When running on the road becomes a boring and unchallenging chore, liven up your legs with a turn toward the well-worn trails that are sure to surround you—no matter your location.
Hitting the trail—leaping logs, dodging roots, and bounding over boulders—is a great way to strengthen your legs, increase balance and body awareness, boost agility, and gain more power and quickness across multiple movements. In fact, a mere one-inch variability in terrain can increase calorie burn by 5%—and running on uneven ground specifically targets thigh strength, according to a recent study from the University of Michigan.
But before you jump on a woodsy path, make sure you’ve got a pair of the best, and latest, supportive and lugged kicks to keep you scrambling with confidence and sticking those muddy landings. Here, I’ve rounded up our favorite trail running shoes of spring 2017. Some are the best in the business. Others are newcomers. All are guaranteed to bring your road-weary legs some new adventures and greater challenges.