Holabird Sports Blog

Trail Running Shoes: Award Winners for 2013

Cara Bruce May 3, 2013 Running 3 Comments
Trail running shoes - 2013 award winners

The running and fitness magazines are coming out with their 2013 spring shoe guides, including one of my favorites, the best trail running shoes of 2013. If you’ve been thinking of trying out a new pair of trail shoes this season then hopefully this list can help.

Here are the 2013 trail running shoe award winners:

New Balance Minimus 10v2 Trail Shoe

FITNESS Magazine’s “Best for Low-Impact Trail Running”
According to FITNESS this trail shoe is functional, fast and “conforms to your foot like a slipper” thanks to the flexible upper. The responsive outsole is made of a “cushy carbon rubber.”

Shop the New Balance Minimus 10v2

Salomon Sense Mantra

Winner of Runner’s World “Best Debut” award & Honorable Mention Trail Running winner from Shape magazine
Runner’s World highlights include the added protection for the average runner, especially in the toe cap and down the sides. The outsole provides good traction with lugs pointing in the opposite direction for better downhill breaking.

Shape magazine mentions the quick-pull laces (these really do make for a fabulous fit) and that it’s supportive yet “bendy enough for skirting obstacles” (probably a reference to the flexfilm on the sole which takes the place of a non-bendy rock plate).

Shop the Salomon Sense Mantra

Brooks Cascadia 8

Winner of Runner’s World “Editor’s Choice” award
Some of the highlights are the multi-directional lugs, the shoe will allow you to run a lot of places. It has climbing power and braking power. Overall, it’s a great shoe.

ASICS GEL-Scout

Winner of “Best Trail Running Shoes” by Women’s Running magazine
Women’s Running thinks these are “versatile enough to work on pavement” and offer “great support even on rocky surfaces.” Other highlights include “grippy lugs” for great traction, a hidden rock plate in the sole for protection, and a tongue pouch for unruly laces. Overall, these are cushioned and comfortable.

Shop the ASICS GEL Scout

Mizuno Wave Ascend 7 & Vibram Spyridon

Included in Men’s Fitness magazine’s “10 Best Trail Shoes”
The lightweight Mizuno Wave Ascend 7 has mesh ventilation and a durable carbon rubber sole to withstand long, tough runs.
The minimalist Vibram Spyridon “cocoons your foot in a multi-directional sole that protects against sharp objects” and the “rubber outsole has an aggressive tread design for maximum grip.”

Shop the Mizuno Wave Ascend 7
Shop the Vibram Spyridon

Salomon Speedcross 3

“2013 Editor’s Choice” by OutdoorGearLA
They sum this shoe up succinctly: great traction and exceptional protection. What they left out was how cool this shoe actually looks.

Shop the Salomon Speedcross 3

Saucony Peregrine 2

“Best Buy” Award for 2013 OutdoorGearLA & “Editor’s Choice” OutdoorGearLab.com
These scored extremely high in tests performed by OutdoorGearLA and are available at a reasonable price.

OutdoorGearLab reports that this shoe is “Low-to-the-ground, lightweight, great traction, enough protection, form-boosting.” They report “a winning combination of low weight, excellent comfort and a nautural feeling on the dirt.”

Shop the Saucony Peregrine 2

ASiCS GEL Fuji Racer

Winner of “Top Pick” OutdoorGearLab.com
The ASICS Fuji racer is lightweight and fast. OutdoorGearLab says, “light and quick, almost like a road racer but with just enough beef to make it suitable for trail running.”

Shop the ASICS GEL Fuji Racer

Do you have a favorite trail shoe that you think should have won an award this season? Let us know!

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3 Comments

  1. Noah Parks May 8, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Great list, but I’d love to know how each shoe measures up when price is taken into consideration. Would Brooks or Salomon still make the cut?

  2. Cara Bruce May 8, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    Hi Noah – This is a great question! Honestly, in this case I think they do. Almost all of these shoes are around $100 (give or take approx $10). The Saucony Peregrine 2 and ASICS GEL-Fuji Racer are exceptions as they have recently been reduced. However, if you look at other trail running shoes, even shoes from the same brands, they are also around the same price (some are more).

    Everyone has different things they want from a shoe. For example, I’m more interested in protection – I sometimes run on a super rocky trail – so paying up to $10 more is worth making sure my feet are protected. I’ve seen lists that vary widely in price and, personally, I weigh the reviews with what I need and what I can afford.

    I hope this helps!

  3. lesley August 6, 2014 at 1:49 am

    i only check if shoes are comfortable, i never go for the brand and design if that hurt my feet and i don’t find it comfortable.

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