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Tested: Tecnica X-Lite

tecnica-xlite-trail-running-shoeThe Claim: Tecnica says the X-Lite trail runner offers a superior cushioning system and better energy transfer due to the Tecnica Rolling System—a rockered outsole that promotes forward motion. 


The Test: I ran the X-Lite over Front Range trails all summer, testing the shoes on everything from level, gravel paths to twisty singletrack littered with large rocks and featuring steep elevation changes. 


The Verdict: The X-Lite offers a smooth stride on even, flat terrain. But that thick cushioning underfoot feels excessive on easy trails. Step up to more daunting terrain, though, and the X-Lite feels stable at speed, executing quick movements and maintaining stability over obstacles. That stability comes from an EVA midsole underfoot that’s thicker than the market average. It’s the signature trait of the Tecnica Rolling System. On the descent, multidirectional lugs stick to unsteady rocks and slippery roots, and that chubby platform swallows harsh impacts. The quick lace system is finicky, but once in place the laces don’t budge. And the breathable mesh upper keeps feet happy in temps above 80 degrees. My take on TRS? Striking with the forefoot or midfoot feels easier, even moving uphill on tired legs. $110; tecnicausa.com —Olivia Dwyer

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