Best New Trail Running Shoes from the 2017 Winter Outdoor Retailer Show

Every January brings a ton of trail shoe manufacturers to Salt Lake City, Utah for the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market (i.e., Winter OR), where they show off their offerings for the following Fall/Winter season. In reality, these shoes tend to hit the market around August 1st, give or take a month. Below, I profile many of the most notable models from this year’s show. While Winter OR tends to be quieter than its summer partner show in terms of trail shoe debuts, this show saw more new models than usual, such that I’ve left out a few models that merely represented the waterproofing of an existing model. On the other hand, I’ve highlighted a few manufacturers who I didn’t meet with at last Summer OR (See our Summer OR ’16 shoe preview!), who have notable trail shoes that have just hit store shelves.

If you’re interested in a particular brand or model, you can jump ahead to the following models. (Full paragraph previews are bolded in the list.)

Saucony Peregrine 7 ICE+ ($150 – September 1, 2017)

If I could get just one pair of shoes from those I saw at Winter OR right now, it’d be a pair of Saucony Peregrine 7 ICE+. Why? I’d simply love a lightweight pair of shoes that have both Vibram’s Arctic Grip (for wet ice) and Ice Trek (for dry ice) compounds in the outsole. Here in the hills above Moab, I end up running many a winter mile on poorly plowed rural roads covered for weeks on end with some combination of snow, slush, cold sheer ice, and ice coated with liquid water with frequent transitions between each type of treachery depending on the road’s bend and angle, the sun angle, clouds, elevation, temperature, and so on. Having the Arctic Grip/Ice Trek outsole would give me one tool to take on these variable conditions. The upper is made primarily of Saucony’s FLEXSHELL water-resistant material with an attached tongue. The Peregrine 7 ICE+ weighs 9.4 ounces (266g) for a men’s 9 and has the Peregrine’s standard 4mm drop.

Personally, I’d love to see a road shoe with this Vibram rubber combination. Put that beneath an upper with an ion-treated or other water-resistant upper and you’ve got a winter winner on the roads.

Saucony Peregrine 7 ICE+

Saucony Peregrine 7 ICE+

Also from Saucony:

  • Saucony Peregrine 7 Runshield ($130 – September 1, 2017) — Essentially, the same as the Peregrine 7 ICE+ described above, but without the winter-specific Vibram outsole materials.
  • Saucony Xodus ISO 2 ($130 – June 2, 2017) — The Xodus remains the same underfoot while the upper is updated, including a reinforced heel frame and enhanced toe bumper.
  • Saucony KOA TR ($110 – June 1, 2017) — A new 10.3-ounce (292g) hybrid trail shoe with moderate 3.5mm lugs and 4mm drop. There’s no rockplate in the KOA TR.
  • Saucony KOA ST ($130 – June 1, 2017) — The KOA TR, but with 8mm(?!) lugs at supposedly no weight penalty over the TR version. The ST replaces the TR’s laces with a quicklace system.
Saucony KOA ST

Saucony KOA ST

Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 ($140 – June 2017)

Hoka’s original Speedgoat has been in its lineup for a couple years. Now, the Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 is what appears to be a great update to the original. Anyone who’s run in the original Speedgoat will immediately notice the similarities. Just as quickly, some differences will pop out, primarily with the upper which is a whole lot more refined in the second iteration. First off, the overbuilt and, frankly, clunky tongue construction is much more streamlined. Overall, the upper seems lighter and more breathable. Underfoot, the lug pattern has been redesigned, but retains its 5-mm depth and Vibram MegaGrip, while the flex grooves have been lessened a bit for a more stable platform. Much less noticeable are the slightly wider platform underfoot, wider last, and new injection-molded EVA midsole that should feel a bit less rubbery and a bit stiffer. The Speedgoat 2 will weigh in at 9.8 ounces (278g) for a men’s 9 and have a 4.5mm drop.

