As I did last year, I'd like to present my top picks for Trail Running Shoes of 2013. I had a fairly typical mileage year and ended up getting in 3000 miles. Before I reveal my top 5, here is a list of all the shoes, to the best of my memory, I ran in this year.
Altra Lone Peak
Altra Lone Peak 1.5
Brooks Pure Grit 2
Hoka Bondi B2
Hoka Bondi B Speed
Hoka Rapa Nui
La Sportiva Helio
Merrell All Out Rush
Merrell All Out Fuse
Merrell Bare Access II
Merrell Ascend Glove
Montrail Fluid Flex
New Balance MT1010
New Balance MT1010v2
New Balance MT110
New Balance MT110 Winter
Newton Boco AT
Nike Terra Kiger
Salomon SLab Sense
Skechers Go Bionic
Skechers Go Bionic Trail Prototype
Skechers Go Run Ride
Skechers Go Ultra Prototype
Skechers Go Ultra
Skechers Go Run 2
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to try quite a few new shoes this year! The top five represent the ones that I liked the best. My list is based on nothing other than personal preference and is completely biased towards what I liked running in. Since I really don't have a clear favorite, this list is in alphabetical order, not in order of my preference. Here we go!
Altra Lone Peak 1.5 (175 miles)
Altra called this version a minor update from the original. I found the subtle changes to be a huge improvement. An excellent fit, wide toe box, great traction and rock protection make this shoe my pick when going to the mountains or doing tough terrain. You can read my Review HERE on Runblogger.
La Sportiva Helio (235 miles)
This was my first pair of La Sportivas. I found them to drain well, have excellent traction and provide adequate protection from the elements. You can read my review HERE on Runblogger.
Nike Terra Kiger (238 miles)
My first pair of minimal shoes was the Nike Free. I loved the way the upper felt like part of my foot and I ran a ton of miles in them. I always wished that there was a trail version. It took Nike a long time to deliver just that, but it was worth the wait. This shoe is one of my all time favorites and it is good for a very wide range of terrains. I would even consider running a road race in them because they ride so smoothly on pavement. The shoe drains well, is super flexible, has decent traction and a perfect level of cushioning. And from what I've been reading you can pick them up super cheap now! I went up 1/2 size for a perfect fit. I never did get around to reviewing them, as I was to busy enjoying them.
Pearl Izumi EM N1 Trail (237 miles)
My first pair of Pearl Izumi's, and after seeing Timothy Oleson kill it at Western States twice I was really looking forward to trying them. They didn't disappoint. I found them to be another shoe that was good in many different environments. They have a light, fast and smooth feel. You can read my review HERE on Runblogger.
Skechers Go Ultra (148 miles)
After working with Skechers describing what would be my dream Ultra Marathon shoe, they came up with the Go Ultra. It satisfies almost all my requests and is an incredible first effort. Think of a Nike Free/Hoka mashup and you'll get an idea what they are all about. And at only $80 they are one of the best trail running bargains in the market. Read my full review HERE on Runblogger.
There are two shoes that I also need to mention. Since this is a list of my 5 favorite trail shoes, the Altra Torin doesn't qualify. But....I used that shoe more than any other shoe this year, putting 809 miles on two pairs. I used it for the majority of the Vermont 100, which I set a PR. It has a perfect fit, perfect level of cushioning and is the shoe that I grab when I am going to be running any length of time on hard surfaces. You can read my review HERE on Runblogger.
The other is the Hoka Rapa Nui. I received them 8 days ago and have used them for almost every run since. I have been looking forward to trying them since I saw Karl Meltzer using them a year ago. I will be doing a full review soon (I already have 50 miles on them) but I can't imagine them not being included in next years top 5. I really like them!
So, what were your favorite trail shoes of this past year? How about the shoe that you are looking forward to the most for 2014? Leave a comment and let me know!
|My Top 5 Trail Shoes for 2013|