioning device) and new,…

Aigle Shems – Midweight Jackets: Reviews   With a soft fleece interior and warm, durable merino wool/nylon exterior, this jacket combines our favorite fabrics in one versatile top. 1.9 lbs; aigleusa.com         Patagonia Pau – Footwear: Reviews (Terry Heffernan) The coolest mocs we’ve ever laid eyes…

CushioningCombine a lightweight race shoe with a long-distance trainer, and you’ve got the Praya 2. Although it has more cushioning than the Karhu—and more than enough padding for ten-plus-mile runs—the midsole is light and snappy and had no trouble on shorter, faster-tempo runs. “It’s one of those…

Interval junkies will love this new lap counter, which stores multiple training sessions with best and average lap times. And the sleek style feels right even if you're not prepping for Kona. timex.com      …

Technical Terrain Cross a race flat with a pair of crampons and the resulting mash-up might resemble the X-Talon. Tipping the scale at less than eight ounces, it’s like a slipper with cleats, with a snug fit and low-to-the-ground heel. Although its widely spaced, sticky rubber lugs…

Cool Runner We have to admit, the Ravenous surprised us. Columbia is new to the running market and debuts with this breathable, lightweight, perfectly competent trail shoe. It’s best on rocky terrain and—with its particularly breezy open mesh—begs to be unleashed in humid climes. The traction ranked high on dry…

FLEXIBLE FLIER Good for Packed TrailsLike to blaze along your local fire road or creek path? The extremely light and flexible Paragon is tailor-made for off-road tempo runs and speed work. A sleek tread and multiple forefoot grooves make for a supple feel on the flats, but the Paragon…

The Stature was our favorite shoe for mellower trails, serving up ample cushioning, a medial post for pronation control, and a comfy, debris-thwarting neoprene ankle cuff. Traction was great on uphills, but our feet slipped too much inside the shoe on the downs. Testers loved the female-specific fit and…

Saves Some for Later Last fall, we picked Nike’s amazing LunarGlide+, with its unique Dynamic Support midsole, as our Gear of the Year. Nike built the new LunarEclipse+ on the same platform but opened up the toe box, and took its stability one notch further, bracing the heel with a…

SMOOTH OPERATORS Testers loved this shoe’s comfort and smooth heel-to-toe transition. Credit a combination of silicone-based cushioning pads, a stable heel, and a springy midsole compound called MoGo, which we found responsive and highly shock-absorbing. Best for neutral runners to mild pronators. 9.1 oz; brooksrunning.com Bonus: The eco-friendly…

CushioningCan’t stand the squishy feeling of your current running shoes? The Glycerin 7, by far the firmest shoe of our picks this year, might be more your style—especially if you’re a heavier runner or a slow-and-steady type. Of the neutral shoes on this page, the no-frills Glycerin…

This versatile shoe goes from road to trail—and October to April—with ease. Midsole cushion is pillow-like on rocky trails and flexy enough for roads, and the upper breathes well and resists minor weather (but isn’t waterproof). It’s best for narrow-footed mild pronators. 10 oz; brooksrunning.com…

Technical Terrain Do your runs tend to involve alpine passes and rocky scrambles? Let us point you to the Wildcat, a supportive, moderately stiff shoe that can handle all-day outings or even adventure races. With solid underfoot and toe protection, a grippy outsole that excels on rock,…

Trail Cheetah Training on rocky, technical terrain? This shoe is your superstable running partner. One-pull Kevlar laces lock down tight, securing the cradle around your foot and creating lateral stability and even tension throughout for an agile feel. Cushioning is on the firm side, which we thought was just fine…

BURLY SUPPORTER Good for Technical Trails If the other shoes here are sedans, the Velocity is an SUV. A plastic spine in the midsole stiffens this powerful shoe and does an extraordinary job of correcting off-camber footstrikes. Testers appreciated the aggressive tread in muck, and rocks…

Rain-soaked singletrack? Don’t even hesitate. The Apex is made for muck. The aggressive outsole gripped well on both the way up and the way down, and the Gore-Tex upper fended off even the slushiest snow. The stiff, supportive platform is very stable—easily crossing over for all-day hike/run epics—but it’s…

Shock Therapy While many shoes are exploring new territory, this one seems to be tending the home fires—an unapologetically traditional, cushy stability shoe that sits high off the ground. But among its megacushioned kind, the Adapt was our favorite. The standard dual-density midsole posting offers overpronators tried-and-true support, and an…

DELUXE RIDE Cushy, comfy, and extremely breathable, these shoes are like a Mercedes convertible for your feet. The midsole offers good stability and major cushion that, combined with a seamless transition, had me on cruise control during long runs. Best for neutral runners. 10.3 oz; saucony.com Bonus: Moisture-wicking liners…

Mild Stability Old perceptions die hard, and a few of our testers initially scoffed at the idea that Puma, better known in other sporting arenas, is making legitimately high-performance running shoes. The Concinnity III changed that. At under ten ounces, it’s a remarkably fast and agile shoe.