Hoka One One Speedgoat 2

Hoka One One Speedgoat 2

Also from Hoka One One:

  • Hoka One One Stinson 4 ATR  ($160 – June 2017) — For those looking for a wider forefoot on a Hoka, this is your shoe. Based on a new last, it will have the widest toebox of any Hoka along with a more gradual taper around the little toe.
  • Hoka One One Speed Instinct 2 ($130 – June 2017) — Updates to the mesh and overlays make for a more breathable shoe as well as increasing durability by avoiding overlays over high-crease areas.
Hoka One One Stinson 4 ATR

Hoka One One Stinson 4 ATR

Columbia/Montrail FluidFlex II ($110 – August 1, 2017)

The entire Columbia/Montrail FKT line gets a revamp come late summer. The Columbia/Montrail FluidFlex FKT II will retain the same underfoot package while improving the step-in comfort. To start, there’s an improved ankle collar with a nicer lining material. The tongue gets a big update across the FKT line with a laser perforated microsuede tongue with zonal cushioning that’s attached at the bottom via a flat seam. Not only should this be more comfortable, but it should shave weight, as well. The FluidFlex II should weigh in around 9.3 ounces (264g).

Columbia/Montrail FluidFlex FKT II

Columbia/Montrail FluidFlex FKT II

Also from Columbia/Montrail:

  • Columbia/Montrail Rogue FKT II ($110 – August 1, 2017) — Aside from the new “FKT Tongue,” The Rogue FKT gets a simplified upper with a redesigned TPU cage.
  • Columbia/Montrail TransAlps FKT II ($155 – August 1, 2017) — Having determined that the first TransAlps FKT stripped too much away, the TransAlps FKT II has more substantial overlays, including over nearly all of the forefoot, as well as a more durable mesh upper.
Columbia/Montrail TransAlps FKT II

Columbia/Montrail TransAlps FKT II

Columbia/Montrail Bajada III ($110 – February 1, 2017)

I was about to include this as an add-on bullet above, but an update to my favorite trail shoe of the past half decade and Meghan’s current go-to shoe is about to launch. While I wrongly assumed the model was going away, there’ll soon be a Columbia/Montrail Bajada III. (And there was much rejoicing.) For fans of the shoe, the midsole and outsole remain unchanged. Up top, there’ll be a good deal more TPU-film overlays, for both additional structure and greater durability. The heel collar is much more padded, while the insole has been upgraded to a dual-piece unit. The tongue construction has been upgraded by changing to a less-intrusive apparel stitch where the tongue meets the forefoot mesh while there’s an asymmetrical gusset that’s higher on the medial side. The Bajada weight remains unchanged at 11.2 ounces.

Columbia/Montrail Bajada III

Columbia/Montrail Bajada III

Salomon Sense Ride ($120 – June 1, 2017 at specialty running stores; August 1 everywhere)

Salomon’s big launch for the summer will be the Salomon Sense Ride, a shoe that brings some of Salomon’s premium features to a more standard price-range product. The most prominent feature is a full-length midsole insert of Opal Vibe, a compound previously used to reduce vibrations in car chassis that both dampens impact vibrations and lightens the shoe’s midsole. This will also be Salomon’s most affordable shoe with Premium variant of its Wet Traction Contagrip outsole material. The shoe will have a bit more of a generous fit that many other Salomon models. With an 8mm drop, the Sense Ride will feature the sock-like EndoFit system and weight in at 9.7 ounces (275g) for a men’s 9.

Salomon Sense Ride

Salomon Sense Ride

Also from Salomon:

  • Salomon Snowcross 2 CSWP ($200 – August 1, 2017) — The Snowcross gets updated from the Speedcross 3 to the Speedcross 4 platform. The full gaiter now zips asymmetrically to the lateral side. The previous version’s carbide spikes have been removed.
  • Salomon Speedspike CS ($170 – August 1, 2017) — This is the Speedtrak (née Fellraiser) with the addition of nine carbide spikes per shoe, an upgrade to Premium Wet Traction Contagrip (from the non-premium version), and a ClimaSalomon waterproof membrane shell.
Salomon Snowcross 2 CSWP

Salomon Snowcross 2 CSWP

La Sportiva Tempesta GTX ($170 – September 1, 2017)

While there were plenty of more showy winter running shoes at this year’s Winter OR, the La Sportiva Tempesta GTX was one of my favorites. The combination of a very low-gaiter with fully accessible laces was great, given the infrequency that I’d personally need a high-gaitered waterproof shoe and the near universal difficulty in adjusting the laces on shoes with integrated waterproof gaiters. The Tempesta GTX weighs in at 11.3 ounces (320g) in a men’s 9. It has a 10mm drop.

