Weighing in at under 14 ounces, the Treksta Alter Ego Star shoes are seriously light. When the box arrived at my door, I thought it was empty!

On initial inspection there were a lot of things I liked. Both the reinforced exoskeleton on the heel cup and a slight rise in the midsole heel height looked like they’d help with motion control on rough trails and achilles tendon tweaks on steep downhills.

I liked the rounded, relatively narrow heels, and the capped, reinforced toe box looked capable of warding off some serious stone strikes. The aggressive open block tread with a sticky outsole looked both agile and grippy. Finally, a seamless inner liner and a tight woven upper looked both minimalist and comfortable.

Unless I’m running on the smoothest and softest trail surface, I prefer a straight lasted shoe with a bit of heft, control, and padding. The Treksta Alter Ego Star shoe has a minimalist sole profile that looks pretty thin. At 6’2”, with a dad duty workout schedule, I’m way out of the light weight runner class, but I still love to get outside quickly without all the extra gear and prep that going for a bike ride takes. Would the sleek, minimalist upper and slim sole profile be too thin and too light? Nothing like rocks and muddy conditions in northern California’s foothills and Sierra mountains to test fit, protection, and comfort on my local running trails.

Right away I loved how the Treksta Alter Ego Star shoes fit around my heel and arch. The deep heel cup, exoskeloton reinforcement, and generous padding gave me great control and comfort. Despite several running sections that have more rocks than dirt, with some apt to give every stride the potential to roll an ankle or smash a toe, the Treksta Alter Ego Star shoe’s fit felt dialed right from the start. My feet really enjoyed the ride. I particularly liked the wide toe box and seamless interior. The sole’s aggressive tread offered tons of grip, but didn’t feel inefficient or unstable on smoother trails or on pavement. The straight last allowed a natural foot motion for my high arched, rigid feet; and, whether I was running down a steep bit of trail on outcrops of granite and loose gravel or huffing my way up a switchback of eroded, soft, deep, loamy, sandy grit sprinkled on hard pan soil, the tread pattern dug in and didn’t slip.

Still, I’d love a few tweaks that would make this shoe ideal for me:  denser, thicker padding in the tongue would take some pressure off the nerves on the top of my foot, and a slightly thicker midsole would feel better running all day over granite rocks. Having said that, the Treksta Alter Ego Star shoe is a great lightweight trail/road running shoe, and adding extra features or thicker materials would also add extra weight and take away from the nimble, efficient feel of wearing it.

Available in black or denim blue, in men’s sizes 8 to13 (half sizes 8.5 to12.5).

Bottom Line: A great lightweight trail running shoe with enough cushioning and motion control that even larger runners can feel confident wearing for long runs in rough terrain. Great fit, comfort, and performance.

Manufacturer’s Site: www.trekstausa.com