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

Patagonia Tsali 3.0

Scarpa TRU, $110

8.5 oz. (men’s), 7.6 oz. (women’s)

14 mm (heel), 8 mm forefoot


Fit: The TRU fits snug from heel to toe, with maybe just a smidge of wiggle room in the forefoot.

Feel: This race-inspired speed demon lets your feet feel and react to the specific details of surface of the trail with precision. It’s light and minimally constructed, but there is enough structure in the chassis to feel secure and stable on most types of terrain. The micromesh one-piece upper is minimally reinforced, but it wraps the foot in a flexible snugness that allows it to aid the locked-down fit and the inherent stability of the shoe.

Ride: While it runs like a minimalist shoe on soft smooth trails, it demands a runner to be inherently strong and agile on more gnarly terrain. The low-to-the-ground construction allows for great foot-to-trail proprioceptive interaction, but a reinforced fabric rock plate in the forefoot offers push-through protection without inhibiting flex. A small toe cap offers some straight-on protection for your toes, but there’s little sidewall protection. “This shoe makes me want to run fast,” one testers said.

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