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Trail Runner November 21, 2011 TWEET COMMENTS 0

Brooks Trailblade

Brooks Trailblade

$85, 9.3 oz, www.brooksrunning.com

The Dirt. This new eco-friendly (has non-toxic additives that allow for faster decomposition in landfills) model features aggressive tread that testers commented adequately gripped all surfaces while still running nimbly like a road shoe on pavement. With Brook's viscous cushioning system (HydroFlow) encased in the rear and forefoot, the midsole felt stiff and supportive for long bouts on your feet. A basic air-mesh upper allowed adequate ventilation.

Fit. A unique lacing system loops around the heel counter and connects with the upper eyelet for a close fit (one tester complained his metatarsals felt pinched). Multiple loops on the tongue keep it from sliding to either side. A neutral shoe for a low- to medium-volume flat foot; runs slightly short.

Best For. The runner traversing technical and sloppy trails but running to and from the trailhead along the road.

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