Gear: Ways to run with the weather

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Too cold outside to go out for a run? Too wet, icy? All the old wintertime excuses for ditching your daily jog don't work with the new breed of bad-weather footwear. Warm, dry and grippy, they're designed to get you safely through rain, ice and snow without a chill. Just don't forget to wear a jacket.

Fits like a glove

Vibram FiveFingers Lontra: This individual-toed shoe has a water-repellent polyester upper, micro-fleece interior liner, a high-ankle neoprene cuff and Velcro strap closure.

Likes: If you are a barefoot or minimalist-shoe runner, this is easily the most comfortable running shoe of the group, with the best ground feel. Reflective surfaces in the heel and the strap make night running safer. The high cuff seals out rain and road gunk. Weight: 9 ounces per shoe.

Dislikes: None, except for the extra 15 seconds it takes to put each shoe on.

Price: $150. Vibramfivefingers.com



Studded monster truck

Asics Gel-Arctic 4 WR: The Winter Runner features a water-resistant, breathable upper, metal pins for traction on icy roads and packed snow, and gel cushions under the forefoot and heel.

Likes: The shoe for icy roads and trails. Under its vast, comfortable forefoot compartment is the footwear equivalent of snow tires: a heavily lugged sole studded with nine screw-in/screw-out 1/4-inch pins that keep you from slipping on icy roads or trails; a screwdriver is included, allowing you to turn them into regular shoes in a couple of minutes.

Dislikes: While the pins make the shoe far more secure, they don't compare to add-on devices like YakTracks, which have much larger spikes. Also, it weighs 15 ounces, quite heavy for a running shoe.

Price: $120. Asicsamerica.com



Shoe in a rain jacket

New Balance MT110: The minimalist, low-profile, lightweight, lace-up winter trail running shoe has a foot-like shape that is completely wrapped in a zip-up waterproof nylon skin that extends 5.5 inches from the heel up the ankle.

Likes: Minimalist runners will love this combination of lightweight (10 ounces), glove-like comfort and protection from the elements. Great for pavement as well as trails, the MT110 includes an almost-flat 4-millimeter drop from heel to forefoot, a low-profile lugged sole that gives you good ground feel and a super-wide, natural-shaped toe box that makes it almost as comfortable as the Vibrams. The high ankle covering seals out the cold and wet.

Dislikes: It takes even longer to put on this shoe than the Vibrams, as you must unlace the inner shoe and somehow wiggle your foot in before zipping it all up. But it's worth it.

Price: $124. Newbalance.com



Warming up to it

Adidas Clima Tempest M: A conventional cushioned running shoe includes an upper made of a breathable "Climawarm" material that is designed to keep your feet warm and dry.

Likes: Good looks, including four see-through shafts burrowed through the foam soles from side to side. Plenty of cushioning for heel strikers. The bootie design, with the tongue sewed into the upper, is comfortable. Weighs 11.5 ounces in size 9.5.

Dislikes: It's overbuilt for minimalist runners and forefoot landers.

Price: $90. Adidas.com


Wallack is coauthor of "Barefoot Running Step by Step" and "Bike for Life: How to Ride to 100."

roywallack@aol.com

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