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Trail running shoe designations

When a trail running shoe is designated as "light trail" or "rugged trail" or "off trail," is that a designation provided by REI after an evaluation of the shoe, or is it one provided by the shoe company?  If it is provided by REI, what all factors into that designation?  Is is strictly the outsole, or do other parts of the shoe, like the midsole and the upper factor in?

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@AnnaCO thanks so much for reaching out – great questions! The designations on our trail running shoes are ours and are meant as a starting point as a way to organize the shoes. Typically, within a given designation, the shoes will have similar attributes (like outsole traction, middle sole cushioning, upper material, ideal terrain) however those designations are by no means hard and fast rules as different shoes fit and work differently for different feet! Hope this helps!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
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