Spring 2014 Running Shoe Buyer’s Guide

Photo: Scott Draper | Competitor

Inov-8 Tri-X-Treme 245, $130

8.5 oz. (men’s); 7.1 oz. (women’s)

21mm (heel), 15mm (forefoot)

Fit: Designed to be an easy-on shoe in a triathlon transition area, it fits like a sleek racing flat throughout.

Feel: This lightweight, low-to-the-ground speed merchant has a few tri-specific features, such as bungee quick-lacing, drain ports and a slightly wider opening. The no-fuss upper offers little support, but many of our wear-
testers appreciated how the stretchy mesh fabric of the seamless and completely unencumbered forefoot held the toes in place. Like most Inov-8 shoes, it offers excellent foot-to-ground proprioception and amazing agility at faster paces.

Ride: Even if you’re not a triathlete, this easy-flexing, minimalist-inspired racer is everything you need and nothing you don’t for short- to medium-length runs or speed workouts. In other words, it’s going to enhance your run. The midsole is made from a blend of traditional foam and blown rubber, which give it a responsive, semi-firm sensation, especially at faster speeds.

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