The Ridge Runners are more shoe-like than the Lafuma and Hi-Tec models: The low weight, flexible forefoot, and EVA midsole make them comfortable even on impromptu trail runs. The mostly fabric upper and high-but-soft ankle support offer instant break-in, while synthetic leather reinforcements and a tough rubber toe cap make them impressively durable. The very breathable XCR liner (a steal at this price) repelled typical creek splashing and light rain, but the boots wet through after slogging through carwash brush. The Vibram sole has excellent traction even on wet rocks, but it's thinner than the others, so you're more likely to feel rocks underfoot. Choose these for dayhiking and lightly loaded overnights on moderate terrain. Best for narrow feet.
Sizes: men's 7-11 ½, 12, 13, 14; women's 6-9 ½, 10, 11
Weight: 2 lbs. (men's 9 ½)
Contact: (800) 809-7057; www.llbean.com