Tag Archives: trail-running shoes reviews

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 →

Gear Review: Vibram FiveFingers Spyridon LS

December 17, 2012  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Vibram FiveFingers Spyridon LS review

Vibram FiveFingers Spyridon LS

Minimalist Shoes
Vibram FiveFingers Spyridon LS
$120, 13 oz. (size 40)
Sizes: 40-47 (sizing chart)
vibramfivefingers.com

I’ve given this minimalist-running trend some cautious experimentation over the past several months, and I’m not sure I will ever switch over from traditional, supportive running shoes to minimalist shoes for my trail running or dayhiking. It’s not right for everyone’s feet and body. However, months of wearing the Spyridon LS for everything from general walking around to gym workouts has convinced me of something entirely unexpected: While I may not run in this footwear, they are excellent for exercising and strengthening the muscles and connective tissue of my feet and legs for ultra-hiking, backpacking, and trail running. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Vasque Velocity 2.0 Shoes

August 6, 2012  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

Vasque Velocity 2.0

Lightweight Trail Shoes
Vasque Velocity 2.0
$120, 1 lb. 9 oz. (men’s 9)
Sizes: Men’s 7-12, 13, 14 and wide 8-12, 13, women’s 6-11
vasque.com

Hot feet are the fastest route to blisters. Keep your feet dry and cool and you’ve eliminated two of the three factors necessary for developing blisters (the third being friction, caused by imperfect fit). Several trail runs of four to nine miles each in the non-waterproof Velocity 2.0 convinced me they may be the most breathable low-cut trail-running shoes I’ve worn, thanks to very airy uppers that are virtually all mesh. I ran on some days so hot that my synthetic T-shirt would be soaked—but my feet and socks completely dry when I finished. Continue reading →

← Older posts