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

Patagonia Tsali 3.0

Patagonia Tsali 3.0, $110

10.3 oz. (men’s), 8.5 oz. (women’s)

26 mm (heel), 16 mm forefoot

Category: MODERATE HYBRID/MOUNTAIN MARAUDER

Fit: The Tsali 3.0 has a similar fit to previous incarnations, with a cinched-down snug in the heel and midfoot and wiggle room for the toes in the forefoot.

Feel: This amazingly agile shoe has the unique mix of a lightweight construction and a fairly aggressive outsole. The flexible but durable (and very breathable) one-piece abrasion-resistant mesh upper enhances the locked-down fit and aiding the proprioceptive feeling that comes with natural foot movements.

Ride: This shoe is much more than a typical road-to-trail hybrid, thanks to a savvy combination of modern materials and a minimalist-inspired build-up. (Instead of stitched overlays, thin but supportive thermoplastic polyurethane support bands are welded to the mesh upper for reinforcement.) This shoe is most at home on technical rocky/rooty trails (thanks in part to a forefoot rock plate), but it also runs quite well on smooth dirt trails, gravel roads and even paved roads. A few wear-testers said they’d be more comfortable on the gnarliest terrain if it had a bit more toe box and sidewall protection. “This is one of the most versatile shoes in the test,” said one wear-tester. “It can do everything pretty well and doesn’t really have any major deficiencies.”

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