La Sportiva Tempesta GTX

La Sportiva Tempesta GTX

Also from La Sportiva:

  • La Sportiva Urugano GTX ($190 – September 1, 2017) — A high-gaitered version of the Tempesta that retains the accessible laces. It weighs in at 12.0 ounces (346g).
  • La Sportiva Akyra ($140) and Akyra GTX ($160 – both September 1, 2017) — An aggressively lugged cousin of the Akasha, this time with a 9mm drop, but still in a 11.35-ounce (330g) package (13.7oz/388g for the GTX version).
La Sportiva Urugano GTX

La Sportiva Urugano GTX

Altra Timp ($130 – July 1, 2017)

Altra announced the Timp IQ last July, and will follow that with the non-computerized Altra Timp this summer. Altra feels that the Timp falls in the sweet spot between the highly cushioned Olympus and the more traditional stack height of the Lone Peak. The 11.8-ounce (335g) Timp also has what might be the sleekest and most breathable upper amongst its Altra trail running peers as of this coming summer.

Altra Timp

Altra Timp

Also from Altra:

  • Altra Lone Peak 3.5 ($120 – June 1, 2017 at REI, July 1 elsewhere) — Altra’s reduced the number of overlays on the upper from four to two, while replacing some of those overlays with strategic stitching. Conversely, the LP 3.5 goes from two to four gaiter attachment points to go with its redesigned gaiter. There are now a couple drainage ports in the toe cap as well as a tongue that’s a seamless continuation of the forefoot mesh. It weighs 10.4 ounces (295g).
Altra Lone Peak 3.5

Altra Lone Peak 3.5

Inov-8 TrailRoc 270 ($140 – July 2017)

This summer Inov-8 will relaunch its TrailRoc series with the Inov-8 TrailRoc 270 (and 285). The new TrailRoc 270 has short lugs with lots of surface area for a smooth ride over hard-packed trails while a denser midsole provides protection on rockier terrain. It’s got a stripped-down upper and 4mm drop in its 9.5 ounces.

Inov-8 Trailroc 270

Inov-8 Trailroc 270 (black and red shoe)

Also from Inov-8:

  • Inov-8 TrailRoc 285 ($150 – July 2017) — Very similar to the TrailRoc 270, but with 8mm of drop and an additional 15 grams.
  • Inov-8 ParkClaw 275 ($130 – July 2017) — An alternative road-to-trail shoe with 8mm of drop and 4mm lugs just like the TrailRoc 270, but intended for tamer terrain.

Under Armour Horizon KTV ($130 – Out now)

Under Armour recently launched what looks like their first legitimate foray into trail running with the Horizon line. Amongst the line, the Under Armour Horizon KTV stands out as the lightest, most nimble option while remaining an everyday option for many. The 9.8-ounce (278 g), 7mm-drop shoe has a one-piece upper that’s heavily overlayed with TPU film along with a beefy toe bumper and a forefoot ESS plate. The tongue is perforated for additional breathability with the laces transitioning from punched holes to ghillies and back to punched holes for a precise fit. It has moderate 3.5mm lugs.

Under Armour Horizon KTV

Under Armour Horizon KTV

Also from Under Armour:

  • Under Armour Horizon RTT ($110 – Out now) — While only 10.6 ounces (300g), the RTT is positioned as “the tank” next to the KTV. It’s got an ESS rockplate and 5.5mm lugs.
Under Armour Horizon RTT

Under Armour Horizon RTT

Merrell Agility Glacier Flex ICE+ ($180 – August 1, 2017)

For the time being, the combination of Vibram Ice Trek (best on ice that’s dry) and Arctic Grip (for ice that’s wet) is proprietary to Wolverine-owned brands, including Merrell and Saucony. The Merrell Agility Glacier Flex ICE+ is a high-gaitered version of the Agility Flex platform (see preview) with an Ice Trek/Arctic Grip outsole.

Merrell Agility Glacier Flex ICE+

Merrell Agility Glacier Flex ICE+

Also from Merrell:

  • Merrell Trail Glove 4 ($100 – May 1, 2017) — After a bit of a pause, the Trail Glove gets an update. It’s got a redesigned outsole and upper while sticking with its popular last.
  • Merrell Agility Summit Flex ($170 – August 1, 2017) — Apparently integrated low gaiters are an “it” thing at the moment, and the Agility Summit Flex brings this feature to Merrell’s Agility line.
Merrell Trail Glove 4

Merrell Trail Glove 4

SCARPA Neutron G ($210 – August 2017)

The SCARPA Neutron G is one the of the growing legion of high-gaitered winter running shoes. Built on the Neutron platform, perhaps the nicest distinguishing factor of the Neutron G is its thinner-than-usual lighter gaiter material. On the downside, it’ll also make your wallet lighter with its $210 price. The outsole and 5.5mm-deep lugs are made from Vibram Ice Trek for traction on ice that’s dry. The Neutron G has speedlaces, a 6mm drop, and weighs in at 13.8 ounces (391g) in a men’s 42.

