Best ride

Brand: Hoka One One

Model: SKY Toa

Our take The first thing you’ll notice about the SKY Toa is its sneaker-like look. “But once I laced it up, its appearance was the last thing I was thinking about because my feet felt so good,” one tester says. HOKA’s trademark oversize midsole is made of a rubberized EVA; essentially, designers took the marshmallow-like midsoles of their trail runners and added an ankle cuff. The result is a cushy ride on a durable platform. Note: We love the SKY Toa for loads under 35 pounds, but anything over that felt wobbly.

The details Thanks to a waterproof, air-permeable eVent membrane, the SKY Toa and its synthetic upper breathed well during a 75°F, cardio-heavy day in Colorado’s Indian Peaks Wilderness. A rubber-and-EVA outsole with multidirectional lugs gripped on steep ups and downs, but the boot’s extra width felt clumsy on technical terrain.

Trail cred “The flexible ankles won’t work for everyone, but if you want to move quickly on the trail, they add a lot of agility,” one tester says.

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