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 Merrell hiking shoes for women
Best Merrell hiking shoes for women

For daily excursions that require your A-game, the finest women’s Merrell hiking shoes must be at your disposal. And we know that you will not settle for anything less, which is why we have test[…]

Best Waterproof hiking boots for men
Best Waterproof hiking boots for men

Getting drenched is a big no-no to men of the backcountry. When drizzles turn for the worse and puddles are obstacles you need to go through (not around), best be geared up with the finest waterproof[…]

Best Hiking sandals for men
Best Hiking sandals for men

Do not deny yourself the pleasure of experiencing the backcountry with as much intimacy with the wild as possible. To that end, the best hiking sandals for men are for you. The selection you see below[…]

Best Hiking shoes for men
Best Hiking shoes for men

When venturing into the wild, whether you prefer the manicured trails or off-path tracks, it is imperative that your manly tootsies have the right gear on. To help you wind up with the ideal pair, we[…]

Best Hiking boots for men
Best Hiking boots for men

We have all been there—the terrain all of a sudden becomes tougher, and we wish we had something more formidable wrapping our feet. For such a situation, you and your homies had better be in som[…]

Best Trail running shoes for men
Best Trail running shoes for men

The list of men’s trail running shoes is quite extensive. With nearly 500 models of men’s trail running shoes, selecting can be a drag. And if you’re looking to buy some of the most[…]

Best Cheap hiking boots
Best Cheap hiking boots

They say in the realm of hiking footwear, dependable boots equal costliness. We go against that notion in this article by featuring the finest hikers that don’t break the bank. We’ve colle[…]

Best Oboz hiking shoes
Best Oboz hiking shoes

In the realm of hiking, being ill-equipped for the task at hand is a big mistake. To be as prepared as you can be, reach for Oboz’s most trustworthy hikers. Making up the selection below are our[…]

Best Columbia hiking shoes
Best Columbia hiking shoes

Do you want a well-rounded pair that look posh both on and off the trail? Perhaps you are looking for a Columbia shoe that eats rough terrain for breakfast? Or maybe something that sells for no more t[…]

Best Teva hiking sandals
Best Teva hiking sandals

In the realm of hiking sandals, Teva is among the top brands that never fail to impress. Equally flooring is the meticulous process through which we were able to handpick Teva’s cream of the cro[…]

Best Timberland hiking boots
Best Timberland hiking boots

Timberland is among the go-to brands when it comes to serious outdoor footwear. Their hiking boots are built to last and keep you going when the trail gets tougher. We have tested 10+ incredible Timbe[…]

Best Backpacking shoes
Best Backpacking shoes

Where the trail turns for the worse, but mobility is still high on your hiking preference list, turn to backpacking shoes. After testing 15+ trekking kicks, we have chosen our top picks in several cat[…]

Best Mountaineering boots
Best Mountaineering boots

Are you feeling anxious and unsure about which pair of mountaineering boots to snag? Well, shake off that feeling and worry no more. Whether you need a boot that delivers a well-rounded performance or[…]

Best Approach shoes
Best Approach shoes

We’ve gone through and put to the absolute test some 50+ pairs of approach shoes to give you our top picks. Do you need a low-elevation climber that does it all, even on the trail? Perhaps you w[…]

Best Oboz hiking boots
Best Oboz hiking boots

Hiking in some of the world’s most powerful hiking boots is what you’re bound to get in Oboz’s fine selection. Our top picks from this brand cater to a wide audience, ranging from el[…]

Best Backpacking boots
Best Backpacking boots

Pack adventures and backcountry trips that last for days need the right gear. In the realm of footwear, backpacking boots are your sure allies. This guide is exclusive to those in dire need of the bes[…]

Best Adidas hiking shoes
Best Adidas hiking shoes

When it comes to hiking shoes that underscore athleticism, you can’t go wrong with Adidas. This household name features fantastic kicks that give adventurers the edge they need to conquer the ou[…]

Best Keen hiking boots
Best Keen hiking boots

KEEN—this footwear company needs no introduction! Makers of amazing outdoors kicks, particularly sandals, this brand puts out incredible hiking boots that go against the current design-wise. We&[…]