SCARPA Neutron G

SCARPA Neutron G

Brooks PureGrit 6 ($120 – June 1, 2017)

In its sixth iteration, the Brooks PureGrit 6 retains the same outsole and midsole as its predecessor with the updates coming solely in the form of updates to the upper. The primary update there is the use of 3D-printed rubber as a primary overlay component, including a 360-degree mudguard. There is one slight change underfoot as the strobel (the component between the insole and the midsole) will change from EVA to mesh, reducing weight and slightly lowering the foot toward the ground. There’s also a simple lace garage. The PureGrit 6 will weigh 9.6 ounces (272g) in a men’s 9.

Brooks PureGrit 6

Brooks PureGrit 6

The North Face Ultra Cardiac II ($120 – August 1, 2017)

After two years, the Ultra Cardiac gets a full revamp to The North Face Ultra Cardiac II. Underfoot, the outsole now has a more articulated “podular” construction along with an upgrade to Vibram Megagrip, while the drop has been lowered from 8 to 6mm. The shoe utilizes the same midsole EVA, but at a slightly higher density for a bit more rock protection and a firmer ride. On the upper, the TPU film overlays appear to be thinned out in general, while additional structure is given via a cable cradle in the rear- and mid-foot. The suite of changes adds a bit over an ounce per shoe to come in at 11 ounces (311g).

The North Face Ultra Cardiac II

The North Face Ultra Cardiac II

Topo Terraventure ($110 – out now)

At this winter’s OR show, I checked out the full Topo line for the first time and it’s surprisingly broad. What caught my eye was the Topo Terraventure, a 3mm drop trail shoe with an ESS forefoot flexible rockplate. At 10.4 ounces (295g), it’s Topo’s heaviest trail model, but the shoe’s still plenty nimble for everyday use.

Topo Terraventure

Topo Terraventure

adidas Outdoor Terrex Agravix Speed ($120 – February 1, 2017)

Launching this spring, the adidas Outdoor Terrex Agravix Speed is the most nimble adidas Outdoor offering that I’ve seen to date. It’s a mere 9.2 ounces (260g) and is quite flexible. It features a sock-like fit.

adidas Outdoor Terrex Agravix Speed

adidas Outdoor Terrex Agravix Speed

Skechers GOtrail 2 ($100 – July 2017)

The Skechers GOtrail 2 is an all-upper update that features TPU-film overlays over knit fabric that makes the shoe a bit lighter overall. The shoe’s most distinguishing characteristic is the use of three different eyelet styles, moving from loops to ghillies to traditional eyelets as you move up the shoe in pursuit of a better fit.

Skechers GOtrail 2

Skechers GOtrail 2

Call for Comments

  • Which shoes are you most excited to check out?
  • Fire away with any spec questions you might have on these models!

[Editor’s Note: If you’re affiliated (i.e., an employee, ambassador, etc.) with a shoe brand, please share your relation in each of your comments on this article. Thanks!]

There are 74 comments

  1. Wolfgang

    Any data like weight or height for Merrell’s Trail Glove 4 ?
    Wow, I can’t wait for this one to be released, glad to see there are at least a few minimalist shoes left !

      1. Wolfgang

        Wow, that’s amazing!
        I am really impressed Bryon – from the Merrell but even more that you got in touch with them to provide the data!
        You’re the best!!!!!
        Best wishes from Austria!

          1. José

            Hello Bryon,

            The Merrell Trail Glove 4 and Vapor Glove 3 are now on Merrell’s website, they seem to be much more heavier than expected, heavier than previous versions.

            Have you had a chance to try them?
            Thank you very much!

  2. Camas

    Does the Speedgoat 2 have that same annoying habit of rolling the ankle laterally? I feel that the original version felt quite unstable because of this and am hesitant to purchase another model.

    1. speedgoat Karl

      Hello Camas. We’ve changed the way it’s posted, so it should not roll your ankle. What we had before did not bother me, but I do know what you mean. You’ll like the new models, they are amazing.

