With the wind at your back and the Montrail Men's FluidFlex II Trail Running Shoes on your feet, trail running transcends earthly delights to something straight from the storybooks. With a few improvements, the FFII is more durable and has a more flexible upper, but retains the same supremely soft midsole that is surprisingly resilient to your high-mileage training. Closed mesh covers your heel and dual mesh with a slightly more open attitude covers your toes and part of your foot. Synthetic overlays along the medial aspect of the shoe offer a bit more longevity in areas prone to exposure. Designers snugged up the heel cup and added padding so your Achilles tendon doesn't become your Achilles heel. The full length of the midsole is made of FluidFoam, which on its own, is soft but not sloppy to suck up the shock of footstrike impact. Montrail made the middle better by adding articulated flex grooves to the FluidFoam. Between the naturally agile midsole and 4mm drop, your mid-foot minimalism gets the green light. The sole of this dirt-devouring shoe is a strategic mix of materials. Gryptonite rubber under your forefoot and along the lateral aspect of your heel grabs the ground to give you confidence on any surface. Micro lugs are like bristles on burrs--lots of little teeth mean increased surface area gripping the earth for phenomenal friction, even if you're plodding home on concrete.