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Runner-Up: Nike Air Pegasus+ 25 ESC
The eco-friendly rubber outsole on this shoe grips every surface, while its gusseted tongue and breathable, water-repelling upper shield feet from rocks and rain. Extra cushioning guarantees comfy runs. "These are lightweight with terrific traction," Kass says. "Plus, the colors totally camouflaged all the dirt I picked up!" ($85, nike.com)
Our Expert Tester: Maya Kass, 39, Irvine, California
Kass tackles nearby trails to the tune of 45 to 60 miles a week and has done 21 half-marathons, 17 marathons, and three ultra-marathons. Her first marathon was the 2004 Nike Women's Marathon, with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team in Training.