Trail Runners Tough Enough for the Street

The Blurs feature a supple, well-cushioned bottom package for an exceptional feel for the trail.<br>  <strong>Photo courtesy of Vasque.</strong>

I'm not a competitive runner. But I run a few times a week for exercise and also to enjoy the outdoors. Variety is important for my workouts and runs. So one day I'll go for a run on the beach, one day my route will be around my neighborhood, and recently I've been trying to get to the mountains for some good trail runs.

A couple of months ago, I decided it was time for me to find a pair of trail-running shoes suitable for the variety of places and surfaces I cover.  And since I travel a lot and like to pack light, I wanted one pair of running shoes for every occasion: enter the convenience of versatility once again.

And so began my search for a pair of trail-running shoes. I wanted them to be lightweight, yet durable, so I could continue to run on roads with them. Before I even got to the store, Vasque asked me if I wanted to try out their new Blur model. How convenient.

Putting the Blurs to the Test

For their first outing, I took my new shoes to some trails along the cliffs near my house. This was risky because I didn't break them in first, and with every other running shoe I have had, my sensitive feet have taken a while to get used to them. But the Blurs treated me well and I finished my workout--four miles on a rocky, dirt trail with a variety of inclines--without any hint of a blister or cut.

Then I took them out to the mountains for a weekend of hiking and a couple of short runs. Again, I finished up the weekend without any wounds and handled myself well on the steep declines. And since I can be pretty clumsy, the traction really impressed me.

Over the past month or so, I've taken my new kicks out in the heat of summer for my afternoon runs and have had no complaints. They are even equipped with an outer-layer of mesh for first-rate ventilation--helpful in the summertime.

My favorite feature of the Blur is their ability to handle steep inclines and declines without slowing me down because of their impressive traction and cushion systems. They are built for short, fast mountain runs but are still lightweight and comfortable for when I want to run on the streets.

The shoes are designed to last. They came with testimonials from accomplished athletes and mountaineers raving about how the Blurs can take a beating through harsh weather, wear and tear, and rugged conditions. I can't vouch for this. I've only had mine for about six weeks. But they're holding up like champs so far. They are made of Vasque's top-notch outsole, midsole and insole technology, so their construction is impressive. And the team who tested them said "they held up well in the mountains after heavy use time after time." That's good enough for me.

Not to mention, they look pretty cool. Mine are slate blue. If they came in red, I would give them an extra point. I can't seem to find any running shoes with the specs I'm looking for that come in red. But then again comfort and stability are more important than style when you're on the trails--and the Vasque Blur wins here.


You can pick up a pair of Blurs for $90. For more information, visit www.vasque.com .

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