The North Face Sawtooth Ridge
With this sleek, sturdy trail runner, The North Face's first effort on the footwear front, the company hits the ground at a good gallop. With its climbing-shoe-inspired last, the Sawtooth Ridge fit me like it was painted on (wide-footed people might find this a drawback). On rocky, root-clogged terrain, the sole's ruggedess helped me stay balanced, and its knobbiness kept me sure-footed on the slick stuff.
$95/The North Face/800-362-4963/ www.thenorthface.com