Light, Fast & Free: 2014 Summer Trail Running Shoe Buyer’s Guide

Scott T2 Kinabalu 2, $130

9.8 oz. (men’s), 8.5 oz. (women’s)

24 mm (heel), 16 mm forefoot


Fit: The Kinabalu 2 has road-shoe comfort and a snug fit in the heel and midfoot with just a twinge of extra room in the toe box.

Feel: Built on a midsole of one of the lightest and most resilient foams available, this shoe feels springy underfoot and actually runs lighter than it seems. It’s not quite a maximalist shoe, but it feels exceptionally cushioned and soft like some maximalist models. The big difference is that it offers great feel for the trail in the forefoot. “It felt quasi-maixmalist—soft, cushy and smooth, but not so much that I couldn’t feel the trail,” said one wear-tester.

Ride: This is an everyday cushioned trainer that road runners and experience trail runners will appreciate. The smoother the terrain, the smoother the ride. A reinforced toe box and an abrasion-resistant upper give it enough protection for semi-technical trails, while the low-profile lug pattern makes it versatile for running fast on smooth trails and gravel roads.

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