If your feet swim in most shoes, try the slender Tricon. It has the narrowest last in the test, prompting slim-footed mountaineer and marathoner Jeff Kirstein to give it a perfect score for fit. On sun-baked trails in South Dakota's Black Hills, the Tricon earned high marks for its breathable mesh uppers, which helped keep feet cool even on sizzling summer days. We also appreciate the reliable all-purpose traction and the solid plate under the forefoot, which protects against sharp stones.
Likening the shoes to a racing flat, Nancy wished for more padding, a sentiment echoed by at least one other tester. Like most other mesh shoes, they kept our dogs cool but filled up with sand and dust despite full tongue gussets. Our chief complaint: The Tricon came up short on stability, making them best for manicured trails and the lightest loads. Toe and heel reinforcements help ward off the worst rock hazards, but the uppers lack the toughness of the highest-scoring shoes. Best for narrow, low- to medium-volume feet.
Overall: 3.7 (5=perfect gear, 1=save your money)
Sizes: men's 7-11 1/2, 12, 13, 14; women's 5 1/2-10 1/2
Weight: 1 lb. 8 oz.
Contact: (603) 298-8032; www.tecnicausa.com.