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Posted: March 19, 2009  :

(RWire) Athletics: Runner's World's Annual Spring Trail Running Shoe Guide Debuts in April 2009 Issue

Three award winning shoes recognized among nine notable pairs

NEW YORK - (March 4, 2009) - Runner's World magazine, the worldwide authority on running information, will release its much-anticipated Spring Trail Running Shoe Guide in its April issue, on sale Tuesday, March 10. The magazine rates and reviews nine of the best shoes for off-road running highlighting winners in the following categories: Editor's Choice, Best Update and Best Debut. The following three shoes - all of which were put through rigorous testing by Runner's World editors, 300 wear-testers and the one-of-a-kind Runner's World Shoe Lab - were cited best in class:

* Editor's Choice: Brooks Cascadia 4
* Best Update: New Balance 875 
* Best Debut: END Stumptown

Criteria guidelines for each category, and winners in those categories for the 2009 Spring Trail Running Shoe Guide are as follows:

EDITOR'S CHOICE: Brook Cascadia 4 ($100) represents an outstanding shoe that successfully combines the highest-quality design and technology. The Brooks Cascadia 4 received the highest marks from the RW Shoe Lab, the wear-testers and the editors. The Cascadia offers dependable traction for technical trails, yet has the cushion to protect your legs on roads. The midsole is made with an eco-friendly material and the shankless outsole supplies steady footing by keeping the bottom of the shoe in contact with the ground under the arch. The Brooks Cascadia 4 is recommended for runners with normal to high arches who cover a variety of road and trail conditions.

BEST UPDATE: New Balance 875 ($100) recognizes a significant improvement made to an existing model. The 875 delivers excellent all-weather traction by using outsole lugs made from both hard and sticky rubber spaced far enough apart that they don't get clogged with mud or slush. While the shoe shined on the trails, testers were also pleased with its performance on the pavement. Recommended for runners who run on wet, sloppy trails looking for top-notch traction and an excellent fit.

BEST DEBUT: END Stumptown ($85) acknowledges a new release that receives outstanding reviews from the RW Shoe Lab, from wear-testers and from RW editors. The new END Stumptown is an environmentally friendly shoe with a nimble ride and minimal protection. The outsole and midsole are constructed from recycled content and the laces are completely recycled plastic. Testers liked the lightweight trainer's soft heel and an exceptionally flexible forefoot. Recommended for fast-paced training or racing across level terrain.

Every shoe reviewed by Runner's World is first bench-tested at the Runner's World Shoe Lab - an independent testing facility in Portland, Oregon. All trail shoes are flexed, pounded and prodded to see how well they perform. Shoes are then matched to one of 300 wear-testers in one of our three wear-test centers across the country based on their individual biomechanical needs and the shoe's performance characteristics.

Testers, who must log a minimum of 25 miles per week, run in the shoes for about a month before submitting their evaluations, noting their total mileage run in each shoe and rating it for qualities including weight, traction, cushioning, support, lacing system and upper material comfort, among other categories.

Runner's World is the only magazine in the world to independently test running shoes in this way, in order to give its editors the most objective means necessary to determine which shoes are most deserving of award status. Because Runner's World only tests and reviews the best products available, shoes that have been tested may use the "Tested by the Runner's World Shoe Lab" label.

To read the entire Spring 2009 Trail Running Shoe Guide, check out the April 2009 issue of Runner's World, or visit where you can read in depth reviews of all the featured shoes.

Ryan Lamppa, Running USA Media Director
(805) 696-6232; Fax = (805) 659-0016

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