Paul Ronto

Paul Ronto

Over the past 20 years, Paul has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He has summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races as well as 6 marathons. On average, he runs 30-50 miles a week in the foothills of Northern Colorado. His research is regularly cited in The New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, etc. On top of this, Paul is leading the running shoe lab where he cuts shoes apart and analyses every detail of the shoes that you might buy.


Articles

Hiking in the US has Never Been More Popular [Study]
Hiking in the US has Never Been More Popular [Study]

We’ve partnered with AllTrails, the largest hiking and trail-specific navigation app, to explore what effect COVID-19 has had on hiking since the pandemic started. To do this we’ve analyze[…]

Runners Find Little Need for Gyms in 2021
Runners Find Little Need for Gyms in 2021

Back in April we surveyed 12,913 people and found that moderate runners (those running just 1-3 times a week) prior to the lockdown were finding more time to run and as a group were logging 55% more r[…]

Exercise is Up 88% During COVID-19 [12,913 Person Study]
Exercise is Up 88% During COVID-19 [12,913 Person Study]

The world is in crisis because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Between government lockdowns, layoffs, furloughs, work from home mandates, school closures, and sports facility shutdowns, we wanted to underst[…]

Which Runners are the Most Obssessed?
Which Runners are the Most Obssessed?

This stats page is a simple look at the participation patterns of runners in the 5 most common distances - 5K, 10K, Half marathon, Marathon and Ultra. In the next tables, we show what % of the runners[…]

The State of Ultra Running 2020
The State of Ultra Running 2020

In this study, we explore the trends in ultra running over the last 23 years. We have analyzed 5,010,730 results from 15,451 ultra running events, making this the largest study ever done on the sport.[…]

The Ultimate Guide to Merino Wool
The Ultimate Guide to Merino Wool

Technical gear is made from dozens of materials and fibers. It’s dyed, woven, and sewn into millions of pieces of clothing designed to keep us comfortable while we play, train, and explore. We a[…]

You Won’t Believe Your Eyes (NUDE HIKING)
You Won’t Believe Your Eyes (NUDE HIKING)

Naked hiking 101: Those offended by rumps need not enter When the wild calls, sometimes it calls to your innermost desire to be one with nature. For those who answer this call, there is a style of hik[…]

114 of the Best Hiking and Adventure Quotes of All Time
114 of the Best Hiking and Adventure Quotes of All Time

From time to time we all need a little inspiration, so we’ve assembled the largest collection of adventure and hiking quotes on the web. These quotes are by famous naturalists like John Muir, cl[…]

Ditch the Polar Vortex: 5 Best Winter Hiking Destinations in the US
Ditch the Polar Vortex: 5 Best Winter Hiking Destinations in the US

Across the United States, there are countless locations for those who are diehard fanatics to hike during the cold winter months. Challenging and as icy cold as a fireless hearth, these trails are ide[…]

America’s 15 Most Livable Hiking Towns
America’s 15 Most Livable Hiking Towns

If hiking is your true passion, look no further. We’ve scoured the web and created the ultimate list of places to live for the true trail addict. Why wait until you retire to do the things you l[…]

101 Tips to Hike (Like a Pro) With Your Kids
101 Tips to Hike (Like a Pro) With Your Kids

You used to love getting out onto the trail, letting the sun warm your skin, and exploring nature. Then you had kids… Now you’re unsure how to still have fun in the sun with Jr. in tow. D[…]

How Much is Climate Change Slowing Down Runners
How Much is Climate Change Slowing Down Runners

We’ve analyzed 19.6 million marathon results from over 30,000 marathons. In our new study, we concluded that the world is getting slower. In this article, we look at how the slow down is affecte[…]

Guides

Best Winter hiking boots
Best Winter hiking boots

No one wants cold feet while winter hiking. So, if you want to keep your tootsies warm and cozy on your next chilly hiking escapade, check out our list of best winter hiking boots. On top of that, we[…]

Best Hiking shoes
Best Hiking shoes

Nowadays, exploring the outdoors is one of the many things included in people’s to-do-lists. When it comes to getting the right footgear though, many are still at a loss. But don’t fret. C[…]

Best Waterproof hiking boots
Best Waterproof hiking boots

The best waterproof hiking boot (based on brand’s ads, etc) is not necessarily the one you need. To help you pick the right one, we have here a list of bests based on both users’ and exper[…]

Best Hiking sandals
Best Hiking sandals

Finding the best hiking sandal can be a drag considering the many options available. Having the basic know-how of what hiking sandals are all about, however, would make a whole lot of difference. Than[…]

Best Hiking boots
Best Hiking boots

Confused on what to buy after seeing the hundreds of boots available online? Well, worry not. Whether you’re a beginner hiker planning to go on a nature walk or an experienced backpacker looking[…]

Lab tests and in-depth reviews

Asics Gel Kayano 28
86
Great!

