This is no men’s last: “Autopsies” performed by a team of biomechanics on prototypes of the North Peak after hundreds of trail miles revealed different wear patterns than those on a typical men’s shoe. The resulting boot now has unique, women’s-specific contours throughout, including an especially narrow heel. One editor affirmed the fit: “My feet sweat a lot, so heel slippage is pretty much a guarantee, but not with these.” Another Colorado-based tester hiked through Turkey with a 48-pound pack, noting that her feet “were totally happy all day.” Other helping factors: the soft insole and the cushy PU heel pod.
The mesh upper (it’s overlaid with some leather) keeps these kicks light, comfy, and airy—but not at the expense of waterproofing.
The higher-than-usual ankle cuff gave our tester plenty of support on uneven terrain, and the eVent waterproofing kept another’s feet dry during a 19-mile hike through mud and creek crossings. A stiff toe bumper kept us safe from rocks and roots.
The North Peak Mids use the super-durable Vibram DuraGrip outsoles. The chunky rectangular lugs offer a lot of surface area (great for scrambling), but still bite into trail. One tester reported perfect grip during a post-rain hike on California’s Skyline Trail that included “jumping to avoid stepping on a banana slug.”
The EVA midsole is paired with a burly, full-length nylon-and-fiberglass shank, so we could haul 40-pound loads up to 10 miles, no problem. Note: For more gonzo treks, one tester preferred an aftermarket insole, citing arch soreness.