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Top 12 Trail Shoes

Running Women's Running

Summer is the time when you can really enjoy every step of your trail run.Relax and lace up with these top trail shoe offerings.Merrell Momentous £110, merrell.com Tester: Claire These shoes are great for running moderate trails.Both protective and
'Summer is  the time when you can really enjoy every step of your trail run.Relax and lace up with these top trail shoe offerings.Merrell Momentous £110, merrell.com Tester:  Claire These shoes are great for running moderate trails.Both protective and durable, they’re ideal for those who want a more connected, fast experience.With features such as the Vibram megagrip, a Burrito tongue (which wraps the foot for a natural fit), a Hyperlock moulded heel counter for security, a TrailProtect rock plate (which protects feet from underfoot debris), and forefoot and heel cushioning pods, they ensure a comfortable ride.A knit upper and a breathable mesh allow great breathability.A comfortable, lightweight shoe.New Balance Summit QOM £100,  newbalance.com Tester:  Esther Ideal for both parkruns and longer expeditions, the QOMs give an initial hard ride, but a very supportive one – perfect for slippery and wet conditions, in which they perform brilliantly.The firm Toe Protect tip and Vibram sole make these ideal for a hike too.The lugs are fairly shallow, making them good for summer runs.If you normally go up half a size, do the same here – they were a perfect fit, adding to a very supportive feel.The hard ride eases off in use, and distance, and they look fantastic: perfect for that Insta post-run shot!Salomon Speedcross 5 £120, salomon.com Tester:  Katia The Speedcross 5 is the latest update to the iconic trail shoe.Gone is the overworked upper: now a soft stretch mesh enables the foot to move easily while providing an impressively tough outer.The Quicklace lacing system locks the laces in place, while Salomon say the mid-sole EnergyCell+ provides a springy step and that seems a fair claim.But what this shoe is known for is traction and this is reliably good: the deep lugs shed mud while the outer protects feet from rocks or roots.All in all, a great update to a superb shoe.Saucony Switchback ISO £120,  saucony.com Tester: Beccy This shoe has cushioning and toe protection but makes an ideal racing shoe, with a very responsive ride.The grip is effective yet subtle on firm surfaces.The drop is a low 4mm, adding to a natural, minimal feel and a dial lacing system means no more tying laces with fumbling, frozen fingers.This is a fabulous trail shoe ideal for those wanting a lightweight, nimble, flexible product.INOV-8 Roclite G 275 £130, inov-8.com Tester:  Geri The Roclite is the perfect all-terrain trail shoe.It’s lightweight and versatile, while graphene grip gives great traction on all types of surfaces.The toe box is roomy but cushioned, and a secure fit makes them very comfortable.They are fast, light and durable.If they’re good enough for Jasmin Paris to destroy the Spine Race record, they’re good enough for us.Definitely winners’ shoes!Salomon Sense Ride 2 £115, salomon.com Tester:  Tina These were so comfortable we went straight out and raced in them fresh from the box!They didn’t disappoint – there weren’t any hot spots.There’s excellent support around the heel, you’re getting enough cushioning to protect your foot and ankle, but they don’t feel heavy or clunky.The lugs aren’t large – making them a dream for summer trails.The Quicklace system means you can slip them on, pull and tuck your laces away.The North Face Women’s Ultra Endurance II GTX £125, thenorthface.co.uk Tester:  Caroline These shoes are a beast of a ride, packed full of features.Fully waterproof, the Gore-Tex membrane protects your foot from the wet weather and puddles while the Vibram Megagrip outsole ensures stability across all terrains.Importantly, comfort isn’t compromised, thanks to the OrthoLite sole.The orange laces and sole are an attractive addition to the otherwise sturdy appearance.Dynafit Feline Up Pro £160,  dynafit.com Tester:  Geri This is a such a versatile shoe.Lightweight with a 4mm drop, the shoe features a quick-lace system which allows it to sit nicely around the foot.It has a perfect fit.This is a shoe which wants to run fast and it’s so comfortable you want to push harder on the trails.It’s a neutral shoe, though intended for people with narrow feet, designed to tackle mud, soft ground and snow.It’s a precise and reactive shoe and we loved it! 361 Taroko £109.99, store.361europe.com Tester:  Katia These are lightweight road-to-trail shoes with a breathable and soft knitted upper mesh that helps feet stay cool.The upper dries quickly and the mesh provides a secure and comfortable fit.The laces stay tied and the midsole has great responsiveness.They’re not as bouncy as other shoes but you have the ability to feel the ground.The rubber outsole is flexible straight out of the box but lacks toe protection, and we suggest sizing up.INOV-8 Parkclaw 275 £125, inov-8.com Tester:  Tina Another inov-8 model that works hard on the trails and transitions well to the road.Not as hardcore as the Roclite, the Parkclaw studs are small enough to feel smooth on a path or road.It’s going to perform brilliantly for parkruns or grass work, where you don’t need a heavy grip.On the move the heel counter feels soft on the inside yet sturdy, there’s a little bit of wriggle room in the toebox and they feel both light, soft in the upper and responsive.The grey and coral colourway is very fetching, too.La Sportiva Bushido II £130, lasportiva.com Tester:  Geri This is a brilliant, versatile, lightweight trail shoe.It comes in fun colours and is perfectly designed for different types of terrain, due to its stability.The foot stays in place as it has a high level of support.It has an impact brake system which provides traction while climbing and going down paths.It’s also responsive, stable and comfortable.The kind of shoe you can take on your daily training runs or for long distance running.Hoka Evo Mafate 2 £160, hokaoneone.eu Tester:  Caroline Available from 1 July, the updated Evo Mafate is full of substance and style.The vibrant orange and black colourway strikingly extends to the outsole which has the impressive 5mm Vibram Megagrip lugs to keep your feet steady over the toughest terrain.The upper has been revamped to accommodate greater flexibility in the forefoot using Hoka’s Matryx fabric upper, which delivers exceptional stability, protection and water drainage.They score highly on comfort too.Prices are RRP and correct at time of print for Women’s Running Issue 115 July 2019.How we test: All our kit is tested by real runners.Our reviews team is a group of passionate women with diverse running experiences, from dedicated marathon runners to happy plodders.We wear the clothes, run in the shoes and use the tech on our usual runs to see if they go the distance.We then give each piece of kit our star rating.Looking for a pair of technical shoes instead?Check out our top picks. . The post Top 12 Trail Shoes appeared first on Women's Running .'

