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Getting Your Kicks:
New Adventure Shoes for Your Busy Feet

By Mark Ruscin

If your workout week is as varied as it is exhausting, you probably have more shoes than Geppetto in your gear box. You can’t sacrifice performance by wearing the same pair of shoes for all the activities you do. Or can you? Several new shoes built with multi-sport athletes in mind will hit the stores this spring. Here are a few must-have models for everything you do.

Adventure Racing Adventure Racing
Adidas ClimaCool Adventure

Jungle? Sure. Desert? No problem. Mountains? Yup. Rivers? You betcha. With the possible exception of pavement, there isn’t anything the ClimaCool Adventure can’t handle. The latest shoe built specifically for multi-day adventure races, it features a mix of adidas’ running shoe technology and a few functional innovations. It’s as soft and comfortable as a trail running shoe, but technical and protective enough to handle all of the obstacles your feet will find in a sprint or expedition adventure race. Most importantly, it drains and dries quickly — which might help keep “hamburger foot” or “jungle rot” at bay. Aside from being a bit over-designed (for example, the gray plastic “vent spoiler”), and slightly heavier than it could be, it still offers more function than flash. (800) 448-1796; www.adidas.com

Hiking/Peak Bagging Hiking/Peak Bagging
La Sportiva Monarch Crest, $95

If Spider-Man was an adventure athlete, this is the shoe he’d choose. The Monarch Crest’s sticky rubber outsole adheres to virtually every surface — even wet near-vertical slickrock. It was built to be a trail runner, but it works much better on rough and rugged terrain than smooth dirt trails. La Sportiva’s heritage in climbing shoes is evident in the fit, protection and durability of the Monarch Crest. It can work as an all-around shoe, but it’s really in its element as a fast-and-light peak-bagging specialist. (303) 443-8710; www.sportiva.com

Trail Running/adventure racing Trail Running/adventure racing
Salomon XA Series, $100

Despite advancements in trail shoes in recent years, there haven’t been many models built to run fast — at least not mach schnell fast. The XA Series, the latest innovative design from the creative thinkers at Salomon, is ideal for tearing it up in a trail 5k, or in the running leg of an off-road triathlon. Sure, it looks like a shoe for a clown, but it offers as much crossover function as it does circus fashion. It’s super light and agile, but also offers plenty of protection from push-through stingers and head-on obstacles. The XA Series is a very, very breathable shoe — to the extent that your toes might get chilly on cool days — as well as quick-drying. It’s also fast, nimble and versatile enough for sprint adventure racing. (800) 654-2668; www.salomonsports.com

Water Sports Water Sports
Nike ACG Air Riverspike, $65

Picture this: you’re in the middle of a multi-sport training day, one with paddling, trail running and rappelling. So why are you sitting on your butt? Because you’re changing shoes each time you switch gears. The Air Riverspike is a versatile shoe built for those kinds of workouts. It’s a true multi-tasker that excels as a water shoe, but doesn’t sacrifice much as a short-distance trail runner, light hiker or scrambling/climbing shoe. It’s a featherweight sneak that drains and dries quickly while also offering excellent traction underfoot. It’s not as stable as most trail runners and isn’t ideal for long-distance trail running or technical climbing, but it holds its own as a do-everything shoe. (800) 344-6453; www.nike.com/acg

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