Best Columbia hiking boots
Best Columbia hiking boots

You can’t hear the brand name Columbia and not get a lightbulb moment that gives you the desire to hike. And that desire—whether you need something versatile, or you fancy a pair that look[…]

Best Danner hiking boots
Best Danner hiking boots

Do you need the best there is for all-around performance? Maybe you’re looking for the lightest Danner pair? Or perhaps you’re desperate for something that simply works in the winter? Whic[…]

Best Salomon hiking shoes
Best Salomon hiking shoes

Are you looking for your next pair of Salomon hiking shoes? Make sure you choose from among our top picks. There’s a lot to dig into here. After going through 30+ Salomon hiking shoes, we presen[…]

Best Keen hiking shoes
Best Keen hiking shoes

Venturing into the lush backcountry can be as exciting as it is intimidating. Fortunately for you, the finest KEEN hiking shoes are at your disposal to make your hiking moments more of the former and[…]

Best Merrell hiking shoes
Best Merrell hiking shoes

Are you in search of a well-rounded hiker? Maybe something that can keep your feet well-ventilated? Or how about a hiking shoe that excels in the water? Whatever your fancy, there is a top pick waitin[…]

Best Water hiking sandals
Best Water hiking sandals

There are times when taking a plunge is far more rewarding than skipping the drench on our daily hikes. In such cases, you are far better off sporting a pair of water hiking sandals. Having tested 50+[…]

Best Leather hiking boots
Best Leather hiking boots

There is just something special about experiencing the great outdoors in a pair of leather hiking boots. These hikers are naturally tough, and their grounded design makes mixing and matching — t[…]

Best Salomon hiking boots
Best Salomon hiking boots

If the best hiking boots are what you demand, we give you our tried-and-tested top picks from a brand that needs no introduction—Salomon. The kicks that await you here are the crème de la[…]

Best Merrell hiking boots
Best Merrell hiking boots

Merrell and hiking boots go hand in hand, like peanut butter and jelly. A pair or two of this perfect combination we know you’re desperate to own. To that end, we’ve tested 50+ Merrell tra[…]

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. We have reviewed 20[…]

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

Other than keeping your feet nice and dry, waterproof hiking boots come in a variety of designs to match different types of hiking adventures. This guide will help you navigate this vast selection. Ha[…]

Best Hiking sandals
Best Hiking sandals

Finding the best hiking sandal can be a drag considering the many options available. But having the basic know-how of what hiking sandals are all about would make a whole lot of difference. To help yo[…]

Best Hiking boots
Best Hiking boots

Confused about 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 look[…]

Lab tests and in-depth reviews

Asics Gel Kayano Lite 2
64
Bad!
Nike Run Swift 2
78
Good!
Hoka One One Bondi X
80
Good!
Saucony Endorphin Pro+
91
Superb!
APL Streamline
86
Great!
Nike Zoom Fly 4
78
Good!
Asics GT 2000 10
85
Great!
Brooks Levitate 5
82
Good!
Mizuno Wave Rider 25
89
Great!
Brooks Ghost 14
93
Superb!
Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 2.0
86
Great!
Brooks Revel 5
86
Great!
Nike Free Run 5.0
83
Good!

Nike Free Run 5.0: What you'll love The Free Run 5.0 from Nike has sustainable makeup as it employs a knit upper with 87% recycled materials. The entire shoe is made up of 20% recycled materials by we[…]

