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Posts Tagged ‘Trail Running Shoes’

What’s the Best Running Shoe Under $100?

April 24th, 2013

This is a question we get a lot at the ‘house. We certainly don’t blame you for wanting to look out for your wallet when you’re shopping for new shoes, especially if you’re racking up 70+ mile weeks and needing a new pair every couple of months. Fortunately, there are many solid running shoe options under $100, and the best one for you will depend on what you’re looking for.

Light, Flexible Running Shoes under $100


Asics Gel Lyte33 2 ($90 MSRP)

The Asics Gel Lyte33 2 was the surprise of the year for us so far. It feels completely different than it’s predecessor (in a good way), and offers a soft yet bouncy feel with a quality ride. We credit the combination SpEVA/Solyte midsole, which gives a particularly nice feel for mid/forefoot strikers where the shoe provides full-thickness SpEVA foam.

New Balance 730 v2 ($75 MSRP)

Flexible might be the first word that comes to mind when you think of the New Balance 730 v2. This shoe has many of the points we loved about the original, including a low offset, responsive ride, and upper that runs on the generous side. We also think it’s one of the best looking New Balance shoes for 2013.

Nike Free 4.0 ($95 MSRP)

If you want to get the Nike Free experience on your feet for under a hundo’, then reach for the Nike Free 4.0. This Free model doesn’t get as much attention as the Free 5.0 (nee Free Run) or the minimal Free 3.0 v5, but it still offers all the classic features of a Free running shoe: extreme flexibility, good cushioning, and a breathable, sock-like upper.

Zero-Drop Running Shoes under $100


Saucony Virrata ($90 MSRP)

In spite of its modest price tag, the Saucony Virrata has the power to amaze. It has a performance fit and a sweet spot just behind the ball of the foot – but it seems to feel good no matter how your foot lands. Unlike most zero-drop designs, this shoe has quite a bit of padding underfoot.

Altra Samson/Delilah ($95 MSRP)

Wide-footed “barefoot” runners of the world, rejoice! The Altra Samson (and the Women’s model, the Altra Delilah) has a rectangular toe box that comfortably accommodates wider feet without rubbing or causing blisters. It also has a removable sockliner so you can get extremely close to the ground.

Merrell Vapor Glove ($80 MSRP)

The Merrell Vapor Glove is a great shoe for barefoot runners who want a stowable shoe to take with them in case they hit a rough patch of ground and want a little extra protection. Read more…

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Do You Need a Trail Running Shoe?

April 11th, 2013

If you’re running on trails, it may be a good idea to invest in a pair of trail running shoes. Using your retired pair of road shoes doesn’t count (they are retired for a reason), even if you don’t mind getting them dirty. Trail shoes are built differently than road shoes to protect your feet and help you navigate varied terrain.

Finding a pair of trail shoes that suits your needs can make your offroad running experience that much better. Below, choose the type of trail running you’re doing and check out what you should look for in a trail shoe.

I run mostly roads, with a little bit of fire road thrown in the mix.

If your off-road running is limited to fire roads, in many cases you’ll be able to get away with running in your road trainers. But a shoe that can handle both roads and trails will offer you more traction and stability when you’re running on dirt. Several “trail-ified” versions of popular road models provide a bit more grip while still remaining fluid and flexible during road duty. As a couple of examples, look at the Asics GT 2000 Trail or the Brooks Adrenaline ASR 9.

I run fire roads and well-maintained trails.

You’re running on trails, but none of it is too technical. The type of trail shoe you should look for really depends on the running experience you’re seeking. If you want a more minimal shoe with a closer feel for the surfaces you’re running on, then check out the Brooks PureGrit 2 or the Altra Lone Peak.

If you want a traditional running shoe experience with plenty of protection from the ground and a more substantial upper, then lace up the Asics Gel Scout or Brooks Cascadia 8. Since your foot will encounter more ground angles over varied terrain and you are more likely to be up on your toes as you navigate trails, trail shoes typically have less pronation support than their road-specific counterparts. If you wear a max support road shoe, don’t fret if you can’t find a trail shoe with exactly as much support.

I run technical, uneven trails with mud, loose rocks and debris.

When you head out the door, your goal is to tackle the toughest trails you can find. You don’t shy away from hills or loose, rocky approaches. You need a shoe that can keep up with your adventure-seeking soul. In this category, you want to look for a trail shoe with intense lugs, and a secure fit. The lugs will help you mountain-goat your way through tricky terrain and the secure fit will help you feel more stable and confident in your shoes. For this type of running we like shoes such as the Salomon Speedcross 3 and Inov-8 Mudclaw 300.

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2012 Top Running Trends – Streamlined Trail Shoes

February 3rd, 2012

New Balance MT110, One of Many New Streamlined Trail Shoes

A lot of innovation has been happening in the trail running shoe sector over the past year. Trail shoes are echoing their road counterparts in that they are getting lighter, lower and more nimble.

