Adidas Outdoor Adizero XT 5 Boost Trail Runner

An ankle-high gaiter keeps debris out of this trail runner, while a bouncy midsole adds spring to your stride.
Adizero XT 5 Boost Trail Runner

Protection

Trail debris stood no chance against the integrated gaiter, even during hour-long, off-trail scrambles in scree fields. Testers liked how the gaiter created a comfy, sock-like fit. (Note: It’s surprisingly breathable for a gaiter, but still, well, a gaiter.)

Response

Adidas put its new Boost material in the midsole with great results: A fusion of tiny TPU capsules (picture a bunch of teensy super balls) in the forefoot makes the midsole feel soft and squishy when weighted, but then the TPU pods rebound, adding bounce to our strides. It felt comfy on 15-mile trail runs and overnights with 20-pound packs.

Traction

The multidirectional, chevron-shaped lugs bit into soft dirt and stuck like glue to steep granite in Northern California’s Castle Crags. The Continental rubber (the same stuff used on cycling tires) was sticky enough to let us run across wet rocks without breaking stride.

Fit

It’s narrow through the forefoot—good if you like a close fit, but it may not work for hikers and runners with wider feet.