Fall 2013 Trail Running Shoe Buyer’s Guide

Inov-8 X-Talon 212

Patagonia Fore Runner Evo, $120

Category: Cushioned Cruisers

Weights: 9.1 oz. (men’s), 7.5 oz. (women’s)

Heights: 20mm (heel), 16mm (forefoot)

Fit: Testers found the Fore Runner Evo’s fit to be true to size, with no sliding in the heel and enough space in the medium-width toe box to give some room without being sloppy.

Feel: A soft (but not squishy) feel and an airy mesh upper meet in a lightweight trail model with superior flexibility that left testers’ feet feeling secure with the lace lock-down support webbing. Runners beware: There is little protection between foot and sharp objects on the ground.

Ride: The sticky rubber outsole had a secure grip in varying terrain, and the mesh upper drained well after a couple of shallow water crossings. With regard to the purposely minimal support, pronating testers left wanting more, but neutral runners liked being able to run their natural stride, preferring the Fore Runner Evo for fast cruisers — and noting there was enough cushion to run door to trail.

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