2015 Winter Running Shoes

November 19th, 2014 by | Posted in Running Gear, Running Shoes | Tags: , , , , , ,

Last year was a tough one for most runners across Canada. This year, don’t miss a stride with these Gore-Tex and waterproofed winter running shoes for every type of runner.

Brooks Adrenaline ASR 11 GTX

 Brooks Adrenaline ASR 11 GTX

Men’s 331 g (11.7 oz.), Women’s 306 g (10.8 oz.)
Drop: 12 mm, $180

The Adrenaline ASR 11 GTX is a good choice for road runners looking for a waterproof stability shoe to get them through winter. The Adrenaline is a well-loved and tough everyday trainer that Brooks has perfected over many iterations. This eleventh generation winterized model features all of the aspects of the Adrenaline, but drapes the upper in Gore-Tex without weighing it down.

The 11 mm drop will work for many runners requiring some help with pronation and foot fall. Complementing this, Brooks’s proprietary DNA cushioning adapts to a runner’s stride and weight. The Adrenaline asr 11 gtx is ideal for for larger runners seeking a plush, more traditional ride. The knobby outsole provides slightly more traction than a conventional road shoe, but it still feels fast on dry, paved surfaces.

Merrell Bare Access Trail GTXMerrell Bare Access Trail GTX

Men’s g 187 g (6.6 oz.), Women’s 164 g (5.8 oz.)
Drop: Zero, $170

With the Bare Access Trail GTX, Merrell carries over their understanding of how to make quality minimal trail shoe to a road ready winter trainer. They stick with their zero drop approach, and the Bare Access’s soft, f lexible midsole. Merrell employs a toothier Vibram outsole in order to latch onto snow and ice. Our testers found this to be a great zero-drop option for those who want a solid hybrid winter trainer that can also stand in at a muckier trail event.

The Gore-Tex performed as expected, but this is a low-cut shoe, meaning that it’s not going to love bounding through snow drifts. That said, it’s minimal design was  really popular with many of our testers that only needed to battle your average Canadian winter road conditions. On the trails, this model performed like champ and kept the foot comfy and dry.

Merrell shoes are known for their wide toe box for significant splay and the Bare Access series provide ample room so you can really feel the ground on your forefoot. As we said of the Bare Access 3, this is a great example of a minimalist shoe done correctly.

La Sportiva Crossover 2.0 GTXLa Sportiva Crossover 2.0 GTX

Men’s 370 g (13.1 oz.), Women’s 355 g (12.6 oz.)
Drop: 10 mm, $165

The Crossover is designed for extreme winter conditions. This update includes a thoughtful reworking of the gaiter, which is now more flexible and allows for easier access to the underlying lacing system. Our testers said that this adjustment makes for a much more comfortable and customized fit.

For a beast of a shoe, the Crossover feels surprisingly light. This is due to the very lightweight upper, that still incorporates Gore-Tex, and the light plastic and polymer midsole. The outsole has a good lug tread and a flexible forefoot, which is necessary in such an enveloping shoe. The ankle cupping and high collar are very supportive. You won’t twist your ankle while beating through the snow and ice in the Crossover 2.0 GTX.

Adidas Energy Boost ATRAdidas Energy Boost ATR

Men’s: 318 g (11.2 oz.), Women’s 261 g (9.2 oz.)
Drop: 10 mm, $160

Adidas continue to revamp their entire running shoe line-up with their Boost midsole technology. This new take on the recently released Energy Boost is an everyday neutral trainer with a waterproof upper. This is strictly a road shoe and many runners will like that it is not weighted down by extraneous protective bulk.

Fans of Adidas’s neutral shoes will enjoy its almost bouncy, responsive ride. The Boost technology does indeed almost feel like it’s popping you off the ground after impact. The waterproof membrane keeps most fluid and debris out, although this shoe doesn’t provide any extra warmth. For runners who are looking for an improved winter experience with a straightforward neutral trainer.

Helly Hansen Fryatt Low HTHelly Hansen Fryatt Low HT

Men’s 335 g (11.8 oz.), Women’s 286 g (10 oz.)
Drop: 8.5 mm, $130

Helly Hansen has come on the scene with a series of strong training shoes in the last couple of years. The Fryatt Low HT is an entirely waterproof and rugged shoe that will work well for a winter commute. This is a hybrid shoe, meaning that it will also work well on the trail as an active hiker. Our testers enjoyed its ability to cut through rough conditions while keeping the foot dry and warm.

The sturdy overlays will keep this shoe in business for a long time, but it does add bulk. Because the Fryatt Low HT is a hybrid, it has a firm midsole. The outsole features tightly packed nodules for excellent traction. A versatile multipurpose winter or trail trainer.

