The snow may be gone, but having fun on the mountain doesn’t have to end with Winter!  Our new obsession here at Activejunky.com is trail running.  We love the fresh air, amazing views, and the awesome cardio training for ski season (only 6 months to go…).  So, we decided to put 70+ running products to the test in our 2013 Run Gear Guide.  From that test, seven pieces made the MUST HAVE trail running gear list.  Here you have it:

Trail Running Gear Guide: Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra Running Shoe

Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra Running Shoe | $180.00, 8.9/10 Rating, Best for Technology

One of our favorite trail running shoes, Salomon’s S-Lab Sense Ultra Running Shoe combines a 4mm drop and light construction for a minimalist feel, while tough cushioning and a chunky midsole can take on some serious mileage.  The S-Lab is designed specifically for and with Killian Jornet, the 2011 Western States Endurance Run winner and one of the most impressive mountain athletes today. The construction is specific for intense trail running and ultra distances, and it gets our nod for one of the best uses of technology. See the Full Review>

Trail Running Gear Guide: Nuun Drink Tabs

Nuun Drink Tabs | $22.00, 8.3/10 Rating, Best for Value

The challenge of staying hydrated is a lot less daunting with Nuun drink tabs. Easy to pack away and pop in any water bottle, the taste doesn’t overwhelm and the consistency is lighter than many sports drinks. Our testers love the lemon tea flavor for its extra caffeine punch. See the full Review>

Trail Running Gear Guide: Smartwood run shorts for women

Smartwool PhD Run Short (Women’s) | $74.95, 9.4/10 Rating, Best for Value

A new offering from Smartwool, these shorts have a semi-fitted outer layer constructed with a lightweight and breathable material that makes them a favorite to wear while pounding the trails.  Below the surface also lies a pair of ultra-comfortable, merino-blend briefs. They’re like your favorite wool base layers, except they are lighter, have seamless liners that wick moisture, breathe well, and resist odors. A moderate rise helps keep the shorts in place and a rear zip pocket keeps everything else close at hand. See the full Review>

 Trail Running Gear Guide: Skora form minimalist running shoe

Skora Form Minimalist Running Shoe | $185.00, 8.7/10 Rating, Best for Fit

These shoes are like a Lexus for your feet. But don’t let the Pittards goatskin leather upper and soft sheepskin interior fool you – these are some hardcore, high-end barefoot runners. The zero drop and light, 8-ounce weight are complimented by a luxurious glove-like fit provided by REALFIT technology, a design that allows the Form to better conform to your foot. See the full Review>

Trail Running Gear Guide: Adidas Terrex women's shirt.

Adidas Terrex Swift SS Tee (Women’s) | $39.95, 9.4/10 Rating, Best for Performance

You have a life beyond running, so why shouldn’t your clothes? At only 3oz, the Terrex Swift Tee is stylish and comfortable enough for cruising around town. But it’s also a warm-weather warrior that nips wetness in the bud and moves with every stride.  The bright colors also make for good visibility near traffic. See the full Review>

 

Trail Running Gear Guide: Helly Hansen wind foil jacket.

Helly Hansen Windfoil Jacket | $79.98, 9/10 Rating, Best for Performance

It may not be the waxed denim of its ship-dwelling forefathers, but this tech jacket, cut for aggressive running with an extended tail, proved tough on the run. With LIFA fabric technology and zip-off sleeves, the Windfoil is perfect for three-season running and would be an excellent addition to any travel wardrobe. It gets our pick for the “B.A. Badge” for overall performance. See the full Review>

Trail Running Gear Guide: Darn Tough run and bike socks.

Darn Tough Run / Bike Socks | $14.95, 7.9/10 Rating, Best for Fit

A workhorse of a sock, Darn Tough still gives these bad boys a lifetime guarantee. The Vermont-based brand is committed to bringing comfort and durability with a merino wool/nylon and Lycra Spandex blend running sock that’s versatile enough to not only hit the trails, but to bike a few miles as well. See the full Review>

What are you waiting for?  Get out there and enjoy your local mountain in the off season!   Only 6 months to go until ski season begins once again, and it’s never too early to let the training begin!

What are some of your favorite products for trail running? Share with us in the comments below!

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