These waterproof/breathable, leather midcuts passed every test in Olympic National Park’s Bailey Range, where I faced rain, hail, and snow, hiking on-trail and off. The cushioned, dual-density EVA midsole, reinforced with a full-length TPU insert for heel stability, supported me and my 40-pound pack. The sticky-rubber Vibram sole and prominent heel brake stuck to frozen mud, wet roots, and steep, rocky paths. The Hyper Mid has a nimble feel thanks to its low weight, slightly narrow fit with to-the-toe lacing*, and leather tension straps (see right). Note: The toebox may be too cramped for wider feet. $180; 2 lbs. 1 oz. (m’s 9); m’s 38-47.5, w’s 36-43; sportiva.com
Hiking wet and technical trails
» Michael Lanza
» Duration Sept. to Nov.
» Locales/conditions WA, ID; 20° to 80°F
» “The unique tension straps run underneath the synthetic rand and wrap around the midfoot like a bear hug, providing awesome stability.”