VJ SPORT IROCK 2

PRICE: £110
WEIGHT: 210g

Designed for trail running and obstacle course racing – and worn by OCR world champion Jonathan Albon – the Irock 2 from Finnish company VJ Sport is a grip specialist. With a butyl rubber outsole and deep, well-spaced lugs, it clings to trails, grass, mud, rock and road, whether it’s wet or dry. The Fitlock lacing draws the shoe around the foot for a snug fit. We found the forefoot a bit too narrow, however, and the heel not quite fitted enough – definitely worth trying before you buy. There’s enough cushioning to be comfortable running on roads and harder trails. 6mm drop.

VERDICT: Super grippy on all terrain. Very narrow, particularly in the forefoot.

GRIP: 10
CUSHIONING: 5
PRECISION: 9

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SCARPA NEUTRON G

PRICE: £170
WEIGHT: 435g

This is a specialist shoe for running in snow and ice. Underfoot, a grippy Vibram ice track sole provides traction, and the midsole provides a moderate level of cushioning with a neutral 6mm drop. The upper has been designed for winter use, with a comfortable quick-laced inner shoe and an integral water-resistant Outdry gaiter. The two-layered upper creates a warm and protective shoe. It’s expensive but essential for racing or training in extreme cold. The Neutron has a roomy fit, allowing you to wear thick socks without compressing your feet. It’s at the heavy end of the test, but feels good on the feet and nice to run in.

VERDICT: An awesome pair of shoes if warm, dry feet are a priority.

GRIP: 8
CUSHIONING: 7
GRIP: 6
 

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SALMING ELEMENTS

PRICE: £130
WEIGHT: 310g

Swedish company Salming has produced a lightweight and grippy shoe designed to allow you to run anywhere. The twin-skin construction combines a light, soft and breathable layer against the foot, with a more protective mesh outer, adding reinforcement around the heel, toe and instep. The lacing tightens to cradle the foot and create a stable but comfortable shoe. The deep studs provide excellent grip, and the low-profile Runlite midsole provides adequate cushioning. The toe box is generous for a shoe this technical, making it excellent for longer distances, where comfort and precision are key. 4mm drop.

VERDICT: A lightweight, super-grippy technical running shoe with a generous fit.

GRIP: 9
CUSHIONING: 5
PRECISION: 7

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DYNAFIT FELINE SL

PRICE: £125
WEIGHT: 335g

A futuristic-looking shoe that taps into Dynafit’s ski heritage, this is a precise-fitting mountain-running shoe. The Vibram outsole is designed to offer great grip on any terrain, but excels on rock and snow. The sole unit has an 8mm drop and enough cushioning to allow you to race down long technical descents with accuracy and comfort. The upper is lightweight but still includes tough toe bumpers and a quick-lace system, which hides under a grit gaiter. The shoe has a standard volume but a narrow toe shape and a low heel; it could benefit from an extra lace hole to hold the heel more snugly.

VERDICT: An exciting, technologically-advanced mountain running shoe.

GRIP: 8
CUSHIONING: 6
PRECISION: 9

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