Feet sweat. And when you're running, they sweat more–often more than a waterproof/ breathable membrane can handle. That's why Ahnu skipped the membrane in this winter runner in favor of a hydrophobic (water-hating) mesh. The result: a highly breathable, supportive shoe that will keep moisture out even on long, slushy runs.
Internal plastic stabilizers around the perimeter of the heel and contoured EVA cushioning keep the foot in a neutral position for stability on rough trails. A full plastic shank–plus a dense foam shock-dispersal plate in the forefoot–provided excellent bruise protection on rocky Vermont trails. The Vibram sole held well–even on ice-slicked rocks. Bummer: It's on the heavier side for trail runners. Best for medium to wide feet. $120; 1 lb. 10 oz.; men's 7-14; ahnufootwear.com