Feeling Alright


These shoes are all about fit and feel on the trail. Brands are fine-tuning the design of their footwear uppers to hug the foot, combining with midsole and outsole innovation that creates a smooth and protected ride on even the toughest terrain. Here’s a peek at some new styles ready to blaze the trail.


The big story for Spring 2020 from Tecnica is the introduction of its customizable fit technology into trail running. The Origin trail running shoe features thermoforming upper zones and a fully customizable arch and heel cup for natural support and foot hold. Retailers selling the Origin will have a machine available in-store to mold the shoe to the customer’s foot in 20 minutes. This custom fit technology was first introduced to retailers by Tecnica in the Forge hiking boot last year. The aim with Origin is to not only offer a custom-fit trail running shoe, but also allow retailers an opportunity to provide customers with a customized in-store experience.


“The fit and feel of trail running shoes is different than that of road running shoes,” says Travis Hildebrand, endurance commercial manager at Salomon. He notes that because trail running shoes are used in an omnidirectional setting on a three dimensional surface, trail running footwear needs “to have a greater degree of foothold and react more securely with the foot and shoe acting as one unit.” The brand’s $160 X Alpine Pro is a mountain running shoe with a Carbon Edging Chassis and a climbing zone in the sole for stability and grip while scrambling. The upper is reinforced with a light, durable film  for rugged terrain.

Hoka One One

The brand’s flagship trail running franchise, the Speedgoat, gets an update in its fourth iteration for Spring 2020. Known as an ultra runner’s fave thanks to its cushioned ride and the traction offered by its Vibram Megagrip outsole, the Speedgoat also has multi-directional and grippy lugs that function without being too soft. The style is named for Karl Meltzer, aka “The Speedgoat,” who holds the record for the most 100-mile trail race wins and epitomizes the “go everywhere, run everything” attitude. This shoe is designed to attack all kinds of technical trail.


The new Arete for Spring 2020 aims to pick up where the Oboz Cirque, designed for fast ascents, left off. Built off the dynamic A3 chasis, the Arete is a lightweight, breathable shoe featuring seamless construction and a mesh upper. Independent TPU stabilizers provide torsional flex and allow for natural articulation while the single density EVA throughout provides cushioning and comfort. Available in men’s and women’s low and mid heights, as well as waterproof options in each design. Shown here is the women’s Arete Mid B-Dry waterproof.


“Comfort is the absolute most important factor in a trail running shoe or light hiking boot,” says On co-founder Caspar Coppetti. “On’s engineering approach is to bring the fit, lightness and overall comfort of our running shoe to the outdoors.” The Cloudrock Waterproof, $229.99, is designed as a speed hiking shoe, with traction and protection. It is built for pace in tough terrain, with the brand’s Speedboard tech helping it offer stability and forward motion. The Cloudrock also has a Missiongrip rubber overlay for traction on its Cloudtec sole.


The Roclite 370, $220, features G-Grip technology, which infuses Graphene into the shoe’s outsole, providing durability and sticky traction on wet slippery surfaces. “We have delivered to the market an outsole that is not only ready to take on any conditions but will do it for many, many miles,” says Brendan Murray, U.S. sales and marketing manager, inov-8. “Runners are always looking for ways they can help improve their performance; the great thing about G-Grip is it helps them do just that.” Made for fast-hiking, the waterproof Roclite 370 has 6mm lugs for tough grip over trail and mountain terrains, from soft mud to hard rock and everything in between.

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