      1. Jeff

        Will we get a mid version of the new Speedgoat (aka…Tor Speed mid)? Improvements look really good but I would love to see a mid version for fast packing and very technical trail running.

    2. Scott Spence

      This is why I shifted to another brand. 6 sprained ankles in less than a year while running in these. Just got to be too much.

      Glad to see this may have been fixed though. I really like the shoes otherwise.

  3. Gil Blank

    I have a wide foot and my go to shoe was the Altra Lone Peak. However, the LP 3 got a lot narrower in the mid foot area. Are any of these new shoes wider in the toe box and mid foot?

      1. Golden Harper

        Bob, only the Lone Peak 3 and Olympus were made to be more secure due to overwhelming customer feedback that the LP2 and Oly 1.5 were too loose. The Superior has remained identical and future plans for Lone Peak and Olympus are already being executed that make them more relaxed through the ball and midfoot while still remaining secure for technical terrain.

        – Golden, Altra Founder

        1. Bob

          Thanks – always nice to get the scoop from the guy in charge :)
          I love the Superior, on my 3rd pair of version 2 (the updated one), but will be picking up the 3 as soon as the weather warms up. I have been wearing mostly the LP3 neoshell as my winter shoe and they are great for running and snowshoeing. Just need to be a tiny bit more relaxed. My LP1.5s are still in ok shape and I actually like those a lot. I skipped the LP2 but I want to try some of your others (the MT for mud season – are they going to be out soon?) and I’m curious about the IQs for road (if the ride is not as soft as the One2.5). Are those still on track?

          1. Vincent

            I have to disagree with most commenters here and below about Lone Peaks. I have been wearing Altras for many years. But I could not wear the Lone Peaks 2.5 because they were just too lose for technical running; my feet were moving in the shoes and my toes were hitting the toe box. I basically could not use them for anything more technical than basically a flat trail. I was disappointed. However, the Lone Peaks 3.0 are just fantastic. They are my favorite trail shoe. I also like the Superior, and I used to like the Lone Peaks 1.5, but the Lone Peaks 3.0 is just the best fit of all for me (on par with the One 2.5, my favorite road shoe ever). In my experience the LP3 are way more stable than the 2-series, perfect for steep mountain running and scrambling. I hope that they don’t change the fit too much with the 3.5 and 4 series!

        2. Jeff

          No MegaGrip for the new LP 3.5 and beyond? Big big mistake IMO. Your own sole compound does not stick well on the 3 and is an absolute deal breaker for me. This would be a positive change for everyone using the shoe vs all the other changes that won’t ever make everyone happy.

          Jeff in MA

    1. Golden Harper

      Gil, the Timp is definitely wider in the toe box and the midfoot than the Lone Peak. It’s built on our performance Last that is more V-shaped, with lots of room through the front 2/3 of the shoe and really secure through the back 1/3. I think you’ll like it, as well as some of the subtle adjustments we’re already making to the Lone Peak 4 based on feedback like yours.

      – Golden, Altra Founder

      1. Gil Blank

        Thanks Golden, I am happy to hear Altra is going back to the their roots with wide toe boxes and wide mid-foot. Ultra runner training friends who run in the Lone Peak 3 have commented on how narrow the shoe has become and they don’t have wide feet. I can’t even wear the LP3 even though I had all the previous versions and ran 100 milers in each version. However, some love the narrower mid-foot of the Lone Peak 3 including the Ginger Runner. A good suggestion is to make a wide version of the shoe. It is great to hear I can go back to my favorite shoe company.

      2. Chad

        Glad to hear Altra is returning to it’s roots with both the Timp and Lone Peak 4 going back to the wider toe box. Will the Timp have a rock plate like the Lone Peak, no rock plate like the Olympus, or a removable rock plate like the Superior?

        1. Angela

          In my experience, the LP 2.5s did not work. They were too loose. Running on the rocks in Texas at Bandera and RWB trail camp, which are similar locations, I really put those shoes to the test. They just did not work on the rocky, steep terrain, because my feet slipped too much. I managed about 60 miles and had to move on to another shoe. I was not so eager to try the LP 3.0s. However, I did try them and was very pleased!! This version was perfect for my foot! I will have to stock up on the 3.0s before the LP3.5s wider version returns. I like the Superior 2.0 (w/o the grid overlay), but this style is not enough protection for the Texas Hill Country rocks, in my experience. I love how well the Superior drains! My road shoes, right now, are Saucony Kinvara and Freedom ISO. Thanks for pumping out these great shoes! I am not devoted to Altra because the styles change so much from year to year. However, I do come back to check out the latest and if they work for me, I snag a few pairs!!

