Trail Shoe of the Year: The NorthFace Ultra MT
The MT embodies the ideal blend of protection, stability, control, quality, weight and traction, thus making it my favorite mountain shoe when I really want to push for a PR on tough terrain.
Runner Up: Salomon S Lab Wings SG
It was a near flip of the coin, but runner up would be the Salomon S Lab Wings SG, all of the same qualities as the Ultra MT, but the Wings SG has a SLIGHTLY harder feel to it than the Ultra MT. Still a flip of the coin.
Honorable Mention: Hoka Challenger ATR
It is hard to beat the all day cushion, comfort, very low weight and traction of the Challenger ATR (for racing or training).
For simply training, all day on the feet and a good blend of protection, cushion, traction, fit, without much concern for weight, the New Balance Leadville 1210 v2 has it all. Runner up in this category would be the Brooks Cascadia 10.
Road Shoe of the Year: Altra Paradigm
The Altra Paradigm 1.5 (for training and racing) was a road favorite. Despite not being much of a zero drop fan, the Paradigm 1.5 felt amazing with Hoka like cushioning, very low weight and a fast and responsive feel.
Salomon S Lab Sense Set: always looking for unobtrusive ways to carry things, I recently purchased the Sense Set running vest. I am amazed at how much I can pack into it, my iPhone 6, Microspikes, windbreaker, water, gloves, beanie, food and more. More amazingly, it fits like an extension of your clothing, does not bounce one bit and you hardly know you are wearing it. Whether you want to pack it full, or just carry your phone, this vest is perfect. Sam's review
Suunto Ambit 3 - accurate, reliable, easy to use, tough, bluetooth compatible, great software, hard to beat.
Ultraspire Lumen 600 Light Belt - 600 lumens from the waist, lightweight, unobtrusive, very long battery life. My review.
Oh, how can I forget one of my most key pieces of clothing items, the Pearl Izumi Fly Endurance Shorts (for 2015, or any of the Ultra or Ultra split predecessors with the same pocketing system). The ability to stuff them with so much food and gear, yet with no bounce makes them an essential piece of clothing.
Jeff Valliere is a former pro cyclist who now runs and climbs the mountains of Colorado. He has been top 5 Masters, top 25 overall, at the Pike's Peak Marathon several times, finishing 3d Masters this year. Jeff loves vertical accumulating more than 500,000 vertical feet per year, has climbed all the 14's and 200 of the 13's and has held FKT on several. He often runs and climbs at night. Passionate about the sport but also the gear he has reviewed hundred of shoes for various magazines and sites and participated in product testing for many brands. Formerly a bike mechanic he now works in Satellite Imagery. He has twin 5 year old daughters who keep him ever busier yet.
See Peter Stuart, fast masters road specialist's 2015 Run Favorites here
See Editor Sam Winebaum's 2015 Run Favorites here
Thank you very much for reading Road Trail Run in 2015. Here's to a fabulous 2016 on the roads and trails! Please follow us at the links below
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