A continuation of our 2018-2019 Winter Shoe Guide part 1, here are our recommendations for shoes that can handle everything a Canadian winter can throw at a runner. 

North Face Endurance TR 

Photo: Matt Stetson.

       

Men’s: 317g (11.2oz)
Women’s: 273g (9.6 oz)
Drop: 8mm
$170

The Endurance TR is an excellent addition to the trail-running world for a wide range of athletes. The shoe provides fantastic cushioning via its dual-density XtraFoam midsole, for high-performance traction and excellent stability on almost any terrain. The seamless welded-suede upper and TPU toe cap ensure a protective and snug fit as well. In terms of colourways, the Endurance TR stands out with a variety of options. For men: red with black accents, black with white accents, and blue with yellow accents. The women’s shoe comes in black with pink accents and red with orange accents. All in all: a great all-around endurance offering from North Face. 

Brooks Ghost 11 GTX

Photo: Matt Stetson.

Men’s: 334.5g (11.8 oz)
Women’s: 294.8g (10.4 oz)
Drop: 12 mm
$175

Brooks bills this 11th iteration of the popular Ghost GTX series as “the smoothest ride possible,” and right out of the box, they also claim. After testing the shoe, we tend to agree that it’s one of the more comfortable rides on offer this season, due to its ample cushioning in the heel and midsole, as well as a durable segmented outsole for wet or icy runs, aiding in a gentle foot strike. We suspect most runners will enjoy their colour scheme as well – men’s come in black, orange and ebony; women’s in black, pink and ebony. Personally, we really like the bright-on-dark look for both sexes. Finally, the Ghost 11 also comes with a Gore-Tex membrane to keep your feet comfortable and dry. 

UA HOVR ColdGear Reactor 

Photo: Matt Stetson.

Men’s: 331g (11.7 oz)
Women’s: 264g (9.3 oz)
Drop: 8 mm
$140

The ColdGear Reactor is essentially the same shoe as its big brother, the UA HOVR ColdGear Reactor Mid, without the ankle collar which makes the shoe a little less protective and warm, but a somewhat more breathable and comfortable option. It’s also a shoe that’s easy on the eye in sleek, honeycomb-pattern. 

Columbia Mountain Masochist IV Outdry

Photo: Matt Stetson.

Men’s: 315g (11.1 oz)
Drop: 8 mm
$200

Masochists need not only apply why it comes to this impressive shoe from Columbia. Originally a performance trail shoe, the company has adapted the Mountain Masochist for winter weather, with a waterproof, breathable upper and soft-fleece lining for warmth and the FluidFoam midsole for ample cushioning. Further, the outsole contains Columbia’s proprietary Full-Length Gryptonite and TrailShield technology for enhanced traction and durability. If you haven’t gathered by now, this is one of the more impressive winter-ready running shoes on the market, and if you’re serious about your cold-weather running game, we highly recommend the Masochist. 

Saucony Peregrine 8 ICE+

Photo: Matt Stetson.

Men’s: 295g (10.4 oz)
Women’s: 266g (9.4 oz)
Drop: 4 mm
$189

The Peregrine 8 ICE+ is one tough shoe that should withstand the test of the trail and road running in wet and wintry conditions. The ICE+ comes with Vibram’s Arctic Grip outsole, providing strong traction on your hard runs throughout the worst that Canadian weather will throw at you, even on ice (hence the name). 

361 Degrees Santiago

Photo: Matt Stetson.

Men’s: 320g (11.3 oz)
Men’s drop: 9 mm
Women’s: 258g (9.1 oz)
Women’s drop: 8 mm
$209

Aggressively, yet compellingly, 361 markets the Santiago as “an all terrain assault vehicle.” While it’s hard for any shoe to live up to a description more benefiting of a tank, the Santiago is indeed one tough performance-focused trail offering. The upper is wrapped in breathable mesh and reinforced with a durable Polyurethane Exo-skeletal wrap through the upper’s middle. The outsole’s tire-lug pattern provides ample traction, while its durable rubber heel should stand the test of time and provide you with an exceptionally high mileage shoe. Be forewarned, the Santiago can feel somewhat stiff out of the box, but soon after you’ll be rewarded with a comfortable. stable and highly durable ride that’s built to last. 

Salomon Sense Ride GTX Invisible Fit 

Photo: Matt Stetson.

Men’s: 302g (10.6 oz)
Women’s: 250g (8.8 oz)
Drop: 8 mm
$190
Buy Women’s Buy Men’s

Salomon leads with comfort and a shoe constructed for a variety of conditions with the Sense Ride GTX Invisible Fit. The shoe comes with ample cushioning throughout the midsole combined with Salomon’s VIBE technology which mitigates vibrations through the foot upon impact with rock and roots along the trail. The Ride GTX Invisible Fit is also a well-protected shoe as a result of its Gore-Tex Invisible Fit technology, which comes woven into the upper so it feels more like mesh, and more comfortable. At 302g, it’s also on the lighter end of the trail shoe market, which you’ll especially appreciate over the long haul of endurance runs. 

INOV-8 X-Talon 260 Ultra 

Photo: Matt Stetson.

Men’s: 260g (9.17 oz)
Women’s: 260g (9.17 oz)
Drop: 8 mm
$230-260

Inov-8 improves upon its predecessor in the X-CLAW 275, with a shoe that’ll withstand most any terrain and conditions you throw at it. Designed for endurance athletes, the Ultra 260’s Sticky Grip outsole provides ample traction through slippery and technically challenging surface conditions, including 8 mm cleats that aid in preventing mud from clogging the outsole. Distance runners should also like the shoe’s new midsole technology, which Inov-8 reports will provide 10 per cent better shock absorption and 15 per cent improved energy return than standard midsoles. The toe box is also roomy enough to accommodate a variety of foot widths and swelling over longer runs. The shoe’s exceptional traction and comfort comes as a slight cost, in that the shoe provides lightweight protection against objects such as tree roots and socks; a modest price to pay for this top-of-the-line distance shoe. 

 

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