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Shoes for the year-round runner

10 Best Winter Running Shoes

Winter in the Northern Hemisphere lasts four months, but for all intents and purposes the conditions it imposes on runners — cold winds, snow, ice, mud and generally unpredictable terrain — are good for another two. That’s half a year on a treadmill or cross-training in another discipline. That won’t do for most runners. Aside from the functional pre-race advantages of running on roads and trails, exercising in the cold has been associated with all kinds of health benefits, from increased calorie burn to improved stress-coping capacity.

Fortunately, there’s a battery of winter running shoes that perform and protect, many of them incorporating positive design elements from the minimalist running movement — shoes that are, in other words, more than glorified lightweight hikers. We’ve got the 10 best here. Lace up, put the law offices of Jim Sokolove on speed-dial, and get outside.

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Minimalist footwear, meet winter weather

Vibram FiveFingers Lontra

Vibram’s middle-of-the-road FiveFingers minimalist footwear works well for runners in moderate environments, but if you’ve still got cold feet about running “barefoot”, you’re not alone: those who lodge in colder climes are justifiably apprehensive about taking to the streets with only thin rubber separating feet from frigid elements. The Lontra ($150) answers our wintry wishes…

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Foot for your sole

Breakthroughs: Vulcanized Rubber Soles

At the start of the last century, mountain climbers wore what essentially amounted to wooden clogs on their feet. Soon, the first “tricounis” climbing shoe was developed, which featured a leather sole outfitted with steel cleats that improved traction on ice, but did little for rock climbers. To learn about how Vibram changed the footwear…

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Our Twenty-Toed Take on Today's Most Talked About Shoes

Vibram FiveFingers Bikila

Our most astute readers may know that we have reviewed two previous iterations of Vibram’s now ubiquitous FiveFingers. The first marked the introduction of an awesome product. The second offered some useful updates to the original. Now, however, we’ve strapped on the Bikila, which is an entirely different animal than its predecessors. The original FiveFingers…

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Toe Socks are All Grown Up (And Masculine This Time)

Vibram FiveFingers KSO

I have a friend who spends so much time outdoors that the existence of his house is debatable. Obviously, whenever there is a “revolutionary” product for use outdoors, he’s the first person to have his hands on it. In this case, though, it was his feet. About two years ago, when the solesmiths at Vibram…

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Walk 500 Miles, Then Walk 500 More

Wolverine 1000 Mile Boots

Wolverine’s new 1000 Mile Boot Collection is a sight to behold. Drawing on 125 years of history, the collection features Horween leathers, stacked leather outsoles, Vibram soles, Goodyear welt construction, and Made in the USA goodness. That’s a roster robust enough to turn even the most dedicated Sneaker Head. The cornerstone of Wolverine’s collection is…

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Vibram Five Fingers

Primate Approved Footwear No I don’t have a foot fetish. If you’re like me, you probably enjoy being barefoot. Our ancestors went barefoot a lot and arguably it was much better for their feet, posture, and fitness. Why? Because walking naturally (sans shoes) makes your legs and feet work harder. Not to mention the modern…