HYBRIDS Best for both roads and trails
Asics Gel-Scout $120
THE GEL-SCOUT PERFORMS as well on dirt surfaces as it does on the pavement en route to your trail workout. That’s because this shoe offers a smooth, pillowy-soft ride reminiscent of the Cumulus and Nimbus—Asics’s popular neutral-cushioned road models. “I have a lot of different shoes for various
needs, but these are the workhorses,” says Ben Rosenberger, 51, of Reading, Pennsylvania, who logs more than half of his 35 miles per week on trails. A protective bumper at the front of the shoe shields your toes from protruding branches and rocks,
while the closed-mesh upper helps keep out moderate amounts of water and dirt.
The pocket at the top of the tongue allows you to tuck away loose shoelace
ends. Aggressive lugs on the outsole
perform well on most surfaces, but wear-testers noted that the shoe tends to slip
on flat, wet rocks.
firm sof T
firm sof T
heigh T: 34. 8 mm (heel); 26. 2 mm (forefoot)
Weigh T: 11. 8 oz (M); 9. 9 oz (W)
ASR 9 $115
The Adrenaline ASR 9 is basically an
all-conditions version of brooks’s popular road model, the Adrenaline GTS 12.
A slightly more rugged outsole will
keep you upright on icy roads or rocky
trails, and the water-resistant upper
ensures your feet stay dry on all but the
wettest runs. Testers appreciated the
shoe’s comfortable fit and stable ride.
bo TTom Line An everyday trainer
that shines on both trails and roads.
bo TTom Line A well-cushioned ride that feels light and nimble.
The closed-mesh upper
keeps most water and
dirt out of the shoe.
heigh T: 35. 8 mm (heel); 22. 8 mm (forefoot)
Weigh T: 11. 3 oz (M); 9. 3 oz (W)
Deep lugs on the outsole
capably grip nearly any
Ascend 7 $105
If your idea of a trail involves more
crushed gravel than rocks and roots,
the Ascend is the shoe for you. The
upper feels like a road shoe, wrapping
the midfoot snugly and providing a
roomy fit at the toes. Substantial tread
on the outsole grips nearly any surface,
while deep grooves in the rubber allow
the shoe to remain flexible.
bo TTom Line For fast running over
a mix of smooth and uneven trails.
WE’vE PARTNERED with Shoefitr, a
company that takes 3-D scans, to demonstrate precisely how a shoe fits compared
with the average running shoe. The graphic
at left shows that the Gel-Scout wraps the
foot nicely from heel to toe, without any hot
spots. To see how every shoe in this guide
fits, visit runnersworld.com/shoefinder.
heigh T: 38. 1 mm (heel); 24. 6 mm (forefoot)
Weigh T: 11. 2 oz (M); 9. 1 oz (W)