When testers can’t part with a shoe, we know it’s a winner. “I wore these pretty much nonstop all summer because they’re so light and comfortable,” one tester said. Others concurred after heavily loaded dayhikes and trail runs from northern Arizona to Spain. In addition to a sweet fit and great support for high arches, the low-cut has the aggressive rocker–or curved shape of the outsole–of a trail runner, a very supportive heel cup, and gel cushioning beneath the heel to dampen impact. Our feet felt as good at the end of long hikes and runs as at the start.
The Gore-Tex liner kept our feet dry on wet days, and the nonwaterproof model ($110) proved extremely breathable, though fine dirt penetrated the mesh uppers. The outsole is a bit slippery on wet rocks and mud. Best for medium-volume feet. $130; 1 lb. 15 oz. Vasque.com