    2. Tom

      Gil, I was in the same boat as you. I did thought the LP 3.0 was a bit to narrow in the FF and I also got a weird feeling where the outside of my foot felt like it sat higher in the shoe then the rest of my foot. I switched over to the Topo Terraventure and have been loving it. wider in the FF with a solid fit in the heel.

      1. Alex

        I have to agree with Tom – and here’s some feedback for the Altra folks. The wide toe box is great, and I’ve run in almost every Altra model since the company launched to get it. BUT, the back of people’s feet is generally NOT as wide as the front, so the “gravy boat” construction of for example the LP2.0 really bummed some folks out (they tend to be sloppy, although once the shoe is broken in, you can really crank the laces and it’s OK). The LP3 went the wrong direction a bit, narrowing the forefoot without really addressing the fact that the heel is still to wide to give a nice secure fit. Same deal with the latest Olympus, which is otherwise a phenomenal shoe and the only one I use for races longer than marathon distance due to the great cushioning and superb Vibram outsole.

        My latest favorite trail shoe is the Topo MT-2. It has plenty of forefoot width but is narrow in the heel for a snug, in-control fit. I suspect that the vast majority of people are going to find this fit better than the current Altra approach of narrowing the forefoot without sufficiently snugging up the heel. Altra beware – there’s a new sheriff in town!

        1. Kirk

          Alex, per a meeting with Altra the other day to see the Fall ’17 line, the heal cup/counter in Altras has tended to be perpendicular or straight up, F17 will see that line come in slightly to help lock in the heal -it will move more toward the achilles/heal to provide a snugger fit. But like others mentioned, the new LP’s are a completely different shoe than the last version and isn’t doing well with returning customers. New customers that like a snugger fit will enjoy it.

          1. Alex


            Thanks for the insight. I am still an Altra fan and look forward to future tweaks that will help them get their products optimized (acknowledging that no shoe will ever make every possible runner happy at once).

            I wore my LP3’s on this afternoon’s run because of the above conversation, and was reflecting that they don’t quite provide the forefoot-happiness of the 2.5, and do tend to come up weirdly on the sides of the insole (as someone else mentioned), but overall they are not bad shoes at all. If the heel locked in better and the insole felt flatter, I’d be 100% on board. They certainly do allow much more control on off-camber roots/rocks etc than previous Altras have, and I have worn them in a couple of very technical trail races for that reason (and been happy that I did).

            I think the Olympus2 is also *almost* there – an ever so slightly wider forefoot (I believe Altra cited trouble with the available Vibram outsole material as the reason it got narrower) and better heel lock-in would make it about perfect in my book. It is the only foot-shaped, toe-friendly shoe I’ve tried that offers the same kind of luxurious cushioning that the early Hokas had (before they got unwearably narrow and traded cushion for light weight, IMO).

            Perhaps I should be writing all this to Altra directly. Hopefully they read along here…

  4. John Vanderpot

    So now we’re all going to be running trail in space boots? Thank you, Merrell, I’ll stick with the glove for now, on my way out to AZ for another go at Coldwater, hope I don’t come back with a blister!



  5. Michael Owen

    Hey Bryon do you have much experience in the Kinvara? You’d be missing out on the Vibram outsole, but if you’re looking for a road shoe similar to the Peregrine 7 Ice+, the Kinvara 8 will have a Runshield version with a Flexshell weather resistant upper, 9/1 release I think. Similar specs otherwise to the Peregrine, and while I haven’t tried the Runshield version yet, the Kinvara got me through fast road half marathons as well as the Cascade Crest 100!

    The Koa TR looks pretty nice too – liking what Saucony is doing with their trail line.

    1. Bryon Powell

      Hey Michael,
      I’ve tried the Kinvara and it’s too little shoe for my tastes. Too little drop, too much flex. It’d be a compromise to run in the 4mm-drop Peregrine, but for the Arctic Grip/Ice Trek outsole combo, I’d slide a heel lift into both shoes. For now, I’ll keep logging my ice road runs in my New Balance 1400s. :-)

      1. Jeff Valliere

        FWIW, the Saucony Ice outsole gets SLIGHTLY better grip than a “normal” trail shoe on level, clean ice with a clean outsole. Add any incline, snow or chips of ice in between, then any ever so slight advantage is negated. That said, Saucony’s trail shoes are amazing! Have you considered Nanospikes for your icy road-ish runs?

