Trail running is a great way to get some exceptional exercise and challenge yourself in an outdoors environment with varied terrain. Even for light hiking, a good set of walking shoes are essential.
Having the proper footwear when you’re running along a trail or just walking requires a tricky balance between stability and comfort. You want something that’s light and flexible, but you also don’t want to twist an ankle in a rut or lose traction going up a hill.
At this year’s Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City we sought out the newest trail running shoes and light hiking shoes, narrowing it down to the following six shoes.
Merrell Tough Mudder
The Tough Mudder competition is a signature event held around the country where competitors race through a military-style obstacle course including pools of mud. Now Merrell has partnered with race organizers to create the Tough Mudder shoe. Even if you’re not competing in the famous event, this shoe with its exceptional traction and flashy orange and black is a worthwhile trail running choice. MSRP $100
From a company traditionally known for its work boots, Wolverine will soon offer an athletic shoe with a safety toe — the main purpose being to satisfy job site requirements. The reinforced toe protection is made of carbon fiber so it doesn’t compromise on weight or comfort. Coming 2017
Building off years of producing reliable sandals, Keen has perfected the perfect shoe for people who don’t like to wear socks. The company’s latest offering in its Keen Uneek has a comfortable woven cord and springy sole. From the beginning, Keen sandals skirted the boundaries of trail shoe or sandal. Keens are great for walking in and out of water, and the Uneek promises to be among the best. MSRP $45
Scarpa Epic Light
From Scarpa comes the Epic Lite trail running shoe. With a climbing inspired heel for rear-foot stability and a Vibram outtsole with outstanding grip, the Epic Lite delivers with a stylish design building off its earlier model that’s also functional. Synthetic leather and fabric make it breathable and comfortable.
Finally, here is a bold trail shoe that’s extremely light and stable. The Terrex Agravic is a performance shoes, likely for the trail runner more than the average hiker. It offers a breathable EVA tongue and rubber bike tire outsole tread for superb grip. MSRP $135
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