The holy grail of trail running is to provide both stability and flexibility, but to make a midsole stable yet soft. The development of the Zeal has taken more than three years and after numerous tests and prototypes it's ready for launch. The upper material has been updated to a very durable, yet soft, Kevlar. Together with the lacing system, it embraces the foot firmly, but it is the midsole construction and the HGMS2 technology that is the true innovation. Zeal provides a stable but soft heel grip, which is an impossible combo made possible through the molded midsole cradle on the interior side of the shoe. The midsole not only adds superb fit, it also turns into the reinforcement protecting the foot in serious terrain. The height of the heel cup is slightly reduced at the center back, in order to reduce the pressure at the Achilles tendon. The medium last is half lined with quick dry mesh. The torsion and cushioning is in fine balance and together with the low sole profile, the ground control is just outstanding. The outsole cleats are positioned so mud doesn't get stuck, and as if the deep lug pattern wouldn't provide enough, the RB9X outsole is the benchmark among sticky rubbers.