Brian Maranan Pineda
New Balance 840
This running shoe has a grooved sticky rubber outsole that grips the trail, keeping your foot — no matter what its shape — steady on loose twigs and gravel. It also features a gotta-love-it blister-proof lining and super-cushioned heel.
Our tester says: "The 840s transitioned really well from dirt and grass to rockier trails and were amazingly lightweight, which I loved." — Nancy Kleinrock, 48, from Trumansburg, New York, averages 75 to 85 miles a week on New York's Finger Lakes Trail.
New Balance 840, $84
Brian Maranan Pineda
Adidas Supernova Riot
Because your feet take a beating on bumpy paths, the Adidas Supernova Riot has additional padding under the ball of your food and a structured toe box to guard against stubs.
Adidas Supernova Riot, $95
Pearl Izumi Peak XC
These lightweight sneakers are great for fast-paced trail races or training runs.
Pearl Izumi Peak XC, $109.99
Asics GEL-Trabuco 11 WR
These sneakers give traction and support on uneven surfaces, even going up and down hills.
Asics GEL-Trabuco 11 WR, $94
Brooks Cascadia 3
The tough soles on these sneakers protect feet from rocks and blisters.
Brooks Cascadia 3, $97.99
Mizuno Wave Ascend 3
These sneakers grip well, even in wet conditions.
Mizuno Wave Ascend 3, $92.99
Saucony ProGrid Xodus
The Vibram outsole on these sneakers gives them awesome grip on uneven terrain.
Saucony ProGrid Xodus, $100
New Balance 874
The extra protection in the toes of these shoes is there to keep your feet from getting stubbed on rocks, roots, and whatever is in your way.
New Balance 874, $89.99
Adidas Kanadia Trail
Brand new to their line, this shoe's sole protects your feet from rocks while the tongue is attached in a way that keeps out dirt.
Adidas Kanadia Trail, $64.95
Made out of microfiber and mesh, this trail shoe is super breathable.
Avia Avi-Trail, $89.99
Ryka T2 Trainer
The perforated sock liner and outsole on this sneaker makes for easy water drainage.
Ryka T2 Trainer, $74.96
Originally published on FitnessMagazine.com, June 2008.
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The Best Sneakers for Cross-Country Running
You can take your run off the road with these cross-country sneakers made for adventure. If you'd rather run on hills and rocks than step foot on the treadmill, these shoes are for you. They provide support, traction, and extra protection so you can run tough trails with ease.