Asics Metaspeed Edge
84
Good!
Hoka One One Zinal
88
Great!
Saucony Triumph 19
88
Great!
Nike Quest 4
79
Good!
Nike Pegasus Trail 3
88
Great!
Brooks Cascadia 16
86
Great!
Saucony Endorphin Pro 2
87
Great!
Saucony Endorphin Trail
78
Good!
Nike Downshifter 11
83
Good!
Salomon Ultra Glide
90
Superb!
Saucony Endorphin Speed 2
88
Great!
Adidas Terrex Speed Ultra
96
Superb!
Asics Gel Kayano 28
88
Great!
Saucony Endorphin Shift 2
83
Good!
Asics Novablast 2
88
Great!
Saucony Axon
85
Great!
New Balance FuelCell Rebel v2
90
Superb!
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38
85
Great!
New Balance FuelCell RC Elite v2
87
Great!
Hoka One One Clifton 8
89
Great!
Asics MetaSpeed Sky
86
Great!
Asics Magic Speed
87
Great!
New Balance Fresh Foam More v3
89
Great!
Skechers GOrun Razor Excess
71
Bad!
Salomon Sense Ride 4
85
Great!
Reebok Floatride Energy 3
93
Superb!
Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT% 2
85
Great!
Brooks Anthem 4
81
Good!
Saucony Ride 14
90
Superb!
Asics Gel Cumulus 23
88
Great!
Saucony Freedom 4
80
Good!
Hoka One One Gaviota 3
85
Great!
Puma Deviate Nitro
89
Great!
Brooks Ricochet 3
84
Good!
Hoka One One Mach 4
93
Superb!
Hoka One One Arahi 5
89
Great!
Saucony Guide 14
90
Superb!
New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro v6
91
Superb!
Saucony Kinvara 12
90
Superb!
Saucony Peregrine 11
89
Great!
New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11
88
Great!
Altra Lone Peak 5.0
91
Superb!
Nike ZoomX Invincible Run
93
Superb!
Adidas Ultraboost 21
89
Great!
Brooks Trace
89
Great!

Brooks Trace review Upper/Heel/Laces of the Trace The Brooks Trace has an accommodating upper with lots of flex to form to your foot. It’s breathable with almost no welded overlays. The tongue a[…]

Brooks Launch 8
90
Superb!
Brooks Caldera 5
86
Great!

Brooks Caldera 5 review The Brooks Caldera 5 is a heavily cushioned trail commuter designed to roll over terrain without any concern. It’s tall and it seems like Brooks is taking some cues from[…]

Brooks Glycerin 19
91
Superb!
Asics Hyper Speed
85
Great!

Asics Hyper Speed review The Asics Hyper Speed is an entry-level race flat with budget and weight as its highlight. It is chiefly designed for tempo day and race day. The Hyper Speed has been a long-s[…]

Asics Gel Nimbus Lite 2
90
Superb!

Asics Gel Nimbus Lite 2 review Finally some Innovation from Asics! YES! The new evolution of the 23 year old Gel Nimbus, asics soft riding every day neutral trainer, is finally here. The Nimbus Lite 2[…]

Asics Gel Nimbus 23
90
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[…]

Hoka One One Rocket X
88
Great!

Hoka One One Rocket X review This is what a race shoe should look like. Everyone, the Rocket X from Hoka One One. This here is Hoka’s lightest racing flat. It’s a super-fast, super-light c[…]

Asics Gel Kayano Lite
90
Superb!

Asics Gel Kayano Lite review A lighter, more responsive, comfortable, and environmentally-friendly version of the Gel Kayano? Say hello to the Asics Gel Kayano Lite. Like all other Kayanos, this model[…]

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21
92
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
86
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’[…]

Inov-8 Terraultra G 270
88
Great!

Inov-8 Terraultra G 270 review Intended for long-distance runs and ultra races, the Inov-8 Terraultra G270 is a zero-drop, low-stack trail shoe. Updates: Updated upper for better flex New lacing syste[…]

Hoka One One Bondi 7
89
Great!

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
91
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
91
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[…]

Asics Gel Kayano 27
91
Superb!

The verdict from 15 experts and 100+ user reviews Experts who are already Kayano fans love the 27th iteration. They said: “once Kayano, always Kayano” and that Kayano is an “uncrowne[…]

Hoka One One Speedgoat 4
86
Great!

Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 review An addition to the Speedgoat lineup, the Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 is designed for ultrarunning. There’s a lot of updates in here—some good, some bad, in my[…]

On Cloudswift
90
Superb!
Salomon XA Pro 3D GTX
88
Great!

Reviews

Tecnica Magma
89
Superb!

“A bridge between worlds” is a very accurate description for the Tecnica Magma. Indeed, it blurs the line between trail hikers and running shoes by being both agile and mighty tenacious un[…]

Columbia Redmond III
78
Good!

In the mighty plush Redmond III from Columbia, freedom of movement both on and off the trail is the name of the game. Wearing this Columbia hiker also translates to fast and safe negotiations, whether[…]

Salomon Predict Hike Mid GTX
62
Bad!

