I refuse to run unless I’m in the woods. Treadmills are painfully boring, and the thought of having to dodge cars and droves of people for cardio is unsettling. But the openness of trails provides an experience that’s equal parts serene and exhilarating.
Ahead of the twice-annual Outdoor Retailer expo, I decided to hit three Long Island, N.Y., parks in trail running sneakers from brands attending the event. And with the arrival of the Salt Lake City showcase, here’s my recount of how it felt to run in looks from Merrell, Salomon and Adidas Outdoor that are in stores and online now.
Merrell Agility Peak Flex (Men’s), $130; merrell.com
Merrell Agility Peak Flex (Women’s), $130; merrell.com
I’ve hit the trails in Merrell shoes before and particularly enjoyed running in its All Out Crush model. That style isn’t overly cushioned, which allowed me to feel roots and rocks when planting my feet. What surprised me about the Agility Peak Flex is that the cushioning is plush, way more cushioned than the All Out Crush, and yet your ability to feel the terrain isn’t sacrificed. Another plus to running in the Agility Peak Flex is its grip when running downhill. Significant portions of the Sunken Meadow State Park in