Blaze Your Trail

Asics Fuji Trainer 2 | BCBusiness

Roads are for cars. To really hit your natural high, slip on a pair of trail runners and head off-road

For such a basic activity as an accelerated walk in the woods, there sure are plenty of footwear options. It’s a good thing, too, because the last thing anyone with a need for hiking speed should do is assume they can hop down a root-gnarled precipice in tennis shoes designed for flat hardwood, or subject their knees to such terrain in heavy, unforgiving hikers.

But should you go with your slimmed-down approach shoes or—please say no—the minimalist sock thing with toes?

“We feel that a primary task is to provide protection for the foot from rocks, roots and similar obstacles,” says Ken Greenaway, manager at running store Forerunners, which has locations in Vancouver and on the North Shore ( He advises customers to consider lighter shoes with sufficient cushioning and points out that extras like waterproofing and complicated laces are not worth the added weight and stiffness, even in the rainforest. “Many trail shoes now provide water egress holes or slots to simply allow water to drain,” Greenaway says. BCBusiness tested his picks for the trails—each available in both men’s and women’s models.

ABOVE: The Asics Fuji Trainer 2 is lightweight with plenty of sole protection yet has a minimal feel. At 8 mm it has a lower heel-to-toe drop than most runners with such support. Still, the aggressive traction bites into unstable terrain while not weighing you down in the least ($130;

RIGHT: New Balance MT1210 is a cushioned, comfortable rig built for long runs with foot protection as priority ($150;

LEFT: The Saucony Peregrine 2 is a streamlined, minimalist option with a 4 mm drop that’s still tough enough to crank through the nastiest terrain ($130;

RIGHT: The Brooks Cascadia 8 is built for comfort and protection with a traditional trainer feel. The 10 mm drop and armour may seem bulky to some ($150;