Asics Gel Kayano 28 review and lab test Wow, a truly NEW Kayano!! Ultimately this is a great update to the 27th version of the Asics Gel Kayano. If you are a die-hard Kayano runner, this shoe is very[…]

Asics Novablast 2
90
Superb!

Asics Novablast 2 review and lab test Asics Novablast 2 is a neutral daily trainer built around comfort. It just feels good on your foot and it’s a joy to run in (especially if you like steeper[…]

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38
86
Great!

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 review and lab test Problems from the Peg 37 have been solved! The Nike Pegasus 38 is a plush daily trainer with a stable midsole and a peppy ride. This shoe can be your slow[…]

Asics MetaSpeed Sky
85
Great!

Asics MetaSpeed Sky review and lab test Shed a tear cutting this shoe in half. Hands down, this is the best race shoe on the market (that I’ve tested). Short intro I don’t normally gush ov[…]

Salomon Sense Ride 4
87
Great!

Salomon Sense Ride 4 review and lab test I’m officially a Salomon fan! The Salomon Sense Ride 4 is an aggressive trail running shoe that’s responsive and protective underfoot, with great g[…]

Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% 2
85
Great!

Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% 2 review and lab test Hands down, this is a speed shoe. Nothing else matters but PRs and fast splits. Get on your toes and go straight and fast. For anything else, pick a dif[…]

Saucony Ride 14
88
Great!

Saucony Ride 14 review and lab test The Saucony Ride 14 is an everyday trainer that’s built for neutral runners who want a performance shoe that can handle short or long runs with consistency. T[…]

Saucony Freedom 4
66
Bad!

Saucony Freedom 4 review and lab test If I could swear here I’d say “**** these are comfortable!” BUT they are not running shoes. The Saucony Freedom 4 is an insanely comfortable tra[…]

Brooks Ricochet 3
83
Good!

Brooks Ricochet 3 review and lab test Ultimately this is a utilitarian shoe, it’s not screaming for attention, but as a daily trainer, it gets the job done without any fuss. This is a no-frills,[…]

Hoka One One Mach 4
93
Superb!

Hoka One One Mach 4 review and lab test The Hoka One One Mach 4 is a super stable, lightweight daily trainer that’s stiff enough for faster efforts and fits like a glove. I think this shoe has a[…]

Hoka One One Arahi 5
89
Superb!

Hoka Arahi 5 review and lab test Max cushioned stability in a lightweight package. Yes, please! Arahi 5 is built for recovery days and long slow runs even though the design may invoke feelings of swif[…]

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11
88
Great!

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11 review and lab test Flexible uppers are great, they form to your foot’s shape, they move with you, not against you, and they tend to be light and breathable - all[…]

Adidas Ultraboost 21
87
Great!

Adidas Ultraboost 21 review and lab test The Ultraboost 21 is a neutral socklike trainer with roots in high-tech shoe design. To me though it felt heavy, outdated, and a bit sloppy. I think Adidas nee[…]

Brooks Launch 8
90
Superb!

Brooks Launch 8 review and lab test This is a simply designed shoe built for speed work and training days that push your times. It works best as a supplementary shoe to someone who already has a race-[…]

Asics Gel Nimbus 23
91
Superb!

Asics Gel Nimbus 23 review The Asics Gel Nimbus 23 is a neutral daily trainer with an extremely soft landing. There are loads of Gel in this shoe and it drives like a Cadillac—smooth and reliabl[…]

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21
93
Superb!

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 review Celebrating its 21st year, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 is yet another daily support trainer from Brooks. It is perfect for road runners who suffer from overpronation.[…]

Saucony Switchback 2
84
Great!

Saucony Switchback 2 review A lightweight minimalist trail runner from Saucony, the Switchback 2 incorporates the BOA Fit System for a sock-like, convenient closure with lots of ground feel. It’[…]

Hoka One One Bondi 7
89
Superb!

The verdict from 15 experts and 100+ user reviews The majority of experts agree this is a really comfortable cushioned shoe. They’ve described this experience as “it takes comfort to the n[…]

Brooks Hyperion Elite 2
88
Great!

The verdict from 11 expert reviews The majority of the experts find this shoe “a great racing flat” and a “brilliant road racing option.” Generally, many of them find this runn[…]

Hoka One One Clifton 7
90
Superb!

The verdict from 19 experts and 100+ user reviews It’s a consensus that Hoka One One Clifton 7 is “the best Clifton Hoka has produced.” Experts struggled to find something seriously[…]

Saucony Triumph 18
90
Superb!

The verdict from 11 experts and 100+ user reviews Given the number of shoes Saucony has released in 2020, it’s difficult to stand out, and yet, Triumph 18 managed to provoke comments like &ldquo[…]

Brooks Ghost 13
92
Superb!

The verdict from 21 experts and 100+ user reviews The majority of experts agree that the shoe highlights comfort above all. They find it “exceptionally comfortable” and a model that’[…]

Saucony Endorphin Speed
93
Superb!

