Wednesday, December 23, 2020

John Tribbia's Favorite Run Shoes of 2020

 Article by John Tribbia

This year had a fun variety of shoes and gear to test. I’m not Santa, but I made a nice list and checked it twice. 

And I Ho Ho Hope you enjoy this year’s Best of 2020 from me!


Favorite Tempo shoe of 2020 

Asics Evoride 2 : (RTR Review

The EvoRide2 is a comfortably fitting shoe with the versatility for slow and up to threshold paces. It is my favorite because it comes ready to go fast out of the box and has great energy return.


Favorite daily cruiser Trail Shoe of 2020

Hoka Torrent (RTR Review

This was a hard category, but I went with the Torrent because I love the fit and protection this shoe provides, while also providing a unique combination of cushion + ground feel + light weight. It is versatile as a racing shoe or a lighter weight shoe for training. I love dodging in and out of trail obstacles and always have fun wearing the Torrent. 

Favorite Technical Trail Shoe of 2020

Salomon Sense Pro 4 (RTR Review

Aside from impassible icy terrain, I have yet to find a route that these shoes can't handle. The Sense Pro 4s provide best in class security in traction and protection underfoot.

Favorite Easy day trail shoe of 2020 

Hoka Challenger ATR 6 (RTR Review) 

I love the Challenger ATR 6 for my easy days because the cushion and ride is ideal as a long hauler. It is definitely suited for more road oriented runners and gravitates toward less technical trails, but I find that it rolls smoothly and accommodates the heel or forefoot striker.

Favorite short and fast trail shoe of 2020

Salomon Sense Pro 4 (RTR Review

It seemingly has everything you would need to pursue a short objective: sock like fit, ample cushion, underfoot protection, lightweight, quickly adjustable, and grippy traction on all surface types.

Favorite long-distance trail shoe of 2020 

Brooks Catamount (RTR Review)

My earlier review of this shoe only gave an 8.8/10 rating, but I have since gained a lot of affection towards the Catamount. The energy return and smooth ride, along with the perfect combination of light + cushion, makes this shoe my go-to for longer runs. 

Favorite Door to Trail trail shoe of 2020

Brooks Caldera 4 (RTR Review

The Caldera is a high performing cushioned choice on a full spectrum of terrain that also fits a full spectrum of feet. 

Absolute favorite trail shoe of 2020 

Salomon Sense Pro 4 (RTR Review

I only want to use my Sense Pro 4s on special occasions because I don't want to wear them out too quickly. The shoe fits me perfectly and is best on my favorite technical trails above Boulder.


Favorite accessory of 2020 

Black Diamond Distance Spike (RTR Traction Options Review

Super lightweight, packable, and extremely durable. These spikes also come with a toe cover to help with fit and keeping spikes secure. This is the best microspike I have ever used in my running lifespan and I have been known to put some serious damage on other brand spikes.

Favorite tech of 2020 

Hoka TenNine (RTR Review)  

This downhill technology focused shoe is a big swing in the shoe design pendulum, but I think it is really neat to see how it will impact future designs to lessen the impact of downhill running. 

Biggest surprise of 2020 

Brooks Catamount (RTR Review)  

At first I was not excited about the firmness and feel of the shoe, but since I have been running in these for the past several months, I have grown very fond of the ride, cushion, and feel. I'm excited to see how Brooks iterates on this design next year and in the years following. 

By the way, check out the wear and tear I’ve put on them in the photo above. I need a new pair!!

Overall Shoe of the Year

Tie between the Brooks Catamount (RTR Review)  and the Salomon Sense Pro 4 (RTR Review). They offer unique experiences on the trail: the Sense Pro 4 is a complete package shoe to get you through some of the nastiest terrain while the Catamount proves its worth on longer, flowing adventures that cross through a variety of terrain.

John’s Run Bio

John Tribbia (5' 6", 130lbs) is a former sponsored mountain/trail runner who has run with La Sportiva, Brooks/Fleet Feet, Pearl Izumi, and Salomon. Even though he competes less frequently these days, you can still find John enjoying the daily grind of running on any surface, though his favorite terrain is 30-40% grade climbs. He has won races such as America's Uphill, Imogene Pass Run, and the US Skyrunner Vertical Kilometer Series; and he's held several FKTs on several iconic mountains in Boulder, Colorado and Salt Lake City, Utah. If you follow him on Strava, you'll notice he runs at varying paces between 5 minutes/mile to 12 minutes/mile before the break of dawn almost everyday.

RTR Contributors' Best of Run 2020, Year in Review Articles

Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

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