Top 12 Trail Shoes

Running Women's Running

Summer is the time when you can really enjoy every step of your trail run.Relax and lace up with these top trail shoe offerings.Merrell Momentous £110, merrell.com Tester: Claire These shoes are great for running moderate trails.Both protective and
'Summer is  the time when you can really enjoy every step of your trail run.Relax and lace up with these top trail shoe offerings.Merrell Momentous £110, merrell.com Tester:  Claire These shoes are great for running moderate trails.Both protective and durable, they’re ideal for those who want a more connected, fast experience.With features such as the Vibram megagrip, a Burrito tongue (which wraps the foot for a natural fit), a Hyperlock moulded heel counter for security, a TrailProtect rock plate (which protects feet from underfoot debris), and forefoot and heel cushioning pods, they ensure a comfortable ride.A knit upper and a breathable mesh allow great breathability.A comfortable, lightweight shoe.New Balance Summit QOM £100,  newbalance.com Tester:  Esther Ideal for both parkruns and longer expeditions, the QOMs give an initial hard ride, but a very supportive one – perfect for slippery and wet conditions, in which they perform brilliantly.The firm Toe Protect tip and Vibram sole make these ideal for a hike too.The lugs are fairly shallow, making them good for summer runs.If you normally go up half a size, do the same here – they were a perfect fit, adding to a very supportive feel.The hard ride eases off in use, and distance, and they look fantastic: perfect for that Insta post-run shot!Salomon Speedcross 5 £120, salomon.com Tester:  Katia The Speedcross 5 is the latest update to the iconic trail shoe.Gone is the overworked upper: now a soft stretch mesh enables the foot to move easily while providing an impressively tough outer.The Quicklace lacing system locks the laces in place, while Salomon say the mid-sole EnergyCell+ provides a springy step and that seems a fair claim.But what this shoe is known for is traction and this is reliably good: the deep lugs shed mud while the outer protects feet from rocks or roots.All in all, a great update to a superb shoe.Saucony Switchback ISO £120,  saucony.com Tester: Beccy This shoe has cushioning and toe protection but makes an ideal racing shoe, with a very responsive ride.The grip is effective yet subtle on firm surfaces.The drop is a low 4mm, adding to a natural, minimal feel and a dial lacing system means no more tying laces with fumbling, frozen fingers.This is a fabulous trail shoe ideal for those wanting a lightweight, nimble, flexible product.INOV-8 Roclite G 275 £130, inov-8.com Tester:  Geri The Roclite is the perfect all-terrain trail shoe.It’s lightweight and versatile, while graphene grip gives great traction on all types of surfaces.The toe box is roomy but cushioned, and a secure fit makes them very comfortable.They are fast, light and durable.If they’re good enough for Jasmin Paris to destroy the Spine Race record, they’re good enough for us.Definitely winners’ shoes!Salomon Sense Ride 2 £115, salomon.com Tester:  Tina These were so comfortable we went straight out and raced in them fresh from the box!They didn’t disappoint – there weren’t any hot spots.There’s excellent support around the heel, you’re getting enough cushioning to protect your foot and ankle, but they don’t feel heavy or clunky.The lugs aren’t large – making them a dream for summer trails.The Quicklace system means you can slip them on, pull and tuck your laces away.The North Face Women’s Ultra Endurance II GTX £125, thenorthface.co.uk