The verdict from 21 experts and 100+ user reviews Overall, experts are happy with this shoe: “this shoe is a keeper,” “probably the highest scoring shoe in recent years,” &ldqu[…]

Saucony Ride 13
91
Superb!

The verdict from 19 experts and 100+ user reviews Seems like Saucony has set the bar too low since 9 out of 10 experts were pleasantly surprised with the Ride 13. It gets better: “looks like an[…]

Reviews

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX
81
Good!

Backpacking with boosted strides may have been unheard of some years ago, but with the Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX, it might soon become the norm. Yes, expect your extended expeditions spanning multiple d[…]

La Sportiva Trango Tech Leather GTX
76
Good!

Modest yet powerful—just might be what the Trango Tech Leather GTX is in a nutshell. As impressive on the mountains as it is on treks, this unassuming B2 boot will keep you in control on extra-r[…]

Merrell MQM Flex 2 Mid GTX
79
Good!

If dazzling your co-adventurers with quick and agile movements is what you have been dreaming of, the MQM Flex 2 Mid GTX must be on your radar. Yes, a strong dose of athleticism is yours in this hiker[…]

La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX
84
Great!

Where trekking mightiness is in great demand, the Nucleo High II GTX just might be the only ally you will ever need. Built weather-ready, snappy, and seriously protective, this La Sportiva hiker can p[…]

Danner Trail 2650 Campo
57
Bad!

If unhindered, breezily comfy strides in warm conditions sound quite appealing to you, then the Trail 2650 Campo would be right up your alley. Built specifically for desert adventures, this Danner off[…]

Scarpa Rush GTX
77
Good!

Whether you wish to tackle trails with well-thought-out foot placements or at a higher speed than usual, the Rush GTX is here for you. Engineered protective as it is boundary-breaking, this weather-re[…]

Hoka One One Toa GTX
86
Great!

Dubbed by Hoke One One as among the lightest in its class, the Toa GTX puts a strong emphasis on speedy traversals, all while securing your footing on solid ground. You might have a love-hate relation[…]

Salewa Mountain Trainer 2 GTX
84
Great!

Memorable adventures across varying terrain await those who would gear up with the Mountain Trainer 2 GTX. Something of a Swiss Army knife usage-wise, this Salewa offering will give you heightened con[…]

Lowa Explorer GTX Lo
85
Great!

Where the trek turns for the more arduous but staying in full control of things remains your top priority, don the Explorer GTX Lo. An amalgamation of innovation and tradition as per Lowa, this beefy[…]

Merrell Moab Speed
79
Good!

If there is one word that can describe the Moab Speed outside the bounds of “fast” and the like, “liberating” should be it. Dubbed by Merrell as their tackle-any-trail shoe, th[…]

Salomon Outline Prism GTX
79
Good!

Unabashedly user-friendly—is perhaps how hikers (experienced or not) would describe the Outline Prism GTX. Indeed, this athletic Salomon shoe has the power to give you runner-like strides, makin[…]

Nike Canyon
61
Bad!

Most of the satisfaction that you will get from the Canyon comes from its heavy-duty top-to-bottom construction and a kind of comfort Nike hikers are quite known for. It is a town-to-trail sandal that[…]

Lems Primal 2
87
Great!

Are you looking to expand your trove of light hikers? Then let the Primal 2 fill that void. Dubbed by Lems as “more flexible than your Yoga teacher,” this zero-drop shoe will enhance your[…]

Teva Hurricane Drift
86
Great!

For outings that involve the inevitable drench, make a difference in the Teva Hurricane Drift. A performer across shallow waters, this sustainable sandal will transform your hikes into unhindered (a.k[…]

Cole Haan Zerogrand Hiker Boot
83
Good!

Part dress shoe, part grounded backcountry gear, the Zerogrand Hiker Boot will let you experience the outdoors the Cole Haan way. A sure entry to our array of leather hiking boots, this offering dispe[…]

Hoka One One Hopara
86
Great!

It appears Hoka One One has hit it out of the park once again with the Hopara. Yes, this piece is remarkable, what with its excellence in footing security and lavish provision of comfort. While pricie[…]

Merrell Zion FST Mid Waterproof
76
Good!

A good dose of agility coupled with footwork efficiency is what you will get the moment you put on the Zion FST Mid Waterproof. Indeed, adventuring in this Merrell hiker translates to triumphing over[…]

Hoka One One TenNine Hike GTX
90
Superb!

“Fascinatingly powerful down under” just might be the perfect marketing slogan for the TenNine Hike GTX. Hoke One One and their selection of compelling hikers just got more appealing with[…]

Columbia Facet 30 Outdry
89
Superb!

Wearing the Facet 30 Outdry means navigating trails with heightened athletic prowess. Yes, the Columbia hiker in question will make every daring step you make hitch-free as you pummel rough terrain in[…]

Scarpa Rush Mid GTX
75
Good!

Adventurers who wish to go all out on the trail without the fear of losing control had better set their sights on the Rush Mid GTX. Engineered with a bevy of empowering features, this lightweight Scar[…]