Trail: Salomon XR Mission
With an extra-wide base and a copious amount of cushioning, the XR Mission serves up a stable platform on uneven terrain by creating maximum contact with the ground. Built in the likeness of a softly cushioned road-running shoe, the ride is as soft and plush on dirt roads and smooth rolling trails as it is on pavement. It’s not as light or low to the ground as some of its contemporaries (and it has a relatively high 10 mm heel-forefoot differential), but its additional girth absorbs sharp objects underfoot and fends off sidewall abrasions with ease.
Best For: A less experienced runner seeking extra stability on mildly rugged terrain or smooth rolling trails
Get It: $110; 11.5 oz./10.3 oz.; www.salomon.com
Ultimate Running Shoes + Tech Guide
A running shoe revolution has been afoot for the past few years, but only recently have a wide variety of lighter, more minimally designed shoes hit the stores. Why the dramatic changes? Research has confirmed that lighter, more flexible, lower-to-the-ground shoes enable feet to move similarly to how they move when barefoot, and that allows the most natural and efficient form possible. We've found the best new road, trail, and "barefoot" shoes, plus the gadgets and apps to take your run to the next level.