Tester:  Caroline These shoes are a beast of a ride, packed full of features.Fully waterproof, the Gore-Tex membrane protects your foot from the wet weather and puddles while the Vibram Megagrip outsole ensures stability across all terrains.Importantly, comfort isn’t compromised, thanks to the OrthoLite sole.The orange laces and sole are an attractive addition to the otherwise sturdy appearance.Dynafit Feline Up Pro £160,  dynafit.com Tester:  Geri This is a such a versatile shoe.Lightweight with a 4mm drop, the shoe features a quick-lace system which allows it to sit nicely around the foot.It has a perfect fit.This is a shoe which wants to run fast and it’s so comfortable you want to push harder on the trails.It’s a neutral shoe, though intended for people with narrow feet, designed to tackle mud, soft ground and snow.It’s a precise and reactive shoe and we loved it! 361 Taroko £109.99, store.361europe.com Tester:  Katia These are lightweight road-to-trail shoes with a breathable and soft knitted upper mesh that helps feet stay cool.The upper dries quickly and the mesh provides a secure and comfortable fit.The laces stay tied and the midsole has great responsiveness.They’re not as bouncy as other shoes but you have the ability to feel the ground.The rubber outsole is flexible straight out of the box but lacks toe protection, and we suggest sizing up.INOV-8 Parkclaw 275 £125, inov-8.com Tester:  Tina Another inov-8 model that works hard on the trails and transitions well to the road.Not as hardcore as the Roclite, the Parkclaw studs are small enough to feel smooth on a path or road.It’s going to perform brilliantly for parkruns or grass work, where you don’t need a heavy grip.On the move the heel counter feels soft on the inside yet sturdy, there’s a little bit of wriggle room in the toebox and they feel both light, soft in the upper and responsive.The grey and coral colourway is very fetching, too.La Sportiva Bushido II £130, lasportiva.com Tester:  Geri This is a brilliant, versatile, lightweight trail shoe.It comes in fun colours and is perfectly designed for different types of terrain, due to its stability.The foot stays in place as it has a high level of support.It has an impact brake system which provides traction while climbing and going down paths.It’s also responsive, stable and comfortable.The kind of shoe you can take on your daily training runs or for long distance running.Hoka Evo Mafate 2 £160, hokaoneone.eu Tester:  Caroline Available from 1 July, the updated Evo Mafate is full of substance and style.The vibrant orange and black colourway strikingly extends to the outsole which has the impressive 5mm Vibram Megagrip lugs to keep your feet steady over the toughest terrain.The upper has been revamped to accommodate greater flexibility in the forefoot using Hoka’s Matryx fabric upper, which delivers exceptional stability, protection and water drainage.They score highly on comfort too.Prices are RRP and correct at time of print for Women’s Running Issue 115 July 2019.How we test: All our kit is tested by real runners.Our reviews team is a group of passionate women with diverse running experiences, from dedicated marathon runners to happy plodders.We wear the clothes, run in the shoes and use the tech on our usual runs to see if they go the distance.We then give each piece of kit our star rating.Looking for a pair of technical shoes instead?Check out our top picks. . The post Top 12 Trail Shoes appeared first on Women's Running .'

A converted Victorian bathhouse that brings all the fun of the fair to a wonderfully bonkers seaside home

