HOT TRAIL SHOES FOR SUMMER 2020 – REVIEWED

SOME OF THE TOP TRAIL SHOES ON OFFER RIGHT NOW - AS REVIEWED IN THE APRIL-MAY EDITION OF TRAIL RUNNING

HOT TRAIL SHOES FOR SUMMER 2020 - REVIEWED

by Trail Running |

SAUCONY PEREGRINE 10

SAUCONY PEREGRINE 10

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303g (UK 8) For a shoe that is clearly all about grip and off-road protection, this is a surprisingly lightweight, flexible, cushioned beast. Given it works off a low 4mm drop, the response it provides is outstanding. There's a nice wide forefoot for a relaxed, comfortable fit, while the 5mm diamond formation lugs provide plenty of grip. You'd certainly consider these for an off-road 10k race, but equally we found them completely at home coping with a bog-standard lunchtime spin or on occasion, a longer outing. As a bonus, these shoes also offer acceptable comfort on pavement and harder surfaces. Verdict: Always popular, for all the right reasons. 9/10

361u00b0 YUSHAN

361u00b0 YUSHAN

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348g (UK menu2019s 8) Coming in a classic silhouette, with a more-or-less industry standard 8mm of drop and nice knit upper, the Yushan provides a decent all-round trail runner for less severe conditions but promises much more. The outsole feels at home on woodland trails and bridleways. After the first run (where the shoe felt like running in wooden clogs, so give them time!), they broke-in well with a responsive yet stable feel. Despite this, the transition from heel-to-toe never quite shook off the initial clunkiness which may be explained by the inclusion of the rock plate, but more heel-striking runners might best look elsewhere. Verdict: On the verge of being a really great shoe but has flaws. 6/10

ADIDAS TERREX AGRAVIC FLOW

ADIDAS TERREX AGRAVIC FLOW

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310g (UK menu2019s 8) Youu2019ll appropriately be flowing over most sorts of surfaces with these road-to-trail everyday shoes. The lug profile is inspired by mountain bike tyres and gives you the confidence of a champion rider on tough terrain. However, good cushioning means theyu2019re also great on the road until you get to the trails. The sock-like fit of these lightweight shoes takes comfort to the next level, from the ease of lacing and over every step of your run. Even straight out of the box, they feel like your comfiest pair of slippers. A big cheer, too, for the conservative colour, which makes them fine as a general walkabout too. 7mm drop. Verdict: Comfortable, cushioned, ready for almost anything. 8/10

INOV-8 TRAILROC G 280

INOV-8 TRAILROC G 280

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280g (UK womenu2019s 6) Now, almost a year after its launch, the understanding of what Graphene is, and its undoubted durability, is beginning to filter through the running market. Launched with plenty of flag waving and claims, we've all kind of stepped back and waited. And wow, it's been worth it. Graphene does indeed add plenty of life to your shoe, perhaps a third more. But what's really exciting is that it doesn't take away from the cushioned feel or in this shoe's case, its ability to cope with mud and rock. Indeed, this shoe is so responsive, you could almost wear it for a road 10k such is the cushioning. It has an 8mm drop. Verdict: Responsive, hard wearing, happy on and off the road. 9/10

MERRELL MTL LONG SKY

MERRELL MTL LONG SKY

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306g (UK menu2019s 11) Fit and comfort are the name of the game for these shoes. Of course you have permission to venture far off-road in them as the Vibram MegaGrip provides all the grip you'll need this spring and summer (but note: not the winter!), but thanks to the internal bootie and tear-resistant mesh upper you'll find yourself enjoying plenty of road miles as well. Very much an everyday, mix it up type of shoe, it also has speed and racing on the agenda. For Merrell it works off a skyscraper-like 8mm which helps with the cushioned feel, while the EVA foam midsole means this provides response as you move along at pace. Verdict: A great mixture of cushioning and pace. 8/10

MIZUNO WAVE HAYATE 6

MIZUNO WAVE HAYATE 6

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290g (UK menu2019s 8) Speedy types might like to take a look at this sturdy offering. There's an aggressively designed Michelin outsole providing good grip, while there's all you'd expect in terms of off-road protection including an ESS Rock Plate in forefoot area. What does it all mean? A harder type shoe that is more about encouraging you to drive off than long slow plods around the forest. We loved the grip u2013 exceptional in all but the boggiest conditions where no shoe would really work anyway and we do like the Wave technology Mizuno use in its shoes. It is a bit on the hard side, but thanks to a 9mm drop easy to get on with. Verdict: A pacier option but harder than some rivals. 7/10

NEW BALANCE SUMMIT UNKNOWN

NEW BALANCE SUMMIT UNKNOWN

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249g (UK menu2019s 8) Rarely, these shoes are an updated version of another popular model, but sporting a completely different name! You may recognise elements of the Vazee Summit V2 in these and you'd be right. These stand out from the crowd in that they are super lightweight with a low to the ground feel usually associated with a really low number drop shoe. But these come in at 10mm, meaning you can get on with them straight out of the box. We really like the price and are impressed with the sticky, grippy feel the sole provides. They are, however, a touch narrow u2013 racing shoe-like. But then they are about reaching new heights. Verdict: A pacey feeling, cushioned shoe that copes with mud. 8/10

ARCu2019TERYX NORVAN LD 2

ARCu2019TERYX NORVAN LD 2

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260g (UK menu2019s 9) As the letters LD suggest, this is a shoe all about long distance. We ventured into the mountains with these where they were suitably comfortable and at home on rocky, but relatively dry surfaces for a four-hour run, so you can't argue with that. They have 3.5mm square-shaped lugs, a Vibram MegaGrip rubber outsole, and work off an easy 9mm drop. Very conservative in appearance, they're actually packed with technology, including Litebase, which has helped the shoe shed a bit of weight compared to the first version. It feels solid, supportive and actually uses a bit more foam than other trail shoes. Verdict: A solid, reliable sort of partner to accompany you. 8/10

LA SPORTIVA AKYRA

LA SPORTIVA AKYRA

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330g (EU womenu2019s 40) Designed for covering long distances on technical terrain, these rugged shoes combine great grip and precision with high levels of protection, stability and comfort. The protective, seamless upper wraps around the foot for a perfect fit, while the sole balances outstanding traction in all conditions with plenty of cushioning. Verdict: Tough, protective and grippy yet comfortable for long days on the trails. 9/10

SALOMON ULTRA PRO

SALOMON ULTRA PRO

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353g (UK menu2019s 11) Designed for longer distances, the Ultra Pro is lightweight and breathable with a comfortably padded foot hugging upper and a supportive, protective sole. The fit is on the narrow side and feels secure throughout the foot. The shallow tread is efficient and grippy on dry trails but does struggle in mud. 8mm drop. Verdict: A protective long-distance shoe, well suited to warm weather trails. 9/10

INOV-8 TRAILTALON 290 V2

INOV-8 TRAILTALON 290 V2

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355g (UK menu2019s 11) The updated version of this popular lightweight and grippy long-distance trail shoe gets a more breathable upper but retains its mile-munching comfort. The 4mm tread is grippy but cushioned enough to cope with harder trails. The upper is soft and wide enough in the forefoot to give your toes space. 8mm drop. Verdict: Light and comfortable ultra-running shoes with truly multi-terrain grip. 8/10

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