The Proterra Sport has the lowest drop (the difference in thickness between the sole under the heel and the sole under the toes) of all the shoes here at only 4mm. They certainly look minimalist. The idea is that they fit very close to the foot, which they do without feeling tight. I found them immediately comfortable, and despite the low drop (I’m not a complete convert to the barefoot craze) there was still some good cushioning. The lug pattern is very shallow and certainly suffered in the mud – I slid all over the place in the muddy woods – but on the rocks the grip was fine. Another small issue was the flex at the toe that for me was forced slightly farther down than its natural position because of the construction. That said, I soon forgot about it because the upper is so soft and after a day in the hills they were still comfy.

First published: June 2013