Tag Archives: trail-running shoes reviews

Gear Review: La Sportiva Akyra Trail Running and Hiking Shoes

September 6, 2017  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
La Sportiva Akyra

La Sportiva Akyra

Hiking/Trail Running Shoes
La Sportiva Akyra
$140, 1 lb. 11 oz. (US men’s 9.5)
Sizes: men’s Euro 38-47.5/US 6-14, women’s Euro 36-43/US 5-12
backcountry.com

Build a shoe for running and hiking mountain trails, and it’s hard to keep that footwear from putting on weight—shoes intended for that level of hard use simply need more support and stability under the hood than your average, wafer-light shoes for running asphalt, or no-drop shoes with minimal underfoot cushion and support. So when I saw Sportiva’s Akyra weighing in lighter than many models in this category—and having owned and liked previous Sportiva mountain-running shoes that crossed over smoothly between running and dayhiking—I pounded the Akyra on a variety of trails, discovering much to like about them and one minor complaint. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Aku Mio Surround GTX Hiking Shoes

June 22, 2016  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Aku Mio Surround GTX hiking shoes.

Aku Mio Surround GTX

Hiking/Trail Running Shoes
Aku Mio Surround GTX
$200, 1 lb. 14 oz. (US men’s 9)
Sizes: US men’s 7-13

The pivotal question you might ask yourself before buying trail footwear is: How much do I need? You’re probably thinking along the lines of how much support you need in a shoe or boot. But that question could also refer to the delicate balance between how much protection you need from wetness on the outside getting inside, versus breathability so moisture on the inside gets released. The new Gore-Tex Surround technology alters that equation, and Aku’s Mio Surround GTX leaps feet first into this debate as a lightweight, low-cut shoe that could serve the needs of a wide range of dayhikers and backpackers. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Scarpa Proton GTX Shoes

May 18, 2016  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment
Scarpa Proton GTX

Scarpa Proton GTX

Hiking/Trail Running Shoes
Scarpa Proton GTX
$169, 1 lb. 7 oz. (men’s Euro 42/US 9)
Sizes: men’s Euro 39-47, 48, women’s 37-41
backcountry.com

Everyone wants ultralight footwear for all manner of outdoor adventures these days, from light hiking and ultra-hikes to trail running and ultralight backpacking. Bonus if you can scramble a peak in them. I feel the same way. But that kind of hybrid shoe can be a challenging find. I put some trail miles on Scarpa’s new Proton GTX, a low-cut, waterproof-breathable trail runner that crosses over to hiking, and found it packs a heap of performance and versatility into one of the lightest pieces of outdoor footwear you’ll find. Continue reading →

Gear Review: Vasque Inhaler II Low Shoes

May 4, 2016  |  In Gear Reviews   |   Tagged , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments
Vasque Inhaler II Low

Vasque Inhaler II Low

Hiking/Trail-Running Shoes
Vasque Inhaler II Low
$120, 1 lb. 12 oz. (men’s US 9)
Sizes: men’s 7-14, women’s 6-11
backcountry.com

For much of the trail mileage that most dayhikers, backpackers, and runners pound out, breathability is more important than waterproofing—our feet are hot more often than they face any prospect of getting wet. Since moisture and heat are two of the three elements that create blisters (the third is friction), unless you typically hike or run in a wet, cool environment, keeping your feet cool should really be your top concern when choosing footwear—and even more so the farther you hike in a day. On local trail runs of up to about 13 miles in the Boise Foothills, and southern Utah desert dayhikes in the San Rafael Swell and the Horseshoe Canyon District of Canyonlands National Park, the smart design of the Inhaler II Lows kept my feet dry and happy. Continue reading →

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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments

[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 →

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Grand Canyon Hiker