2021 Trail Running Gear Is Here

It’s the season to hit the ground running. Here’s the best gear to keep your stride right.

On Running Cloudflyer Waterproof

Designed for long miles, this slick road shoe is just the ticket for trail runners who want to cross-train on pavement and gravel (and vice versa). Stylish and soft, the shoe offers plenty of stability on hard surfaces and a sure fit up top thanks to a comfy tongue. With a wind- and rain-proof membrane, the waterproof version proves worth the extra cost when you are getting in shape during the sloshy, wet days of spring. $180; on-running.com

Altra Olympus 4

The latest take on the big, cushy Olympus, this cruiser—which tips the scales at a respectable 11.6 ounces in the men’s shoe—is all about comfort. Altra is known for its zero-drop sensitivity, and this shoe retains that nimbleness while adding enough cushion to suck up the hits on the gnarliest of trails. And an improved mesh upper breathes better than previous versions—a plus when you are rocking a shoe with this kind of heft. $169; altrarunning.com

Hoka One One Speedgoat 4

Here’s a shoe for those who like to push themselves on long runs up ragged peaks all over the Blue Ridge. Weighing in at 10.8 ounces, the Speedgoat provides Hoka’s renowned plush feel and plenty of stability thanks to a Vibram Megagrip outsole that sticks to the lose rock and roots found in the Rocky Mountain wilds. The latest version features a roomier toe box, too, which will help keep your little piggies from getting smashed. $145; hokaoneone.com

Balega Hidden Comfort

The right socks are the secret weapon in your trail running gear kit. As the name implies, these socks keep your feet secure in your shoe, helping to prevent blisters and rubbing and suck up sweat and smell.  Based in both the U.S.A. and South Africa, Balega is a conscious company making products in factories that do their best to lower impact on the environment and uplift employees. $14; balega-socks.implus.com

Roark Alta 5″

Roark’s new Run Amok apparel collection adds a cool look to your trail duds with funky, fun, athlete-inspired designs. These minimalist trail running shorts serve up plenty of stretch and dry in a hurry and include two well-hidden stash pockets. $69; roark.com

Recover Brands Women’s Sport V-Neck

Making strides to support local businesses during the pandemic, Recover Brands is focused on sustainability. Made from 100-percent recycled materials this versatile women’s sport top (look for the men’s version too) can wick moisture and breathe like a champ, making it a feel-good choice in more ways than one for a wide range of trail outings. $25; recoverbrands.com

Salomon XA 15

Long adventure trail runs require emergency gear, layers, water, and food, and the right pack is key to hauling the stuff you need without cramping your style or causing injury. At 15 liters, this light (12.3 ounces), unisex pack can hold the essentials in a compact bundle. It comes with soft flasks in the mesh straps and compresses and rides close to the torso with just enough play in the system to keep it from annoying you as you move. Bonus: It works just as well on hiking and biking outings. $170; salomon.com 

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