Minimal Trail Shoes
New Balance 10v2
Is it possible to make a minimally designed shoe lighter and better? Still über-flexible and low to the ground with a 4mm heel-toe offset, this version sports a revamped upper and ditches the heel counter of its predecessor. With just enough semi-soft foam cushioning and pods of Vibram outsole rubber, the 10v2 is a huge improvement. Testers loved the enhancements, especially in the upper, but most said the curved last and minimalist design make it suitable only for very efficient runners who are light on their feet.
6.1 oz, 5.2 oz / 4mm heel-toe drop
“The sole is lightweight, flexible and durable, and provides great traction, but offers little protection from small rocks or gravel.”
Saucony Peregrine 3
A lightweight, low-to-the-ground trail runner, the Peregrine 3 excels at fast and agile running on all types of terrain—from dirt roads to rocky single-track trails. It offers just enough protection from sharp rocks and knobby roots but doesn’t inhibit the foot’s natural movement. A new, seamless upper, one originally designed for track spikes, provides a reliably snug and very comfortable fit, while a reinforced heel counter adds support. Best of all, a molded plastic toe tip adds protection against
10.1 oz, 8.6 oz / 4mm heel-toe drop
“It provided perfect support for my wide feet without squeezing my arch.”
Reebok RealFlex Flight ATC
A hybrid shoe of sorts, the RealFlex Flight ATC is a durable yet lightweight all-terrain shoe that can be used on both mild trails and paved roads. It feels like a traditional neutral cushioned road shoe with the added touch of a grippy trail-oriented outsole for traction on all types of terrain. Our testers found the shoe to have a snug fit in the heel and mid-foot with slightly more room in the forefoot. The independent action of the outsole lugs gives this shoe a great range of flexibility, but our testers thought it made for a sloppy ride during longer runs on pavement. Although it lacks any kind of built-in stability mechanism, there is some structure and support gained from the extra cushioning
in the built-up heel.
10.8 oz, 9.4 oz / 10mm heel-toe drop
“Lots of room in the toe box, with a nice snug feel.”