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A Closer Look – Hybrid Running Shoes Reviewed

Hybrid running shoes are a combination of a trail and road shoe. Here at Accelerate it is a type of running shoe we are often asked for and here we take a look at some of our favourites, plus a couple of newcomers that have recently arrived in store, so here’s what we reckon.

As to the difference, if you are a little uncertain, then may I suggest you take a look at our previous blog ‘What Makes a Trail to Road Shoe?’ Here >>

So let’s get cracking and see what’s-what within this selection of shoes.  Tried, Tested and Abused by Stu and Harvey.

Best Newcomers

Both the Mizuno Wave Daichi 7 and the True Motion Nevos Elements are recent arrivals to the store. Both brands are predominately road biased and bring their favoured technologies to these excellent Door to Trail options. In both shoes, cushioning is exactly what you would expect from a road brand. Plush yet responsive.
With both the Diachi and the Nevos-Elements, uppers are woven and provide plenty of comfort. Both shoes are excellent at shedding muck and dirt from the upper. Again, all be it with differences, both shoes look to keep the heel stabilised and to hold the foot securely onto the platform.
Grip wise the Daichi is probably the best of the two for heading onto trails away from the city. The Nevos Elements, however, will feel right at home along the banks of your local canal and along  paths through woodland and parkland.

Both offer, something slightly different, yet they really epitomise the benefits of a hybrid shoe.

Mizuno Wave Daichi 7 £120  Men’s >>  Women’s >>
True Motion Elements £140  Men’s >>  Women’s >>

Best Value

Hoka One One Torrent
Primarily designed for trail use, we however feel this is another shoe that crosses the bridge between road and trail extremely well.  Light enough for faster paced running yet has more than enough on offer for everyday use. A studded out-sole provides great grip on trails whilst having enough surface area for hard packed surfaces and pavement.  Cushioning levels are high whilst retaining a responsive feel.  It’s a great value all rounder.
We really love the fact the upper of this shoe is made from recycled materials.

Currently available for £100 instore, a Saving of £10.

Hoka One One Torrent £100  Men’s >>  Women’s >>

Established Favourites

The Scott Kinabalu Ultra RC 2.0
This is a very definite favourite here at Accelerate. This shoe has so much going for it and now in its second iteration is proving even more popular. Lightweight, well cushioned and traction that works across a variety of terrain. The upper is constructed of an engineered breathable mesh that just hugs the foot.
We have found the Kinabalu Ultra RC to be the most versatile of the shoes in this category and exceeds its original design brief of ‘suitable for man made trails’. Low and high level, hard packed to softer ground, dry and in the wet we feel this shoe just delivers. In fact this shoe was designed with Ultra’s in mind and we reckon that it is just the ticket.

Scott Kinabalu Ultra RC 2.0 £150 Men’s >>  Women’s >>

Saucony Canyon TR2
Another favourite here is the Canyon TR2 as it offers great value for both road and heading out onto to more challenging trails.  A full PWRRUN mid-sole ensure long lasting cushioning and boasts the addition of a flexible and protective rock plate. The upper will help keep out debris and provide a comfy secure fit. Breath-ability is high on the list of benefits of this upper.
We reckon the Canyon TR offers great value and a good bet for a long life everyday shoe.

Saucony Canyon TR2 £120  Men’s >>  Women’s >>

Best Hybrid Shoe Designed for Ultra’s

Dynafit Ultra 100
Yes, OK, this shoe was primarily designed for a multitude of different trail surfaces. Yet, it was soon realised that longer pavement sections were covered with ease due to fact this shoe was built for maximum cushioning and protection – something that was well liked. In addition the platform is extremely stable and the shoes really endeavours to get you locked into this. A higher than average shoe volume coupled with a breathable upper provides a comfortable fit for those looking for a little more.
The Pomoco out-sole is an excellent option for multi terrain use, coping well with the steeper slopes of the higher mountain trails.

Dynafit Ultra £135  Men’s >>  Women’s >>

Wider Fitting Option

Inov-8 Trail Talon
A higher than usual foot volume has found this shoe a firm following. Lightweight, breathable mesh upper creates a secure fit through the mid foot. An integrated tongue helps to keep debris out of the shoe. Grip is what you would expect from a trail specialist and is definitely good for pavement to more technical trail.  Cushioning, although not the best in test, is still up there and provides good protection and stability.

Inov-8 Trail Talon £130  Men’s >>  Women’s >>

My Favourite..?  Best in Test…

If you said to me (Stuart) I could only wear one shoe this summer, and that’s it, then I know which I would choose.  It’s one I have tested and have since moved onto my second pair.  Enough cushioning for road and hard packed; stable enough at higher altitudes and quite simply responsive and nimble then it would have to be the Scott Kinabalu RC 2.0. They last well, comfort is excellent and volume is above average. The grip just keeps on surprising, in dry and when it has rained. Yet, the biggest surprise for me is a high level of unexpected cushioning.  For me the Kinabalu Ultra RC just work. Harvey, also found this shoe to be his favourite, with the True Motion Nevos-Elements the surprise of the bunch.

I wonder what your favourite will be?

Article compiled by Stuart following testing from Stu and Harvey.

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