The Spark is a true lightweight trail running shoe. It has a low 6mm drop, about half a normal running shoe, but not as lowly as the Merrell. It’s a decent compromise for those wanting to take that step towards minimalist shoes. Putting them on, they are incredibly light and fit well (they are a little shorter than others here, but pretty wide). It’s a running shoe, but they are rugged and fine for walking – although water ingress is almost immediate. The lug pattern is shallow, but sparse enough to offer a decent grip on wet trails.

First published: June 2013