Fall 2013 Trail Running Shoe Buyer’s Guide

Inov-8 X-Talon 212

Nike Free Hyperfeel Trail, $150

Category: Lightweight Dirt Dancers

Weights: 7.1 oz. (men’s), 5.6 oz. (women’s)

Heights: 21mm (heel), 18mm (forefoot)

Fit: Like all shoes in the Free line, the Hyperfeel Trail fits most feet snug as a bug, especially in the heel and midfoot.

Feel: Super light and infinitely flexible, this shoe feels low to the ground and amazingly agile, but with enough cushion to avoid the harsh impacts of most minimally designed shoes. After a few miles on the trail, it feels like it’s an extension of your feet, hugging the contours of your feet and flexing precise how your feet flex.

Ride: In a word: uninhibited. With modest cushioning and an easy-flexing demeanor, the Hyperfeel Trail is as nimble as you want it to be. This shoe is smooth and sublime on hard-packed dirt trails and gravel roads, which is where this low-to-the-ground model excels. The unique high-wrapping rubber outsole offers a bit of abrasion resistance, but the low-profile lugs (and lack of a rock plate) leave your feet a bit vulnerable on craggy technical terrain unless you’re a super agile runner.

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