Helly Hansen W Pace Trail

Get instant, all-day comfort and superb traction with this ultralight waterproof hiker.

Specs

Sole Construction proprietary construction
Membrane No membrane
Men's Sizes Start 7

 

Men's Sizes End 13
Women's Sizes Start 5
Women's Sizes End 10
Men's Weight 1 lbs, 8.3 oz
Women's Weight 1 lbs, 4.399999999999999 oz

When it comes to hard-to-fit feet, we have a ringer on staff: an editor who, after hiking 1,600 miles of the AT, says his “feet are sensitive enough to get blisters from silk slippers.” He put the Evolutions on, hiked a week through Capitol Reef’s foot-chewing terrain, and says, “I didn’t have a single hot spot.” And so it went for nine testers across a wide range of sizes and foot shapes.

Credit TrekSta’s hype-worthy NestFit technology, which uses measurement data culled from three-dimensional laser scans of 20,000 different feet in order to account for every possible pressure point or gap (traditionally, making lasts is more art than science). The result is an amazingly secure fit that’s cradle-comfy but stable enough for surprisingly rugged conditions. That fit, combined with the midcut ankle stability, low weight, and a supportive-but-flexy midsole, puts the Evolution in a category unto itself. “I carried a 50-pound pack through five days of trailless, rocky terrain in Capitol Reef, and my feet were never sore,” says one tester. An elongated toe eliminates any hint of toe bang, and the anatomically shaped footbox leaves room for trail swell without feeling sloppy.

The low-profile tread gripped tenaciously, even on slush-covered slickrock, thanks to fiberglass-impregnated rubber pads. And despite the lightweight construction, it’s built to last: Even after that canyon-country abuse, the Evolution’s fabric upper showed only normal wear and tear, while the sole held up better than average for a shoe this light. Combine all that with reliable Gore-Tex waterproofing and the affordable price, and you get best-in-class performance on every front. $140; 1 lb. 15 oz. (m’s 9); m’s 7-13, w’s 5.5-10.5; trekstausa.com

Lightweight and versatile trail running shoe that provides supreme comfort through HH's InfinityFit upper technology. Premium EVA and C-Zone heel cushioning provides great comfort for the long hours on rough terrain, while HellyWear protects the feet from trail debris.

Upper:
Synthetic and mesh
medial roll-cage support
HellyWear Protection
Infinity FIt

Midsole:
C-Zone
C-Zone+
Flexigroves
Crumple zone

Outsole:
HellyWear
HellyGrip