My neighborhood trail run starts with a mile of pavement. Sound familiar? It's hard to avoid unless you drive to the trailhead, or live there. This hybrid cushions on hard surfaces, thanks to a midsole with fluid-filled pockets fore and aft and a layer of rebounding, polymer-based MoGo. On packed dirt and rocks, it feels stable and offers pronation control (rare for a trail runner). The water-resistant upper is great for shoulder-season drizzle. Bonus: The eco-friendly outsole is made with sand, not oil. Pros: Works well on everything from roads to rough trail. Cons: Traction is merely adequate. brooksrunning.com
Eco-minded runners who want a versatile shoe; by the end of 2009, all Brooks models will have biodegradable midsoles
Duration: Nov. to Feb.
Conditions/locale: 20°F to 60°F; mud, snow; CO
"When I travel and can pack only one pair of shoes, I always take trail runners. They work for hiking, running, and walking around town."