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The Dirty Dozen: 2011 Fall Trail Shoe Review

  • By Mario Fraioli
  • Published Sep. 1, 2011

This review first appeared in the August issue of Competitor Magazine.

Written by: Mario Fraioli

Trail running’s popularity is blowing up all across the country and the number of shoes built specifically for this fast-growing form of exercise is also on the rise. Many top footwear manufacturers now offer trail or all-weather versions of some of their most popular road models, while niche brands that cater to die-hard trail lovers are making products exclusively for off-road adventurers.

Competitor’s in-house testing team took 12 of the most rugged all-terrain running shoes to the trails and offered feedback using our Fit, Feel and Ride shoe review system. Research by Benno Nigg, a noted biomechanist and running shoe expert at the University of Calgary, suggests that athletes are less likely to become injured when they choose running shoes based on overall comfort: how well they fit your foot, how good they feel when you stand in them and how smoothly they ride during a run.

Related Content: Light, Fast, Free: 2011 Racing Shoe Review

A variety of factors affect how comfortable running shoes will feel, and while trying on the shoes and running in them is the best way to hone in on the right pair, you can make the weeding-out process more efficient by using the feedback provided by our experienced team of testers. Happy Trails!

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Mario Fraioli

Mario Fraioli

Mario Fraioli is a senior editor at Competitor magazine. A cross-country All-American at Stonehill College in 2003, he now coaches the Prado Women's Racing Team in San Diego and was the men's marathon coach for Costa Rica's 2012 Olympic team. His first book, The Official Rock 'n' Roll Guide To Marathon & Half-Marathon Training (VeloPress, 2013) is available in bookstores, running shops and online.

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