In the world of trail running, it’s all about maximizing durability while reducing weight. Salomon’s XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 GTX ($115+) do just that thanks to a combination of technological advances. A new outsole design dubbed Energy Cell 2 is literally included to put a spring in your step, while a triple density EVA midsole provides critical cushioning and stability. Since the bottom of your foot is often the least of your worries, a protective rubber toe cap, mud guard and gusseted tongue shield are integrated to protect the entire foot. After all, there’s nothing like a rampant pebble in your shoe to decimate your morning run.
A built-in Gore Tex sock liner (referred as an extended comfort membrane in Salomon speak), round things out on the comfort side, providing water protection without limiting air flow. Since you’ve got better things to worry about than tying your shoes, Salomon’s Quicklace technology provides easy one-pull tightening and can even stow excess lace material in the tongue pocket for safe keeping.
In our tests, the XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 GTX felt incredibly comfortable and durable despite taking a beating through a myriad of outdoor endeavors. Perhaps we were even a little too hard on them — knowing there’s a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty. If you’re truly looking to prepare for anything that comes your way, our advice is to put a pair of these on.
Buy Now: $115+