Vasque Goes Big. Really Big.

Vasque Goes Big. Really Big.

Vasque Shape Shifter Ultra Trail Runner
Call it inevitable backlash of the minimalist running craze, but the footwear market is now getting invaded by maximalist, shoe-on-steroids designs like the Hoka One One. This summer, Vasque will enter the SUV shoe market with their Shapeshifter Ultra ($170). This burly shoe has a mere 6-mm heal-to-toe drop for a more natural, midfoot strike and a massive midsole designed to conform to every contour of the foot and all trail irregularities. Vasque says it uses 50 percent less cement, solvent, and chemical run-off in the Shape Shifter Ultra by bonding the upper directly to the midsole, reducing the need for stiff inner layers. For ultra junkies, and those struggling with injuries, it should provide some competition to the popular Hokas. For the rest of us, it will probably feel like running on a pair of overstuffed synthetic pillows. —Nathan Borchelt

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