Helly Hansen Trail Cutter

This is a very lightweight trail-running shoe that offers unique performance. In particular you get a very breathable upper, but one that’s able to fend off the worst of the water. We also like the extra abrasion-resistant reinforcement around the lower sides and toe to protect the shoe in undergrowth or on scree. The shoe has a very low profile and a low ride height, making it ideal for fast running and reacting to the terrain. Underfoot there’s good cushioning and support from the sole for hard surfaces, coupled with a good studded lug pattern for getting a grip on grass and mud. Use this on most level surfaces and it should be ideal, thanks to this mix of features.
The toe box is very soft, so on loose terrain or descending steep slopes you won’t get the best protection. The sole is not quite as supportive as others we’ve tested. The forefoot flex is not quite as good as some higher-priced options and nor is the heel support, which means this shoe is not the best for uneven terrain.

 

Upper: Lifa Versa soft mesh, Helly Wear abrasion-resistant areas
Sole: Helly Wear carbon rubber
Sizes: 6-12 1/2 (men’s); 3 1/2 -8 (women’s)
Weight: 680g (pair, size 11)
Made in: China
Stores in the UK: 120

Verdict: A superb shoe for the price and ideal if you’re running on level firm or muddy surfaces, but other shoes are better on more rugged or steep terrain.

 

First published in Trail magazine, April 2008