After spraining the same ankle twice, one of our Colorado testers faced a dilemma: She needed high-top support for even moderate trails, yet heavy boots proved overkill for dayhikes and made her feel tired and clumsy. Enter the Montara, which has been updated this year for improved traction and fit: “The flexible, leather upper laces higher than most mid-duty boots, and has conformable padding that completely envelops my ankle, but it’s so nimble it’s practically a trail runner,” she said after the Montara protected her bum joint on a 1,100-foot jogging descent from Boulder’s Royal Arch. “The last half-mile was on pavement, but the cushion of the compression-molded EVA let me keep up the pace without uncomfortable pounding.” Also credit the shock-dispersal plate in the forefoot, which helped deflect rock impact on her descent. “They’re comfy enough for all-day wear even in town, and with a fun range of colors, that will happen more often than you expect.” Caveat: The lightweight, flexible sole is best for on-trail travel with loads under 30 pounds. $150; 1 lb. 14 oz. (8); w’s 6-11; ahnu.com
Gear Review: Ahnu Montara BootComfy and fun, the Ahnu Montara Boot will keep you stabilized while hiking and stylish in the town.