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Backpacker Magazine – Editors' Choice 2011

Editors' Choice 2011: TrekSta Evolution Mid GTX Hiking Boot

Get instant, all-day comfort and superb traction with this ultralight waterproof hiker.

by: The Backpacker Editors

TrekSta Evolution Mid GTX (Courtesy Photo)
TrekSta Evolution Mid GTX (Courtesy Photo)

When it comes to hard-to-fit feet, we have a ringer on staff: an editor who, after hiking 1,600 miles of the AT, says his “feet are sensitive enough to get blisters from silk slippers.” He put the Evolutions on, hiked a week through Capitol Reef’s foot-chewing terrain, and says, “I didn’t have a single hot spot.” And so it went for nine testers across a wide range of sizes and foot shapes.

Credit TrekSta’s hype-worthy NestFit technology, which uses measurement data culled from three-dimensional laser scans of 20,000 different feet in order to account for every possible pressure point or gap (traditionally, making lasts is more art than science). The result is an amazingly secure fit that’s cradle-comfy but stable enough for surprisingly rugged conditions. That fit, combined with the midcut ankle stability, low weight, and a supportive-but-flexy midsole, puts the Evolution in a category unto itself. “I carried a 50-pound pack through five days of trailless, rocky terrain in Capitol Reef, and my feet were never sore,” says one tester. An elongated toe eliminates any hint of toe bang, and the anatomically shaped footbox leaves room for trail swell without feeling sloppy.

The low-profile tread gripped tenaciously, even on slush-covered slickrock, thanks to fiberglass-impregnated rubber pads. And despite the lightweight construction, it’s built to last: Even after that canyon-country abuse, the Evolution’s fabric upper showed only normal wear and tear, while the sole held up better than average for a shoe this light. Combine all that with reliable Gore-Tex waterproofing and the affordable price, and you get best-in-class performance on every front. $140; 1 lb. 15 oz. (m’s 9); m’s 7-13, w’s 5.5-10.5;

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Reader Rating: -


Aug 19, 2014

Worst purchase ever! Sure they felt nice in the shop, a size too big and comfortable, but within 3 hours of walking I had a boot full of blood, and a raw heel caused by the roughest seam of stitching ever found in a pair of walking boots; it would be better used to smooth down rough wood than stitch the goretex together.

Totally unsuitable for Spain in August, my feet are swelling to the extreme and I need to change socks every hour due to the goretex keeping my feet hot and wet. A lightweight mid boot that provides no ankle support, the quickest blisters in history and they don't look like importing. After 2 days I am searching for another shop to buy some new boots and throw these in the bin, what a waste of money!

Star Star Star Star Star
John P
Sep 15, 2013

These are mid weight hikers and should be used for such. I am on my second pair of these. First pair lasted 2.5 seasons. I have used these all over the NJ/NY trail system & in the Canadian Rockies for mostly 7-12 mile day hikes (hydration pack) and they consistently performed like a charm. They fit great, are incredibly light and I have never had a problem with water leakage. They have been great for granite scrambling, really good traction. On the downside, recently tried using these for section hiking Devil's Path in the Catskills and they were not up to the task. My feet felt like butter after going down the third slope. So, I highly recommend these for day hiking use on reasonable terrain.

Star Star Star
British Steve
Feb 23, 2013

Tried these on in the store and they really were the most comfortable boots I have ever worn - in a store! I firmly believe they will fall apart after a week of serious hiking in the more rugged areas of the Lake District. They are a LIGHT hiker. In other words they are simply too flimsy to endure clambering over sharp, rocky terrain. I would be amazed if they kept your feet dry, too. There again, if you want to keep warm, dry and comfortable in the local mall or coffee shop, you're all set.

Star Star Star
British Steve
Feb 23, 2013

Tried these on in the store and they really were the most comfortable boots I have ever worn - in a store! I firmly believe they will fall apart after a week of serious hiking in the more rugged areas of the Lake District. They are a LIGHT hiker. In other words they are simply too flimsy to endure clambering over sharp, rocky terrain. I would be amazed if they kept your feet wet, too. There again, if you want to keep warm, dry and comfortable in the local mall or coffee shop, you're all set.

Sep 14, 2012

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Enrico Caruso
Mar 10, 2012

Well, they fit like a custom-made glove, but there are issues.

They are NOT waterproof. After three weeks in a Scoland winter, 14 hours a day, they felt brilliant but they were wet. I was disappointed that the rubber sole pulled away from the upper, and I did find wet feet at the end of the day.

On the up side, you will not find anything that fits better, but if you are headed somewhere wet, you may want something a little more waterproof.

Jan 31, 2012

I love these boots. I have wide feet with one foot bigger than the other. I use orthotics due to heel and ball of foot pain. Got a pair of men's and have been wearing them everyday since. Supportive, stable on slippery surfaces, yet lightweight like running shoes. Try them.

Reuben Woo
Dec 19, 2011

The boots are very comfortable but good for easy trek only. Not stable enough for really demanding landscape. Not durable also, my boots leak just after 50 miles of rough trek.

Dec 09, 2011

evolution II rubs my ankles, causes pain - first shoe that has ever done that

Oct 14, 2011

Bought these shoes after reading the review. It's light, water proof,breathable and grips really well. Except this shoe seems to have long break in period for non leather hiking shoes because I put over 22 miles on these shoes, but I still get blisters. Everybody's feet is different, so I'm sure your result will vary.

Tom King
Sep 18, 2011

I changed my destination to the 40 miles betwween Andover Me and Gorham Nh on the Appalachian Trail, including the Mahoosuc Notch. Maine was wet from Irene, and Lee was happening as we hiked...the terrain was decidedly difficult...the entire AT had become a water source! These boots stayed wet, and they delivered! They had my heels dialed in, no slipping or sliding out of the pocket...not one blister or hot spot in 4 days with 40 plus pounds on my back...Most definitely as advertised... Thanks again for the tip.

Tom King
Aug 10, 2011

I had mine shipped from a dealer in California. Treksta directed m to n outlet that had the sizes we needed...12 and 12.5. I took mine out for an 11 mile hike to break them in on the AT in Pennsylvania. My daypack only weighed 15 pounsd, but the trail in PA is very rocky, and the boots were in my humble opinion, as advertised...No hot spots or blisters. I'll truly weigh in on my investment in a couple weeks in the Adirondacks...until then...thanks for the tip.

Jul 26, 2011

Would be nice if there were reviews on boots that were size 14+...

Milan Dekich
Jul 08, 2011

Lived in these boots for 2 weeks in Guatemala. Did not want to take them off. Best boots I have ever put on my feet

Jun 19, 2011

Finally found these in stock on shoe buy

May 17, 2011

I just came back from a week of hiking the Grayson Highlands of Virginia in my Wal Mart 17.99 (list price, on sale for 20% off) chinese gore-tex hiking boots. The fit was roomy (I buy "up" a full size) but comfortable, and I wound up with less blistering than I normally do with hiking in brand new boots. These boots were sturdy, held up nicely, and did not leak. In spite of the rain and mud, they actually still look rather new.

I can't vouch that these boots will last more than 300 miles, but since in my experience expensive boots can't go much past 600 miles, it's a pretty trade-off.

May 17, 2011

Yep they don't seem to be available other than very small sizes (7.5 and smaller) on any site. I checked every online retailer listed on Treksta's website and Amazon. Most don't even have it, the rest only have the very small sizes. Guess I saved $150 hehe

Milan Dekich
May 13, 2011

Just found them on

May 13, 2011

Be nice if you could find the boots that you are giving such great reviews about.

May 11, 2011

You can't find these anywhere!

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