Every year I am blown away by the advancement in trail shoes and 2016 was no exception. Increased traction, lighter weight, more secure uppers, responsive cushioning, better protection. I had the privilege of testing 21 trail shoes this year, so needless to say it was tough to narrow it down to just a few for this year's end list of favorites. Below are what I have enjoyed most on the mountainous trails I enjoy here in Colorado. With all the advancements I have seen this year, I can't wait to see what is in store in 2017. Enjoy!
Best Trail Shoe of 2016
La Sportiva Akasha
It was really tough to narrow it down to a top pick for 2016, but I keep coming back to the La Sportiva Akasha. Not the lightest shoe out there at over 11oz., but this shoe runs lighter and is unbelievably versatile, with an amazing blend of cushion, comfort, security, protection, agility and traction. Quality and longevity is also excellent. My RTR review here.
#1 La Sportiva Mutant
#2 Salomon XA Alpine
#3 adidas Terrex X King
#1 Hoka One One Challenger ATR 3
#2 La Sportiva Akasha
#3 Saucony Peregrine 6
My RTR review here.
Honorable mention: Pearlizumi EM Trail N3
#1 Brooks Mazama
#2 adidas adizero XT 5 Boost
#3 Hoka One One Speed Instinct
#4 New Balance Vazee Summit Trail
Other gear favorites from 2016:
Julbo Zephyr Glasses with Zebra Lens
article on Julbo Zebra lenses, Zepher and Aero sunglasses.
Plantronics Backbeat Fit Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
Secure fit, non-isolating sound good for awareness, easy controls, long battery life, good for phone calls and reasonably priced.
adidas Climachill Running Shirts
Unbelievably cool and quick drying, better than any other shirts I have used in hot weather. RTR article on Climachill here.
Jeff Valliere's Bio
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.
Shop the Best of the Year!
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