Best All Terrain Athletic Shoes - Asics vs New Balance vs Nike + Quality

The shoes I picked for comparison were released in January 2009 and I picked them namely because they are all available for $50 and all have very good quality control compared some of their lower priced siblings. You can see the quality in the feel, the cuts of fabric and the stitching jobs. I had a pair of New Balance for 6 years and they were still solid construction. They never gave me blisters nor ever felt uncomfortable. It was hard to get rid of them when they had been worn through and through.  Below are comparisons and examples of a few shoes I tried when looking for new ones.

In search of a replacement and I found the Asics Enduro 5. They have great grip but are too soft and offer no stability. The gel soles are very comfortable and the 3M reflectors work like a charm but they are barely good trail runners. The flexion point is too far back and they are better for walking and standing. The gel is surprising comfortable. The stitching was good and no fabric looked oddly cut or out of the norm. The fit is nice for a little wider feet than New Balance and Nike footware of the similar design. Asics is based in Kobe, Japan and has been producing athletic shoes since 1949.
  • Compression Molded EVA Midsole
  • Trusstic System
  • AHAR Heel Plug
  • Slip Lasted
  • GEL Cushioning System in Rearfoot
  • 3M Reflectivity

I like most New Balance and I loved my MT840. They have Abzorb foam soles, which also make them light weight and never felt a rock poke me in the feet. They offer decent stability, solid all-terrain runners before they reach the end of their cushioning life. The fabric cuts on these were precise, good stitching and are better quality than their lower cost siblings. There is nice ankle support that starts right around where the whole heel is located and a little wider towards the toes. New Balance is based out of Boston and has been making shoes since the 1970s but been making arch supports since 1900.
  • Synthetic/mesh upper
  • Solid sticky rubber outstole
  • Seamless phantom liner
  • N-LOCK external support system
  • N-Grip outsole
  • N-Durance outsole
  • Gusseted tongue fully attached to shoe
  • C-CAP midsole
  • Abzorb heel and forefoot

Nike makes nice all-terrain runners like the Air Pegasus+ 25 (now a 26 available). These shoes have shown to be average trail runners in the $50 price range. For those with narrow feet as they provide a good level of heel support, these remain a narrow from the heel to toes and fit snugly. However, they flexion point is in the middle of the shoe, which could eventually lead to foot, ankle and calf injury like the Asics above. Nike is based out of Niketown - Portland, Oregon.
  • Running Shoes
  • Breathable Mesh
  • 360-Degree Supportive Overlays
  • Air-Sole Unit
  • Stoneshield
  • Waggle Lugs/Blades/Ripples
  • Built for Nike+ Sportsband
In conclusion, all three shoes have meshed uppers, are light and provide soles. This is a light and breathable mesh material on the top fabric that keeps air moving through drying sweat and heat release.

These basic features - Quality, Comfort and Fit can apply to all shoes from hiking, fashion and sneakers. BUT the best shoes for running, hiking and activities are the ones that provide the correct level of support and stability. The only one to come close is the New Balance MT840 and it's even difficult to recommend those but in regards to stability it offered the most out of the 3 sub par shoes. With little to no stability in the plantar fascitis area reflected by their flexion points, they'd almost become a liability rather than a saving piece of technology. Once you find a shoe that has a two piece tread with a hard plastic/technology for arch/flexion support, look into 3rd party soles for pronation, suppination and arch support as needed to compliment your feet, gait and running style.

All Terrain=pavement, grass, dirt, trail

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