I've always been someone who tries to limit my wardrobe choices to get the most bang for my buck. Sure you need some selection, not everyone can pull off the Steve Jobs regimen. One area where I have been able to limit selection is with my tennis shoes, and that is thanks to trail shoes.
You see, trail shoes are the ultimate utility shoe. They have great style, comfort, and support to be your everyday sneaker, they are light weight enough to run and be active in, and they have fantastic tread to be able to grip roads and snow. Also, for me, they can double as my golf shoe since the tread provides the grip on the grass that is needed. It really is the do-it-all shoe combining a tennis shoe, hiking shoe, golf shoe, and bad weather shoe all into one.
Within the trail shoe category, there are of course many brands and styles. Some are more rugged for hiking and dealing with rough terrain, some are for transitioning from road to trail, and some are meant for going fast on long distance ultra marathons. With my casual use, I like to favor varied trail shoes and road to trail shoes.
My two favorite shoes have been the Saucony Peregrine series and the Nike Terra Kiger series. What I like about these are they are relatively lightweight, varied trail shoes with a great tennis shoe fit and feel. The heel-to-toe drop is also relatively minimal at 4mm making it pretty close to your natural foot.
One issue though is that both brands update their styles and colors every year or so. And I've caught a bad cycle. Neither brand has a color pattern I like. They either go with boring black or they go with colors that are too weird where I can't feel good about wearing them to work on Casual Fridays.
So I may venture out and try a new brand. I've discovered a brand called Topo that has a great selection of trail shoes. One model that intrigues me is the Topo Athletic MT-3. It is more of a road to trail transition shoe so the grip isn't as aggressive as the Saucony or Nike but seems good enough for my purpose. It too has a minimal drop. The reviews seem to suggest that people like the fit with a snug heel and mid but roomy toe box. The shape mimics an actual foot and the sole looks to have a good smooth running transition. I might just give them a try.
My favorite place to check reviews on trail shoes is Outdoor Gear Lab. They do a great job of reviewing a lot of models, giving them a score across multiple factors, and providing a great table to compare the brands and models.
My favorite place to buy trail shoes is Running Warehouse. They have a huge selection of trail shoes and seem to have most sizes in stock. They also have an amazing shipping and return policy. Free 2-day shipping on any order over $50 and free returns up to 90-days. And this includes getting to wear them outside and really try them out to make sure you like them. I know of no other online or brick-and-mortar store that gives you this ability for this duration of time.
So when you are in the market for a new sneaker, be sure to check out trail shoes. They may become your go-to shoe to the point that they can replace other shoes in your wardrobe saving you money.