As the snow melts (finally!), our thoughts turn to heading into the great outdoors – and all the great new stuff we’ll need to enjoy it. There's tons of gear coming out in the next few months and we’ve already run in, hiked with, rode on, drove in, listened to and played with most of it. In fact, our team of nearly two-dozen testers has been using (and abusing) all the new offerings to come up with this list of the very best stuff.
Contributors: Matt Berical, John Brandon, Berne Broudy, Ezra Dyer, Greg Emmanuel, Michael Frank, Tobey Grumet, Jason Heaton, James Martin, Dan Nelson, Seth Porges, Carl Rose, Doug Schnitzspahn, Josh Sens, Jeremy Spencer, Ryan Stuart, Erik Sofge, Basem Wasef
Mizuno Wave Ascend 8
Bucking the trend of barely there trail shoes, the Mizuno Wave Ascend 8 is a rugged kick for serious off-roaders. Our testers shredded trails in them, praising the traction provided by the shoe's unique X-shaped-lug-pattern on the outer sole. It's a bit chunkier than most similar runners at 11.4 ounces, but the increase in heft means athletes of almost any size will find the shoe an easy choice for off-road runs. [$110; mizunorunning.com]