La Sportiva Quantum
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THE SELL: A shoe from the future! Instead of gripping the trail with lugs, the Quantum’s sole has big, soft waves underneath that deform around trail features for traction—and smoother running. THE TEST: It takes the cake for the craziest-looking sole we’ve ever seen, but guess what? It works. The soft foam underlying the Quantum’s undulating, sticky rubber outsole morphed around rocks and roots, absorbing terrain while protecting our feet. The overall ride is cushy but low to the ground, stiff, and stable, and the slip-lasted upper—more ergonomic than the interiors of traditional shoes—creates a snug, comfortable fit. Our one beef was the heavily padded tongue, which seemed excessive. THE VERDICT: We’re sold. A truly novel design for a mountain-running shoe that’s both comfortable and confidence-inspiring. 12.8 oz.