La Sportiva Helios, $120
8.1 oz.; 6.8 oz.
Fit: A secure, no-slip heel cup, trim-fitting midsole and average volume toe box give this shoe a comfortably secure fit.
Feel: Like barefoot but better is what comes to mind with this warm weather runner’s dream shoe. It has a 5mm heel-toe offset, but it’s not a minimalist shoe by any means. A tight mesh upper gives maximum ventilation, with a stable foot platform and pleasing underfoot cradle. Whether it’s sweat or water crossings, feet are going to get wet, but these drained well and dried fast for a more comfortable run.
Ride: The Helios delivers a fun, minimalist ride with softer edges — a happy medium of trail feel and cushioned comfort. These rocked it on damp, sandy trails in south Florida, with the protection and performance to handle wet logs, knotty roots and coral rocks — a 2mm EVA rock pad adds protection to the injection molded EVA midsole.