Forget four-wheel drive. High-speed off-roading only takes some shoes geared for punishment.
(top to bottom)
Adidas Response Trail 16
Deep treads make these shoes stable off the beaten path, and their beaucoup cushioning rivals a luxury car’s. But we found ’em bulkier than a pair of ski boots and stiffer than a mathlete at a bikini contest. $85
Saucony ProGrid Xodus 2.0
Tough as nails, but light as a thumbtack, the Vibram outsole on these rugged runners rivals the traction of a monster truck in snow chains. A neoprene pouch on the tongue keeps the laces from tripping you up. And a quick-drying liner means your feet won’t prune up even when you’ve misstepped into a baby pool. $100
The North Face Single-Track
Its “snake plate” outsole provides noticeable support for the lateral and medial forefoot, and more importantly may prevent you from putting a rusty nail through your foot. And we’re not saying the under-bottom grip isn’t “tenacious,” as advertised. But after a few long trail runs our dogs were left barking for some arch support. $100
Brooks Adrenaline ASR 7
If you’re toting two wide loads, blaze trails with these big-boned bad boys. Available in varying widths, the ASR 7s boast a flexible midsole that allows for a smooth gait. Though the water-resistant upper breathes well, we’d prefer a bit more toe coverage. Stub City, population: us. $105
THE CRAZIEST RACES IN THE U.S.A
Three reasons to take the marathon off your bucket list.
Krispy Kreme Challenge
Raleigh, NC (February 6)
The two-mile route? Not hard. But downing a dozen donuts midway without barfing is.
Boom Days Pack Burro Race
Leadville, CO (August 8)
Conquer a grueling 21-mile run along a ridgeline in the Rockies. All while tied to a donkey.
The Bear 100
Logan, UT (September 24–25)
A 100-mile ultramarathon through a barren mountain range. Train and you might live!