Tackle the trickiest winter trails with this all-conditions shoe, thanks to a tough toe cap, sticky rubber outsole, and rigid midfoot support. ASICS’s signature gel pockets in the heel minimize pounding, and testers loved the smooth transition from heel strike to toe-off. 11 oz; asics.com Bummer: Check…

Technical Terrain The Ascend 4 wins the award for best out-of-the-box fit. The low-to-the-ground silhouette, combined with multidirectional traction, make this shoe impressively agile, while its ample cushioning and structured, supportive heel kept our testers feeling fresh on ten-plus-mile runs. It’s not sturdy enough for nasty scree-filled…

All-Terrain Rambler With a sticky rubber outsole, the light and flexible Tsali performs best on rolling, rocky trails. We especially loved the lacing system, which provides a snug, arch-supporting fit. And there's more than just a gender-specific last here: To accommodate a women's lighter weight, the Tsali's midsole and a…

TRACTION ACTION Good for Technical Trails Those who like to stay in tune with the trail will love the low-riding 840. Cleat-like, dual-density lugs dig in on loose, loamy terrain, making it a good choice for speedmongers in climes where dusty trails turn to mud in the winter.

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you have to run in beefy shoes. The light weight, streamlined silhouette, and lateral stability of the SpeedComp made us more nimble on trails of all sorts, while the Gore-Tex upper kept us warm and dry. With the one-pull laces and a women’s…

Road The DS Trainer was minimalist before minimalist was trendy, and its 15th iteration is still extremely lightweight and has high-speed specs, gentle stability control, an airy upper, and just enough cushion for moderate-length runs. Our team raved about the fit, aided by pressure-free asymmetrical laces: “It feels like it…

Get in gear with these heavy-duty trail runners and barely-there road shoes.

“Not just different. Better.” That tester’s observation sums up this 15-degree bag from Montbell, whose major tech innovation—spiraled baffles—made it the most comfortable and best-functioning bag we tested this year. Far from a gimmick, the spiral baffles drape more evenly over the body, creating…

1. FELT ZW1 BIKE It looks fast, it feels fast, and it is fast—even if you’re not. The oversize carbon-fiber tubes are dialed for female riders; they were never too stiff, never too soft. Shimano’s finest Dura-Ace components, Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels, gel grips, and Felt’s women’s carbon saddle…

The key to staying warm and stuck to the ice? The right stuff.

1. Most frontside skis are too precise and exhausting for freeskiing. Not the pared-down CX 80, which does away with heavy add-ons like complex binding plates for a more responsive feel. It’s ten millimeters fatter than most, but its World Cup­–inspired…

In the Store: If you’re buying just one pair of skis (and not building a quiver), look for a set that matches your style of skiing and the terrain you frequent 70 percent of the time. And don’t be afraid to upgrade: Buy skis slightly above…

1. WILSON AVP REPLICA BALL You might not be able to spike like Misty May-Treanor, but you won’t be able to blame the ball. This soft, composite-leather volleyball is a facsimile of what the pros use. $15; wilson.com Women’s Beach Gear Essentials 2. LOLË…

The Classic Powder Skiing Once you experience Alta's powder, you too will be an Altaholic ALTA SKI AREA, Utah: Not only does Alta get twice as much snow as less blessed resorts—it averages 500 inches—but its flakes are also lighter and drier. Maybe that’s why nearly 80 percent of…

1. Bern Muse Helmet Slope Style This downsized lid has zero bobblehead factor yet still has room for a removable liner (with speakers). $99; bernunlimited.com 2. Marmot Furlong Like it or not, you will get noticed in the lift line when you’re…

1. HIND P.E. SHORT SLEEVE SHIRT » This T’s grid pattern minimizes points of contact on the skin for increased airflow, which helps keep you cool. And on long runs, the extra-stretchy underarm panels don’t chafe. $38; hind.com womens running…

Strange but true: It feels good to run all day. Prep yourself with this go-far gear.

It may be zero degrees outside, with a windchill factor for the ages, but once you get your V2 on, you'll want to be wearing fewer clothes than you think. What you wear should be breathable, and stretchy to allow the full-body cranking that skate skiing requires. Wind-blocking materials on your front side and light insulation in key areas will keep you comf

Get the most out of long summer days with featherweight performance gear for running, riding, climbing, and hiking

Go-fast gear for your next adrenaline-fueled run-climb-bike-hike-paddle through the woods