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March 2005 Hiking Boots

Boot Review: Garmont Flash XCR

Despite its name, Garmont's lighter boot provides excellent support, but a bit too much for fastpackers and trail runners.

Some lightweights are built like overgrown trail runners, others like downsized boots. These sturdy scramblers take the latter path, making them well suited to core hiking and scrambling, but less appropriate for long fastpacks or trail runs. After hikes from Idaho to Washington, testers report: The ankle is shorter than most midcuts, but a stretchy collar seals well around the ankle for good support and grit defense. A snug heel pocket locks your foot down, and the lightly lugged sole is fairly stiff, with a low heel that helps it edge well. (Attention parents with young children: Garmont also makes the children’s Flash Jr., $70, one of the best kids’ hiking shoes we’ve seen.) Best for medium-volume feet. $129

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