Hoka One One footwear reviews

Backpackers hiking past a tarn off the Highline Trail (CDT) in Wyoming's Wind River Range.

The Best Backpacking Gear of 2023

By Michael Lanza

Glacier National Park. The Wind River Range. The Maze District of Canyonlands National Park. Iceland. The John Muir Trail, Wonderland Trail, and Teton Crest Trail. Yosemite. The Grand Canyon. Yellowstone. Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains. Southern Utah’s Escalante canyons. The North Cascades and Pasayten Wilderness. The High Uintas Wilderness. The Tour du Mont Blanc. These are just some of the numerous places where I’ve tested the backpacking gear and apparel reviewed at The Big Outside—so that I can give you honest and thorough, field-tested opinions that help you find the best gear for your adventures.

And that’s exactly how I came up with these picks for today’s best backpacking gear.

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The Hoka One One Speedgoat 5 shoes.

Review: Hoka One One Speedgoat 5 Shoes

Trail Running/Hiking Shoes
Hoka One One Speedgoat 5
$155, 1 lb. 3 oz./539g (US men’s 9)
Sizes: US men’s 7-15, women’s 5-12

Improving on a great piece of gear is hard. But Hoka nailed it again with the Speedgoat 5, the newest update of the brand’s workhorse trail-running and light hiking shoes. Wearing them on trail runs up to 10 miles in my local foothills, I found my favorite trail runners retain the same cushion, comfort, and breathability I’m accustomed to, but now have a welcome traction upgrade, a sweeter fit, and have even dropped a little weight.

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A backpacker at Evolution Lake on the John Muir Trail in Evolution Basin, Kings Canyon National Park.

The Best Backpacking Gear for the John Muir Trail

By Michael Lanza

So you’re planning to thru-hike the John Muir Trail and making all of the necessary preparations, and now you’re wondering: What’s the best gear for a JMT hike? Having thru-hiked the JMT as well as taken numerous other backpacking trips all over the High Sierra—mostly between late August and late September, which I consider that the best time to walk the Sierra, to avoid snow and the voracious mosquitoes and blazing hot afternoons of mid-summer—I offer the following picks for the best lightweight backpacking gear and apparel for a JMT thru-hike.

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Hoka One One Anacapa Low GTX hiking shoes.

Review: Hoka Anacapa Low GTX Hiking Shoes

Hoka Hiking Shoes
Hoka One One Anacapa Low GTX
$170, 1 lb. 10.5 oz. (US men’s 9)
Sizes: US men’s 7-15, women’s 5-11, all gender M3.5/W5-M14/W15.5

Sometimes it’s the subtle details that make a hiking shoe stand out. From June and October days of hiking 10 or more miles with about 6,000 cumulative feet of elevation gain and loss each day in New Hampshire’s Presidential Range—including hiking up the hardest trail in the White Mountains, Huntington Ravine—with very rocky and sometimes muddy trail and wet snow; to an 18-mile, 7,300-foot, 13-hour, four-summit, partly off-trail dayhike in Utah’s Wasatch Range in early October; and hikes in my local foothills on trails consisting mostly of dry, packed dirt with occasional rocky sections, the Hoka One One Anacapa LowGTX proved to be one of the most comfortable and supportive hiking shoes I’ve come across in a while.

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Hoka One One TenNine Hike Gore-Tex boots.

Review: Hoka One One TenNine Hike Gore-Tex Boots

Hiking and Backpacking Boots
Hoka One One TenNine Hike Gore-Tex
$275, 2 lbs. 2 oz. (US men’s 9)
Sizes: US men’s 7-14, women’s 5-11, standard and wide sizes

Lacing up the Hoka One One TenNine Hike Gore-Tex boots for the first time felt a little like suiting up for a moon walk—if moon boots feel exceptionally cushy, light, supportive, and surprisingly stable, given their oversized platform. Although I’ll probably never walk on the moon, after wearing these boots on a four-day, 45-mile backpacking trip in Yosemite, I’ll definitely hike many more miles of trails in them.

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