trail-running gear reviews

Gear Review: La Sportiva Raptor Shoes

La Sportiva Raptor

Lightweight Trail Shoes
La Sportiva Raptor
$120, 1 lb. 9 oz. (men’s Euro 42)
Sizes: Euro men’s 36-47.5, women’s 36-43
sportiva.com

Is this a running or hiking shoe? You decide. Rare is the shoe that excels at trail running and crosses over to perform among the best light hikers, but the Raptor does exactly that. After several trail runs, the longest a 25.5-mile, seven-hour run-hike (running perhaps three-quarters of the distance, walking the rest) in the Boise Foothills, I fell in love with these non-waterproof low-cuts.

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Gear Review: Adidas Terrex Fast R GTX Shoes

Adidas Terrex Fast R GTX

Hiking Shoes
Adidas Terrex Fast R GTX
$155, 1 lb. 12 oz. (men’s 9)
Sizes: men’s 6-14
www.adidas.com/us/outdoor

Adidas might have named this low-cut shoe the ATV, because it really is an all-terrain vehicle. On local hikes in the Boise Foothills in all kinds of conditions—dry, packed dirt, mud, wet snow, and rain-drenched rock—the outsoles bit without a slip. That’s thanks to deep and widely spaced outsole lugs and Continental rubber, the same kind used for mountain bike tires.

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Gear Review: The North Face Enduro Hydration Daypack

The North Face Enduro

Hydration Pack
The North Face Enduro
$140, 10 oz.
5.5L/336 c.i.
One size each in men’s and women’s-specific models
thenorthface.com

After numerous outings dayhikes, trail runs, and mountain bikes rides wearing the Enduro, I’ve decided it may be the most stable hydration pack I’ve ever used. Credit goes to the unique design. For starters, the shoulder straps attach using a hook-and-loop patch in a V-shape over your sternum, like the arms of a kid riding piggyback. A nylon hook-and-loop waist belt wraps around your waist like your kid’s legs.

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Gear Review: The North Face Etip Pamir Windstopper Glove

The North Face Etip Pamir Windstopper Glove

The North Face Etip Pamir Windstopper Glove
$62, 3 oz. (men’s medium)
Sizes: men’s S-XL, women’s XS-L
thenorthface.com

As someone who gets cold fingers easily but loves ski touring, snowshoeing, winter hiking, and fast activities like skate-skiing—where you don’t always want thick, bulky handwear—I find that many lightweight gloves designed for those activities don’t deliver enough warmth. But on numerous outings this winter, many of them skate-skiing, I found the Etip Pamir gloves kept my fingers comfortable in temps down to the low 20° F.

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Gear Review: Patagonia Tsali 2.0 Trail-Running Shoes

Patagonia Tsali 2.0

Trail-Running Shoes
Patagonia Tsali 2.0
$115, 1 lb. 6 oz. (men’s US size 9)
Sizes: men’s 7-12, 13, 14, 15, women’s 5-11
patagonia.com

I keep grabbing these trail-running shoes for gym workouts and trail runs in the Boise Foothills because they’re comfortable, light, and deliver a nice balance of support, stability, and traction. The Tsali’s forefoot padding softens impact while flexing well for running, and the gender-specific footbed ensures a good fit that helps minimize the pounding on your feet. Even on 10-mile runs, my feet and toes don’t feel fatigued or beat up afterward.

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