Not long ago, trail shoes were characterized by stiff midsoles, aggressive outsoles, and uppers with plenty of overlays. The keyword was “protection” from trail debris. But in recent seasons, trail and ultra runners have been demanding speed and better connection with the ground along with adequate protection. We think it makes sense that runners who prefer natural terrain are also attracted to the idea of a more natural running experience.

As every runner knows, lighter weight is an essential component of a faster shoe. Manufacturers are introducing more trail models that are stripped down but still offer the core features your feet need to stay safe on the trail.

Examples of Streamlined Trail Shoes

  • Asics Gel Fuji Racer: Get in touch with the trail in Asics’ lightest trail model yet.
  • Brooks PureGrit: A perfect example of a trail shoe stripped down to its core elements.
  • Inov-8 X-talon 212: Sticky lugs and a snug upper allow for fast, stable running on dirt, grass mud and other terrain.
  • Merrell Bare Access: 8mm stack height in heel and forefoot, engineered with just a touch of cushion.
  • Montrail Rogue Fly: Mesh upper + responsive midsole = fast and light.
  • New Balance MT/WT110: Extremely popular, this shoe is proof that nimble trail shoes are hot, hot, hot.
  • Saucony Kinvara TR: A light, flexible trail running shoe with multi-surface lugs and a welded upper.

Of course, there are several minimal models for the trail runner as well, including the Merrell Trail Glove, Vivobarefoot Neo Trail, and the upcoming New Balance MT/WT00. We think the latest crop of elemental trail shoes strikes a healthy balance, offering grip, rock protection and a little cushioning along with a nimble feel for the ground.

What will be your shoe of choice for the trails in 2012?

Matt Running Sport , ,

New Balance MT110/WT110 – First Look

December 28th, 2011

New Balance MT110 Men's Shoe

New Balance faced a daunting task when updating the MT101 and the women’s version, the WT101. Plenty of customers rave about this shoe, and for good reason. The 101 struck a near-perfect balance by providing protection from lumps and bumps on the trail while still being light and nimble enough to please many in the minimalist crowd.

We think it’s about to get even better with the MT110 and WT110 ($85.00 MSRP each), releasing in early January 2012.

  • New Upper Construction: The innovative synthetic upper covering a soft, breathable lining is highly durable and ready to handle dirt, mud, water or any other elements you want to throw its way.
  • Lower Heel Height: The MT110 and WT110 have dropped the heel from 26mm to 21mm while keeping a 17mm forefoot, giving these shoes a flatter 4mm heel-to-toe differential.
  • More Flexible Midsole: Even with rock stop technology to protect from stone bruises, New Balance has added flexibility in the midsole for more natural heel-to-toe movement.
  • Sticky, Lug-alicious Outsole: New Balance went with directional lugs from heel to toe on this update for better traction on uphill climbs and descents, and the sticky rubber will keep you planted.
  • Still Staying Trim: At 7.75 ounces (men’s size 9) and 6.2 ounces (women’s size 8), the MT110 and WT110 continue to fall on the lighter end of the trail shoe spectrum while offering plenty of features.
  • For Wider Feet: For the first time in this series, widths are available. We will be carrying 2E widths in men’s sizes.
  • Serious Style: For the footballers among us, you’ll be forgiven if you think this shoe looks a little bit like a soccer cleat. The shoe designers were inspired by the flexibility, low profile, and lateral support of soccer shoe uppers.

New Balance MT110 Men's Shoe (Outsole View)

Matt Running Shoes , , , ,

Brooks PureGrit – First Look

August 17th, 2011

Brooks PureGrit Men's Shoe October 2011 Color

Runners seeking a more natural foot motion inevitably should find themselves running on trails. The natural terrain of the outdoors is more forgiving on the body compared to the paved world. As such, reductionist running shoes have taken hold of the trail running market. A reductionist shoe has at least one of the following attributes when compared to a traditional running shoe: sits lower to the ground, has smaller heel-toe offsets, greater flexibility or lower weight.

For Spring 2012, Brooks is providing a new trail shoe within the reductionist arena. The PureGrit has a 4mm heel-toe offset, is light weight (men’s size 9.0 is 8.9 oz, women’s size 7.0 is 7.6 oz), utilizes a split-toe outsole to better engage the stabilizing nature of the big toe at toe-off and has a round heel to promote a more forward landing position.

A unique feature of the PureGrit is the slightly concave shaped outsole, which splays out under ground contact for a stable and smooth ride. A broad base further promotes stability and the lug pattern keeps the runner connected to the ground. The PureGrit will compete directly with the Saucony Peregrine and New Balance MT110/WT110 (a January 2012 update to the MT101/WT101).

Brooks PureGrit Women's Shoe April 2011 Color

The Brooks PureGrit has an MSRP of $100 and is expected to be available in our Running Warehouse, San Luis Obispo retail store in October 2011, while the online release of the shoe, www.runningwarehouse.com, is January 2012.

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