Fresh New Kicks
The Trail Shoes We’re Eyeing for Next Fall and What to Buy Now
This January at Outdoor Retailer, we saw hundreds of products that we can’t wait to test. Trail runners are getting lighter and faster and maximalist cushion is back. Bright and flashy colors popped up more and more, yet brands also remembered to keep some of it monotone with all-black and grey and white in the mix, too. The catch is most are launching this fall or winter, so we’ve got some time to fill while brands start producing them. In the meantime, we’ve included the previous models of shoes that you can buy right now, so there’s no delay in gear testing.
Under Armour Charged Bandit Trail GTX
Under Armour took one of its top-selling trail sneakers and updated it with Gore-Tex and its proprietary charged cushioning, which claims to absorb the shock of the road so that the runner doesn’t lose all their energy to the ground. The heavy-duty outsole is lined with high-abrasion rubber so rocks, sticks and mud won’t ruin it. An EVA sock liner with a molded collar means your feet are supported and comfortable from the first step. And like most trail shoes, there are hits of reflectivity so you can keep logging miles no matter how dark it is outside. The best part is that it’s all under $100. Look for these come Fall 2019, and until then, you can shop the Under Armour Charged Bandit 3.
Skechers Go Run Maxroad 4 Hyper
With each Outdoor Retailer show, Skechers’s sneakers become increasingly advanced, lightweight and speedy. The Go Run Maxroad 4 Hyper is meant for long-distance road runs with its light-as-air hyper burst foam, which initially launched in the Skechers GoRun Razor 3 Hyper (one of our top picks for Best New Running Shoes of 2018). At just 8.4-ounces this heavily cushioned sneaker will weigh less than some other shoes built for speed. The upper’s material is breathable thanks to a compression knit and sock liner. The Go Run Maxroad 4 Hyper will launch in Fall 2019, but you can pick up the Skechers Go Run Maxroad 3 Ultra today.
Salomon S/Lab Ultra 2
Salomon knows trail running. It taps some of the best trail running athletes in the field to push the boundaries on sneaker design. For the new S/Lab Ultra 2, Salomon worked with Francois D’haene, an ultramarathoner who carries the Fastest Known Time (FKT) on the John Muir Trail and also won the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB), one of the most intense races in the world. An 8-mm drop is on the higher end of a heel drop, which is why heel strikers will find this shoe comfortable. The shoe has enough cushioning to help racers get through dirt, snow, pavement and rock scrambles. Right now you can pick up a pair of the original model for $180. The S/Lab Ultra 2 will start to hit shelves in April 2019.
Adidas Outdoor Terrex Free Hiker GTX
Adidas Outdoor continues to pump out lightweight hiking boots that are also appropriate to run in. With striking colors and a sneaker-like fit, its hikers are flattering and useful on the trail. The newest iteration of the Terrex Free Hiker includes the addition of Gore-Tex, making it waterproof yet breathable. The Boost foam stays the same, and the mid-cut sneaker fit in the models we’ve tested is comfortable whether you’re casually climbing or trekking through the Alps. While the original version is hard to come by, there are a variety of other GTX trail runners and hikers on the site that start at $200. The newest version of the Terrex Free Hiker GTX will go for $225.