Consider your prayers about staying on top of your trail game answered in the mighty agile Predict Hike Mid GTX. A sporty entry into our lightest bunch, this Salomon boot has the tenacity to match its[…]

La Sportiva Aequilibrium LT GTX
73
Decent!

Sporting the lightweight Aequilibrium LT GTX translates to incredible performance even before the climbing starts. An offering more flexible than most, this La Sportiva gear is a fantastic option for[…]

The North Face Hedgehog Futurelight
70
Bad!

A versatile entry into The North Face’s Hedgehog series, the Hedgehog Futurelight gives hikers leveled up trail performance come rain or shine. Armed with a zonal support system (a.k.a. Cradle),[…]

Chaco Lowdown 2
75
Decent!

If you are looking for a clean-looking sandal—one that also steers away from gimmicks and a demanding asking price—the Lowdown 2 has to be it. Yes, the sandal’s simplicity is its shi[…]

Altra LP Alpine
86
Great!

When outdoor excursions, whether on trails or in the city, require something enduring underfoot, call on the LP Alpine. Engineered to have lasting comfort, this Altra shoe will ramp up your pace while[…]

Oboz Sypes Mid Leather Waterproof
85
Great!

“Nothing short of fantastic” is what you might call the Sypes Mid Leather Waterproof the moment you hit the trails in it. From its lavish confines to its rugged-ready performance, this Obo[…]

Oboz Sypes Low Leather Waterproof
85
Great!

If versatility and surefootedness are what you need in a shoe, look no further than the Sypes Low Leather Waterproof. Whether the sun is high up or dark clouds are looming, this city-to-trail Oboz hik[…]

Salewa Dropline Mid
77
Good!

Bolder strides are yours in the comfy-from-the-box Dropline Mid. This Salewa piece is also the tool you need if you wish to have more creativity in your step. While not a flawless hiker, the Dropline[…]

Xero Shoes Alpine
91
Superb!

If you wish to bring the campfire with you, especially where frozen terrain and slush get in the way, gear up with the Alpine. In this Xero Shoes hiker, ground intimacy is yours, giving a sense of con[…]

Adidas Terrex Swift R3 Mid GTX
76
Good!

“Stirring” may be the most accurate word to describe the Terrex Swift R3 Mid GTX. Yes, gearing up with this fantastic Adidas piece means giving your trail adventures fresh excitement, mean[…]

Vasque Breeze LT NTX
59
Bad!

If mobility (tons of it) is what you are after in a trail boot, the Breeze LT NTX should be right up your hiking alley. One of Vasque’s entries in the eco-friendly and sustainability race, this[…]

KEEN Tempo Flex Waterproof
72
Decent!

Give your daily hikes a delightful spin by sporting the Tempo Flex Waterproof. In this KEEN hiker, agility takes center stage. That said, your ninja-like prowess in it is matched with remarkable contr[…]

Hoka One One Anacapa Mid GTX
88
Great!

Hoka One One outdid themselves once again with the Anacapa Mid GTX. Indeed, they managed to create a hiking boot that promotes movement, secures footing, and shields mightily in bad weather all at the[…]

Teva Jadito Universal
80
Good!

If you are planning to sight-see around town or hit the trails in short bursts, consider doing so in the Jadito Universal. Yes, this Teva hiker is pampering from top to bottom, giving you a lastingly[…]

Hoka One One Anacapa Low GTX
81
Great!

Responsibly engineered (a.k.a. eco-friendly), the Anacapa Low GTX delivers power and performance that only a few trail kicks from within the same category can match. While you got this on, your advent[…]

Lowa Taurus Pro GTX Mid
64
Bad!

Where the Taurus Pro GTX Mid undoubtedly shines is in the area of “going further.” Your daily excursions in this pair equate to agile movements, pampered feet, and surefootedness. In essen[…]

La Sportiva Aequilibrium ST GTX
82
Great!

Bridging the gap between mobility and ascent-centric functionality is perhaps what the Aequilibrium ST GTX is all about. The intention here by its engineers is pretty clear: to make something “e[…]

Salomon Cross Over GTX
65
Bad!

There is no denying that the Cross Over GTX is built for speed. That said, its solid-yet-refined construction should put it on the radar of those who need something in which they can tough it out on l[…]