        1. Bryon Powell

          It’s just that /slightly/ better traction I’m looking for. I’ve yet fallen in three winters in these conditions (mostly in NB1400s), but, if it doesn’t add significant weight, I’d take a marginal improvement in on-ice traction. :-)

          Back when I lived in the Park City, I did plenty of road runs with MICROspikes or YakTrax Pros, but any such over-shoe accessory would be overkill for what I’m running.

          1. Sean

            Bryon, I’d recommend you try Nanospikes. They are definitely in their own category. I had traditionally just used YakTrax Pros, then when I moved to Flag, started using Microspikes with great success for gnarlier terrain up high. Now just this year, after owning a pair of Nanospikes for a couple of years, I’ve finally taken them out for some runs, and it sounds like I’m using them on the same types of runs that you’re describing, with pretty good success.

            One thing to consider is sizing. The MS medium fit my 9s perfectly, but the NS medium tend to shift a bit underfoot when the running surface gets slushy. When it’s more ice, less slush, they stay put and the traction is great. I note this because I know we wear the same size shoes. That said, my NS are 2 years old, so maybe Kahtoola has addressed the sizing issue. If not, I’d recommend you get a small. And if they do, then, stay put underfoot, that /slightly/ better traction you’re looking for would be there – those little spikes are good.

    2. KenZ

      I love the Kinvara, but then fell in more love with the Virrata. Which was unfortunate as they then discontinued it when the pendulum starting swinging back the other way. They were zero drop and crazy light for a shoe with so much cushion. Still beating my 2 year old remaining pairs into dust on the long road runs.

  6. Amy

    I’m also a fan of the Bajada II and III. Have you tried the Caldorado? I really like the update for spring 2017. They’re built on the same last (not technically, but the only difference is the drop–the Caldorado is a couple mm lower but the shape is the same).

    1. Bryon Powell

      I’ve slipped on a Caldorado (not sure if it was the I or II), and found the toe off to be a bit more aggressive/quick than the Bajada. Perhaps, that feeling is due to a similar shape with the lower drop. Regardless, I’ll give them another shake. (That said, I do like my 10mm of drop in the Bajada!)

  7. Eugene Smith

    No Nike? Bummer. Hoping we would catch a glimpse of the Wildhorse 4 for 2017. The Wildhorse has been my go shoe for most runs. The fit, outsole, and responsive midsole struck a great balance as a daily trainer for just about anything thrown at it.

    1. Brad Williams

      Hey Eugene,

      I’ve put about 400 miles on a couple pairs of the WH4’s and they’re fantastic. While I can’t say much, expect to see the same underfoot tooling with a completely revamped upper. They do a great job locking down the foot yet maintaining the same nice roomy toe box. If you liked the 3’s my guess is you’ll love the 4’s.

      1. Eugene Smith

        @Brad. Most excellent news. The only big deviation I would be open to in the upcoming WH4, with the exception of some minor styling/material changes in the upper, would be the addition of a Zoom unit in the forefoot. I’m enjoying the Pegasus 33 for my road runs and find the WH and the Pegasus play nicely together in the shoe rotation.

  8. Ito

    Oh yes! Thank you for the info on the Bajada III.
    I’m on my 12th pair and just bought two more of the II thinking they were out (good prices now). Have the Caldorado too but personally prefer the Bajadas due to the 10mm drop.

    1. Bryon Powell

      My pleasure, Ito. I don’t remember how many pairs of Bajada IIs I’ve gone through, but most certainly two and probably three. I loved the original Bajada before that. I, too, looked online to see if I could pick up a couple final pairs of Bajada IIs when I thought the model was gone for good. If you have no problem with the durability of the upper on the Bajada II (I did not), pick up some more of the IIs while they are on sale. It’s hard to beat approximately 50% off! :-)

  9. Dusty

    The Altra Lone Peak has gone from the best trail shoe ever made with the LP 2.5 (used 4 pairs of them!) to the clunky and narrow brick that I almost never wear with the LP 3.0, and now to what appears to be even worse in the 3.5! So sad. I think I will buy every LP 2.5 that is left on the internet warehouses and weather this storm.

