Hybrid Trail/Road Shoe Recommendation

I am happy using Kinvara 3 and A5s, no pain at all, can someone recommend a light hybrid trail and road shoe? Sometimes I run on dirt trails, not really rocky at all, and I think a hybrid shoe that is very light would be good to use. Runblogger hasn't published his review on the New Balance MT20v2, maybe that would work? Anything else? Thanks.


  • The MT20v2 is a good choice, should hopefully have the review up soon. Less protection than your road shoes, but works well on both surfaces. Something like the Inov-8 F-Lite 195 might also be worth a look.
  • Can you comment on the durability of the MT20v2s? I've been going through the amazon and zappos reviews and there are quite a few complaints about how they fall apart after a couple of months of use. Thanks.
  • Maybe Inov8 has got something in their product range: f-lite 195 or 230; or even the trailrock 235/245.

    I have the F-Lite 195 and I can say it is high quality shoe: light, good fit, flexible and long lasting (not that mucho if only used in asphalt).

  • Yoyo - just looked at the Amazon reviews, yeah pretty much panning the durability. Personally I have not had durability issues with mine, but more walking than running miles for me. I'm not all that surprised as the material used for the upper is similar to that in other shoes which have also had tearing issues in the same spot (Saucony Kinvara 2, NB MT00, Merrell Mix Master 1). The original MT10 would be more durable, but forefoot fit can be tricky. The Inov-8's are worth a look, and the Brooks Grit and Merrell Mix Master 2 are solid.
  • I run the Merrell Mix Master 2 and it's a good shoe that can be used on the road but I don't use it much there.

  • Considering those other models are $30-$40 more than the MT20v2s, I think I'll risk it and get them after all. (They are on sale at Zappos right now). If they do have a problem I can try calling NB and maybe they'll send a new pair since it could be considered a defect.

    Maybe they are on sale because they are being discontinued due to the problem is my guess.
  • I am currently trying out the INOV-8 Terrafly 303 as a hybrid shoe. Too little time on the road or the trail yet to make a final recommendation. They are a little heavy for my taste but seem to be a solid shoe.
  • I use Nike Free 5.0 for all my running - a mix of asphalt, gravel roads and light trails. Not flash on the muddy sections, but otherwise totally recommended. Just clocked 1000kms so far, and still going strong. If budget allowed I'd be buying myself the Inov8 Trailrocs for more hardcore trail.

  • I ended up ordering the MT20v2s from Zappos since they're on sale and hope that it won't wear out on me. If they do I plan on contacting Zappos and NB to try to get an exchange. We'll see.
  • Yes, make use of customer service if needed. Just tell them you've seen reports of the problem on Amazon and Zappos and I can't imagine they'd not replace.
  • I have a bigger problem than durability with the MT20v2s unfortunately. Tried them on and noticed they fit a bit loose around the ankle area despite making sure they were laced tight enough. Also had an easy thumb width spacing at the front but figured I would try them out anyway since none of the local stores carried a half size smaller.

    I went for an easy 4 mile trail run and on the pavement sections especially they felt a bit harsh on the feet but I chalked that up to not being used to them. The following day I couldn't run more than a couple of minutes due to lower ankle pain. I'm icing it but wonder what the problem could be. Should I try a half size lower, or should I try something with a bit more cushioning? Is a thumb and a bit just too much space at the front of a shoe?
  • Thumb width is what I shoot for. They are less shoe than the Kinvara and A5 - firmer cushion for sure on roads. Where exactly is the pain located - inside or outside, and where relative to the ankle bone that protrudes out on each side?
  • Interestingly, I just spoke with someone who has the women's version and she said that it IS a little big around the ankles. So I'm not imaging that! Today I went on a 40 minute easy run and have mostly recovered with minor pain in the right inner heel area, extending slightly up towards the ankle but definitely below quite a bit.

    Based on your blog posts it could be that although I think I am a midfoot striker I actually heel strike on occasion. That increased pressure of the back heel due to less cushioning combined with a looser fit around the ankles may have caused the heel area to become sore.

    This brings up two issues. One, based on this information what lightweight trail shoe would work for me?Presumably I need something with slightly more cushioning although I want to minimize the weight and do not climb anything rocky so there should be something out there. I noticed a Kinvara 3 trail shoe I believe which looked nice. Secondly, how to deal with online ordering. Zappos has great customer service but it's clearly stated that unlike Runningwarehouse shoes must be returned in new condition. They felt fine indoors apart from the looser ankle section which I didn't think would make a difference and only realized the problem after doing a run. Now I'm potentially stuck with a once worn shoe that can't be returned nor used again. It was on sale though. Ha.
  • Once worn shoes can sell on Ebay - I recently sold my Nike Free 3.0's for almost the price I paid for them - just make it clear that they have been worn only once and include pictures of the sole and upper. Sold my Kinvara TR's for about $55 after one run.

    Pain in the area you describe could be some posterior tibial tendonitis - do you feel like your feet roll in a lot in the MT20v2's? I had pain in the same area triggered by the MT110 due to the slanted sole.

    A shoe to check out would be the Inov-8 Trailroc 235 or 245. I have the 235 and love them, suitable for both road and trail, but they are zero drop so if you don't want flat that could be an issue. The 245's add 4mm to the heel lift plus a rock plate, but from what I have heard they sacrifice a bit of flexibility. 
  • Well, it turns out as a one time service Zappos is willing to accept a return that has been worn. To top it off my kid used the box for an art project but I can still return it luckily. I now ordered 2 different sizes of Inov-8 F-Lite 195 which also are on sale so hopefully one will fit well.

    Upon trying on the MT20v2s again I can see that they are too big. The fit around the ankle is too loose and the space around the heel is too much as well. So what probably happened is the lack of support around the heel area upon impact caused movement which caused the injury.

    It's funny because my problem with the PureConnects caused me to lean towards 1/2 size larger shoes while the MT20v2s run large such that I should have ordered a half size lower. Over time I imagine I will become better at getting properly sized shoes.
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