Tag Archives: trail-running shoes reviews

September 17, 2014 South Kaibab Trail, Grand Canyon National Park.

Ask Me: Advice on Low-Cut Trail Shoes

In Ask Me, Backpacking, Gear Reviews, Hiking   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

[Note: Both reader questions below are similar, so I combined them into one post.]

Michael,

I recently came across your website. It’s a fantastic resource—thank you!

I am looking for a breathable (i.e., not waterproof) shoe for long, fast dayhikes (with occasional downhill running) on rough, rocky terrain (on and off-trail). Reasonable performance on third-, fourth-, and low fifth-class terrain is a bonus, but 95 percent of the shoe’s use will be on rough, non-technical terrain. The two main shoes I was considering were the Salewa Firetail EVO and the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor. You give both of these shoes high praise, for similar applications (e.g. 22-mile, 5,000-foot vertical hike with the Firetails; 28-mile, 8,000-foot vertical hike with the Raptors). Which do you prefer? Which do you think would be best for my intended applications? Are there other shoes you think I should consider? Continue reading →

Gear Review: La Sportiva Wildcat 3.0 Shoes

July 2, 2014  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , ,   |   4 Comments
La Sportiva Wildcat 3.0

La Sportiva Wildcat 3.0

Hiking/Trail Running Shoes
La Sportiva Wildcat 3.0
$115, 1 lb. 8 oz. (men’s Euro 42/US 9)
Sizes: Euro men’s 38-47.5, women’s 36-43
sportiva.com

There are trail-running shoes I can run in, and then there are shoes I can run and hike far in because they simply have greater support and cushion for handling the cumulative abuse that feet suffer on longer outings. On many trail runs of up to 12 miles in the Boise Foothills—plus one 20-mile, 3,600-foot run—the Wildcat 3.0 never caused me the hot toes, sore soles, or foot achiness that I get from some lightweight shoes on runs of more than eight or 10 miles. Even after that 20-miler in the Wildcats, my feet felt good. Continue reading →

Gear Review Update: La Sportiva Ultra Raptor Shoes

July 15, 2013  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments
La Sportiva Ultra Raptor

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor

Hiking/Trail Running Shoes
La Sportiva Ultra Raptor
$130, 1 lb. 10 oz. (men’s 9)
Sizes: Euro men’s 38-47.5, women’s 36-43
sportiva.com

For a recent 28-mile dayhike through Idaho’s spectacular White Clouds Mountains—partly off-trail, with a cumulative elevation gain and loss of nearly 8,000 feet, including a steep, very loose scramble of several hundred vertical feet over a pass—I wanted the lightest shoes possible, yet ones with plenty of support, comfort, and traction. It didn’t take me long to decide on the Ultra Raptor, which I had worn a lot and reviewed previously. Not only did they perform as I’d hoped they would throughout this long and rugged hike, but afterward, my feet felt fatigued but otherwise not like I’d just hiked 28 miles. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Salomon XT Wings 3 Shoes

July 1, 2013  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Salomon XT Wings 3

Salomon XT Wings 3

Hiking/Trail Running Shoes
Salomon XT Wings 3
$140, 1 lb. 9 oz. (men’s 9)
Sizes: men’s 7-14, women’s 5-12
salomon.com

For my regular trail runs, I like a shoe with plenty of stability and cushion, so that my feet don’t get beat up (and because I sometimes start and finish a trail run on pavement). If the shoe is surprisingly lightweight for the amount of support it delivers, that’s a bonus. So I got a bonus with the XT Wings 3, which I’ve worn on numerous, hilly trail runs of up to 12 miles, mostly in the Boise Foothills but also in Massachusetts. While not in the category of super-light, minimalist trail-running shoes, the XT Wings 3 have enough support to cross over nicely as light dayhiking or ultralight backpacking shoes. Continue reading →

Gear Review: La Sportiva Ultra Raptor Shoes

February 25, 2013  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
La Sportiva Ultra Raptor

La Sportiva Ultra Raptor

Hiking/Trail Running Shoes
La Sportiva Ultra Raptor
$130, 1 lb. 10 oz. (men’s 9)
Sizes: Euro men’s 38-47.5, women’s 36-43
sportiva.com

This new-and-improved rendition of Sportiva’s Raptor, one of the best trail-running and low-cut, light hiking shoes I’ve worn, lives up to its heritage. On numerous trail runs in the Boise Foothills ranging from five to 10 miles, on typically dry trails of packed dirt with some steep, gravelly sections, these non-waterproof low-cuts shined by any measure, but especially for stability and traction. Continue reading →

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