  10. Serge

    Thanks for the write-up and the quick turnaround time from the show. Of course this makes me a shoe geek, but knowing whats coming down the pipeline helps me to budget better and be selective about what I buy.
    Looking forward to learning more about the new nikes. The terra kiger 4 is close to perfect shoe for me. I hope they make the stiff overlay at the toe a bit softer. During the break-in period, it feels like my big toe is fighting it and I think its contributed to some arthritis.
    I’m also excited about the gotrail 2. Sketchers is building some great trail shoes at bargain (sale) prices. Having tried on the goultra4, seems like they’ve now figured out how to really lock-in the foot.
    And if anyone from hoka is listening, can you please make a nimble trail runner with rmat midsole/sole? I am missing the huakas. The passive grip of the rmat is surprisingly great on uneven rocky terrain. speedgoat 2’s are looking good too!

    1. Bryon Powell

      Skechers is offering shoes at what’s become a very attractive price point. Personally, I’m hoping to try the GOmeb Razor soon, as it likely fits most of my running needs/likes.

      As for the Huaka, they’re still my favorite Hoka. Love that RMAT! Especially on my easy days.

  11. JT

    Bryon…anything else from TNF? Real curious to see hear more about the shoes Krar has been running in from his FB pics. Every once in a while you catch a glimpse of something cool on his feet but no close ups or info. Anyone know?

    1. Bryon Powell

      TNF didn’t show me any other models at Winter OR, so I don’t think there are any additional offerings coming in the second half of this year.

      As for the Krar shoe, it’s been a model that’s been just over the horizon for quite a while now. I’ve seen long-ago iterations and they seemed like they’d be of interest to folks who prefer a lighter trail shoe with purposely reduced lugging. In other words, of interest to folks like me! ;-)

    1. Bryon Powell

      It’s not in the catalog materials that I have and I have not gotten a definitive answer, but I’ve been told it’s 6mm. That’s also be in line with the Terrex Agravic that proceeded it.

    1. Bryon Powell

      I’m 98% sure that the Timp will NOT have a rockplate. I don’t see any indication of one in Altra’s FW17 catalog, where as a Stoneguard is indicated for the Lone Peak 3.5. I’m guessing Altra figures the 29mm stack height (as opposed to 25mm for the LP3.5 and 39mm for the Olympus 2.5) is sufficient rock protection in and of itself.

  12. fossilized toe lug

    Guys guys, do you remember a time when trail running shoes were about running on trails and offered these strange things like traction, and ground feel, and had laces powered by black magic because they actually worked?
    Is the entire shoe industry nothing but fat roadie pigs now or is it just irunfar not caring about anything else?
    I’ll stick to skiing, at least those dirtbags have a sense of humor and can get something right.

  13. Zach Luchs

    Wish Nike would drop a preview of the Nike WH4. Love my WH3’s – currently on my 4th pair – but those Adidas Agrevic Speeds are looking pretty amazing and might be lighter than the WH4. Plus that outsole adidas uses is a dream. Big toss up for this spring for me I guess…

  14. David

    I can’t wait to try the Inov-8 Trailroc 270. The old Trailroc 235 & 245 were my all time favorite shoes. Any idea if they will release a lighter zero drop version?

  15. Jeff

    So Altra is sticking with their own compound sole for the Lone Peak 3.5 vs using Vibram MegaGrip. BIG mistake! If you use these in technical terrain (like New England) they can’t be trusted to stick. There is no comparison to a shoe with a true sticky sole. Back to back tests on a 28 mile fast day hike in the White Mountains, Lone Peak 3 mid vs Hoka Tor Speed 2 mid (Speedgoat in a mid form) the Hoka with it’s MegaGrip sole stuck like glue to rocks at absurd angles where as the Altra would just let go at random times. I couldn’t “trust” it and had to think way to much. The Hoka was like throwing out an anchor it stuck so well. Altra needs to add MegaGrip to the sole of the LP series IMO. REALLY looking forward to the Speedgoat 2 and I’m hoping they will add the Mid version as well whatever they decide to call it. As is the toe box of the Tor Speed 2 is way to narrow.

    I may be weird but for technical trail running and fast packing I really like the idea of the mid concept. I found no problem running in either of these mid shoe models and appreciated the little bit extra ankle support and protection from the bumps and scrapes from rocks. Altra….MegaGrip please for the Lone Peaks.

    Jeff in MA

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