Running Country Life

Have you ever dreamt of running away to the circus but were reluctant to leave the comfort of your own home? Now you can have both, thanks to a stunningly quirky property off the South-East coast of England. Have you ever dreamt of running away
'Have you ever dreamt of running away to the circus but were reluctant to leave the comfort of your own home? Now you can have both, thanks to a stunningly quirky property off the South-East coast of England. What do you think of when you picture your dream home in your mind? High ceilings, lots of space and a prime location? Maybe on days when you’re feeling whimsical you imagine living in a converted church with stain-glass windows, or in a house with its own home gym and spa facilities. Whatever your fantasy, it’s a safe bet that you never pictured living in a converted Victorian Turkish bathhouse with a bowling alley in the kitchen, a cinema room with a wall-length sofa and a healthy dash of carnival decor. Luckily for us, one person did, and that is why The Bath House in St. Leonards-On-Sea is currently on the market through Platform Property at a guide price of £1.5 million . Surprisingly for a house which has lived so many lives (from the Victorian bathhouse which gave it its name, to a school swimming house and a glass factory), there is nothing to suggest that The Bath House does not have all of the attributes one looks for in a four-bedroom family home. An open-plan living room and kitchen open out from the main hall through a lively corridor, with a plethora of natural wood and high ceilings, benefiting from several skylights. Space is ample, divided into seperate areas for cooking and relaxing, with a large dining table sitting under a mezzanine floor in the middle of the room. The fun parts come next; a full-length functioning bowling lane runs along the side of the social space, with arcade games surrounding the office space dotted throughout the room. The kitchem is, in a word, wonderful – driftwood cupboards blend (we won’t say seamlessly) with a diner-like set of lockers and polished concrete worktops. The mezzanine floor is another world, sitting calmly above the organised chaos and decorated in neutral tones, a place to sit, read and listen to the pins tumbling down below. Also on the ground floor are two of the bedrooms, sitting either side of the entrance hall and accompanied by a bathroom and a shower room. The exposed brick, wooden floorboards and the bathroom tiles reminiscent of Spain are absolutely charming – it’s safe to say that the cross motif and burlesque signs are a matter of taste. The master bedroom sits above the rest of the house, with a bath tub next to the bed , a beautiful stained-glass door leading to the landing and views of the seaside from the many windows. A stone’s throw from the sea, the property is ideally located to access the many bars, restaurants and galleries which the St Leonard’s seafront have to offer. Less than half a mile away is the mainline station which leads into London Charing Cross and London Bridge, and across the road the St Leonard’s gardens provide a green haven away from all the excitement, should the new owner need it. So, what would you do? Strip it back to it’s wooden floorboards and Victorian brick and start over, or maintain one of the most unique houses we’ve seen here at Country Life this (or any) year? The option lies with the next owner of The Bath House. Of course, they may decide, as others have before, to compeltely change the purpose of the building once more. Is St. Leonards-On-Sea in need of a new tea house? The Bath House is on the market with Platform Property for £1.5 million. For more more information and images, click here.  \t \t\t \t \t\t\t \t\t\tFour poster bed and bathtub in the bedroom – lovely for a decadent long weekend, but would you want it in your house? \t\t\tCredit: Foxhill Manor\t\t \t Bathtub in the bedroom: Should you try it at home? Arabella Youens examines the growing trend for baths in bedrooms. \t \t\t \t \t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\tCredit: Cathpole & Rye \t\t \t The joys of a shower which offers a touch of luxury and theatre on a daily basis A beautiful bathtub is a splendid feature for any bathroom, but given how often you use the shower it makes \t \t\t \t \t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\tCredit: Strutt & Parker\t\t \t Five country homes with breathtaking sea views, from the top of Scotland all the way to South Cornwall Stretching from the top of Scotland right down to the tip of Cornwall, these wonderful properties boast some of the \t \t\t \t \t\t\t \t\t\t\t\t\tCredit: Redding Farm Steading (Galbraith)\t\t \t Feeling brave? Six beautiful fixer-uppers with extraordinary potential A serious amount of work will be needed on any of these places – but it'll all be worth it in \t \t\t \t \t\t\t \t\t\t'Sphinx' on Pharaoh Island\t\t\tCredit: Jackson-Stops\t\t \t The first house built on the island given to Lord Nelson after the Battle of the Nile, with a heated swimming pool and a 90ft mooring Sphinx, one house of a small community built on Pharoah's Island, is set on half an acre of land and'

