The name is perfect: I did feel downright cat-like as I picked my way up and down bouldery paths. And this trail runner (a first from the ski company) hits a sweet spot of precision, comfort, and protection rare in a shoe this airy. How? The Vibram sole has three densities of V-shaped rubber lugs—soft at the forefoot to adhere to rock slabs, medium through the midfoot and heel for durability, and hard on select perimeter lugs to latch into dirt and mud. I never slipped on hardpack, gravel, mud, ice, or snow. The midsole is softer in the heel for cushy descents and firmer in the forefoot for stability on climbs. Dubious bonus: A dime-size silver tab embedded in the midsole—dubbed an “aura activator”*—allegedly enhances performance and speeds recovery time. I can’t say I noticed.
*The Claim The device’s maker says it emits a low-frequency energy wave that breaks up water molecules around muscle cells, restoring cell metabolism.
Speedsters who want to run their favorite hikes and climbs
> Shannon Davis
> Duration Feb. to May
> Locales/conditions CO; 40℉ to 80℉
> “The mainly mesh upper ensures breathability and adequate draining if you get waterlogged. A stretchy cover over the lacing keeps debris out, and a TPU toecap protects against stubs.”
> Weight 1 lb. 6 oz. (pair 9.5)
> Price $160
> Size men’s 6-12
Click here to read our comprehensive trail running guide.