Asics GEL-Fuji Sensor 3 GTXAsics GEL-Fuji Sensor 3 GTX

Men’s 363 g (12.8 oz.), Women’s 309 g (10.9 oz.)
Drop: 10 mm, $190

This update improves upon the grip and ride of the Fuji Sensor. The new outsole has a slightly more aggressive pattern as to improve traction, particularly going uphill. This also pays off in greasy, snowy conditions.

The full Gore-Tex upper is completely waterproof but also one of the lightest, most breathable of the models we tested. Asics has improved the midsole, softening the top layer to counter the firm, responsive ride. Asics’s patented gel pod in the heel also helps cushion the blow for heelstrikers. The Fuji Sensor is an aggressive, nimble shoe with a nice balance of waterproofing and lightweight materials that make it an attractive option for winter tempo runs.

Skechers GoRun Extreme

Skechers GoRun Extreme

Men’s: 258 g (9.1 oz.) Women’s: 201 g (7.1 oz.)
Drop: 4 mm, $120

This is the winterized version of Skechers’ maximalist mileage trail runner. The chunky 40 mm midsole at the heel of the Extreme makes for a very plush ride. It’s very purposely a big shoe, but, like its sibling the Ultra, the Extreme is impressively light, thanks to Skechers’ Resalyte midsole technology, which provides among the softest rides of any shoe on the market.

The Extreme has opted to go with Skechers’ own approach to waterproofing and the result is decent, although less breathable than Gore-Tex. That said, in winter and with the water kept out of this shoe, it certainly will perform well under extreme conditions.

New Balance 910 GTXNew Balance 910 GTX

Men’s 292 g (10.3 oz.), Women’s 257 g (9.1 oz.)
Drop: 8 mm, $160

With the 910 GTX, New Balance has added Gore-Tex to their great cushioned trail shoe for training in slippery conditions. New Balance uses their RevLite foam midsole instead of the new Fresh Foam, but the older technology still does the job admirably. The outsole consists of a series of small aggressive lugs that bite reassuringly into any softer surface but avoid feeling slow on harder paved terrain.

The Gore-Tex upper is a welcomed addition to this big performer. New Balance have added an impassable connected tongue so that debris will not get in and your feet will stay dry. The pillowy heel collar holds you in place comfortably, so you don’t have to worry about twisting an ankle on a slippery surface. A solid all-around neutral winter trainer.

Salomon Speedcross 3 GTXSalomon Speedcross 3 GTX

Unisex 340 g (12 oz.)
Drop: 11 mm, $155

The Speedcross states its identity right on the tongue: “racing product.” Although this trail shoe is a touch too weighty for the fastest single-track races, the fair-weather conditions version has been a great trail companion, with a very aggressive tread designed for quick moving feet.

The Gore-Tex version of the Speedcross maintains the feel of this model, but adds waterproofing from the harsh elements. The outsole lugs do strong work in the snow and where the upper gets bogged down from moisture in the normal version, the Gore-Tex fabric on this model does its job nicely. We also liked the Quicklace system, as retying old school laces in the dead of winter can negatively affect your run. The GTX may be an even more functional version of the Speedcross, making this a strong winter option.

The North Face Ultra TR GTXThe North Face Ultra TR GTX

Men’s 289 g (10.2 oz.), Women’s 241 g (8.5 oz.)
Drop: 8 mm, $150

The Ultra Trail is a go-to shoe for many experienced trail runners. This winterized version incorporates a full Gore-Tex liner, ensuring complete water, snow and slush protection. Because the Ultra Guide was initially designed for navigating gnarly single-track trails, it has excellent traction in slippery snow conditions. This is thanks to the tightly packed hexagonal Vibram outsole pattern.

The 8 mm drop works nicely with this neutrally structured shoe. The TR GTX feels low to the ground, which is great for fast maneuvering in poor conditions. Like the iconic outdoor brand’s other footwear offerings, the Ultra TR GTX is very firm and responsive.

Saucony Xodus 5.0 GTXSaucony Xodus 5.0 GTX

Men’s 303 g (10.7 oz.), Women’s 289 g (10.2 oz.)
Drop: 4 mm, $150

Built with a full Gore-Tex upper, comfy inner liner and aggressive Vibram outsole, the Xodus 5.0 GTX is the perfect beast for really rough cold weather conditions. This is the winterized edition of the popular trail shoe, retraining all of the previous Xodus hallmarks.

It’s a 4 mm drop neutral shoe with some stability, ensuring a quick, confident ride when conditions become treacherous. Saucony decks out the Xodus with a thorough Gore-Tex liner, right up to the gusseted tongue. The Xodus is one tough shoe, and thus it is on the heavy side, but it will withstand anything this winter could throw at it.