Tag Archives: hiking shoes reviews
By Michael Lanza
Every year, I field test and review at this blog dozens of pieces of new outdoor gear and clothing—backpacks, shoes and boots, tents, shell and insulated jackets, sleeping bags and pads, daypacks, headlamps, trekking poles, water filters, backcountry cooking gear, and various other stuff that help us get out and enjoy wild spaces. (It’s a fun gig.) I only review what I’d strongly recommend and want to use myself, and 20 years of doing that has helped me develop a pretty good eye for identifying the best, most innovative and functional gear.
I give you here my picks for the 10 best of the best new products I’ve reviewed this year, a list that includes a backpack, two tents, a rain jacket, two daypacks, a sleeping bag, shoes, one high-performance and affordable headlamp, an air mattress, and a very cool water bottle with a built-in filter. Each capsule review below links to my full review of that product. I guarantee your dollars will be well spent on any of them. Continue reading →
By Michael Lanza
Readers often ask me for suggestions on good-quality gear for hiking and backpacking that’s affordable. They want to get outdoors, and they’re on a budget, but they don’t want gear or clothing that will fall apart on their second day using it. Right now’s your chance to score great deals, because many online retailers are holding holiday sales, with some of the best backpacks, tents, jackets, sleeping bags, boots, and other gear (much of which I’ve reviewed) available at big savings. Frankly, it’s arguably the best time of year to buy quality gear that rarely goes on sale. You’d be crazy not to take advantage of it.
I’ve scoured the websites I like and assembled below links to my recommendations for the gear I’d buy and suggest to friends. My advice: Grab it now, while it’s available at these prices. Continue reading →
Keen Aphlex Mid WP
$160, 2 lbs. 3 oz. (US men’s 9)
Sizes: men’s 6-15, women’s 6-11
Lightweight, mid-cut boots at this price make up a competitive category of hiking footwear, and quality varies significantly. Many models are, frankly, made for first-time boot buyers and bargain shoppers who make a choice based on a couple of simple criteria: Whether the boots feel good (often achieved with plenty of foam padding, which doesn’t necessarily translate to good performance) and have any kind of waterproof-breathable membrane (a high-demand feature for hikers). To see whether Keen’s Aphlex Mid WP rose above all that mediocre chatter, I wore them on a two-day, 34-mile backpacking trip in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in mid-October, hiking long days with plenty of elevation gain and loss. Continue reading →
I know this is a really random question, but when descending mountain trails my big toes suffer immensely. Besides tying the laces up really tight, is there a trick to protecting them without losing a toenail or having them feel beat up?
Rexburg, ID Continue reading →
Five Ten Access
$140, 1 lb. 10 oz. (US men’s 9)
Sizes: US men’s 4-14
Five Ten bills the Access as a go-anywhere, do-anything shoe, so I thought I’d test the authenticity of that claim on an 8.5-hour, 20-mile, 4,500-foot, mid-September trail run-hike of the Alice Lake-Toxaway Lake Loop in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains—including, midway through our day, a 1,400-foot, third-class scramble up 10,651-foot Snowyside Peak. I was honestly a little nervous about committing my feet to these shoes for such a long day, mostly out of concern that they’re not really designed primarily as a trail-running shoe. As it turned out, my feet were as comfortable as they’ve ever been on an ultra-hike or long trail run. Here’s why. Continue reading →