Group Test: Backpacks

Running Women's Running

For run-commutes, longer runs and ultra races, a good backpack for our gear that doesn’t shift while we do is essential.IAMRUNBOX Backpack Pro £137.99, iamrunbox.com Tester: Caroline While the price means it’s an investment piece, for run-commuting
'For run-commutes, longer runs and ultra races, a good backpack for our gear that doesn’t shift while we do is essential.IAMRUNBOX Backpack Pro £137.99, iamrunbox.com Tester: Caroline While the price means it’s an investment piece, for run-commuting the Backpack Pro is spot on.It’s a solid case designed to carry clothes and laptop while you beat the traffic on foot.Surprisingly lightweight, there’s no bounce, largely due to the padded straps and close fit.It’s water resistant and there are some inspired touches, noticeably a folding assistant card to help clothes stay fresh.TNF Flight Race MT 7 £100, thenorthface.co.uk Tester:  Tina The front of this pack gives it the edge; it feels very secure across your chest, and the nozzles of the two soft flasks angle inwards cleverly so it’s very easy to drink from them – they don’t wave around.The padding makes it very comfortable, even on long hilly runs, and there’s ample stash room plus stretchy loops for more kit.The pack stretches with you so it’s excellent for comfort, too.Ultimate Performance Tarn 1.5 Hydration Pack £31.99,  runnersneed.com Tester:  Geri This lightweight hydration pack has a decent-size pocket for keys, money and food.The pack has fully adjustable chest, shoulder and waist fastening straps to ensure comfort and no bounce.A breathable air mesh allows air flow to assist with body temperature regulation.It’s great value.Proviz Reflect360 Running Backpack £59.99, provizsports.com Tester: Beccy Made with exceptionally reflective material, you won’t worry about being seen wearing this!Light yet spacious, it’s designed to keep weight off your back and it feels very supportive.Zip pockets on the waist strap allow easy and accessible storage.Gregory Maya 10 £65, eu.gregorypacks.com Tester: Susan Lightweight and functional, this pack has a multitude of storage options plus room for a hydration bladder.It has a front zippered pocket, stretch-mesh side pockets and a zipped interior pocket.The fit is snug, with no moving parts and a good suspension system for rough terrain.Salomon Adv Skin 8 Set £115, salomon.com Tester:  Tina It’s hard to fault this female-designed vest for comfort and fit – it’s shaped to eliminate pressure on your boobs.Long nozzles on the two included soft flasks mean you can drink on the go without rummaging around for your bottles.Storage is bountiful and it’s incredibly lightweight.Montane Via Gecko Vest £70, montane.co.uk Tester:  Louise Weighing only 200gm, you hardly notice you are wearing this vest.Easy to get on and off, it has three-point stretch harness straps, with adjustable hooks and multiple attachments points.It has plenty of pockets, which are very easy to reach, with a larger one at the back big enough to carry a light waterproof.It also has an underarm pole attachment.Comfortable and stretchy, this will take you for miles when you’re out on long runs.RonHill Pioneer 8L £80, ronhill.com Tester:  Susan A premium vest that is so lightweight, you really won’t notice you are wearing it.It’s compatible with a hydration system and has plentiful pockets and storage.The stretch webbing and panels, when combined with two elasticated, adjustable sternum chest straps, mean you can get the perfect fit.It also has two stretch mesh pockets with an adjustable draw-cord closure to fit bottles in.Also easy to get on and off.INOV-8 All Terrain 15 £55, runnersneed.com Tester: Geri This is a very lightweight backpack designed for running or long hikes and it’s easy to use on the move.Access is simple through the roll-top closure and it handily compresses down in size for lighter capacity.The backpack length can be adjusted for better fit and comfort, and it has handy pockets for your essentials so there’s no need to rummage through the main bag.This is the perfect bag for trail running and it looks great too.CamelBak Women’s Ultra Pro Vest £99, upandrunning.co.uk Tester:  Louise Very light (only 150g), this running vest has stretch overflow pockets and a secure section for your phone – you aren’t short of storage with this practical option.With two collapsible quick- stow 1.5L bottles for water, it’s perfect for hotter months.It also has trekking pole attachments and reflectivity strips on the back.In a striking shade of aqua it looks fashionable, too.ASICS Running Backpack £40, asics.com Tester:  Esther This comfortable, waterproof backpack is great for mid-length runs, with handy pockets on the front of the straps for gels and bars, a zipped section at the back for your bits and pieces, as well as a Velcro pocket to stuff in a water pouch.It has a super-handy kangaroo pouch in the lower back for items you need to get to quickly.However, the chest strap, although comfortable, doesn’t pull tight enough to prevent movement while running.OMM Ultra 15 £65,  runnersneed.com Tester:  Caroline This is an exceptional running backpack.It looks deceptively simple, but it has an array of hidden features from the built-in whistle on the chest strap, to the numerous pockets, both zipped and elasticated, that are perfect for phone, keys and gels.The outer shell is reflective for good visibility on night runs.It is hydration ‘bladder pack’ compatible too, with loops for the drinking tube either over or under the shoulder.Prices are RRP and correct at time of print for Women’s Running Issue 113 May 2019.How we test: All our kit is tested by real runners.Our reviews team is a group of passionate women with diverse running experiences, from dedicated marathon runners to happy plodders.We wear the clothes, run in the shoes and use the tech on our usual runs to see if they go the distance.We then give each piece of kit our star rating. . The post Group Test: Backpacks appeared first on Women's Running .'