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Backpacker Magazine – April 2009

Gear Guide 2009: Light-Duty Boots

We tested 150 boots this year, tallying enough trail miles to hike from Acadia to Denali–and back. Why? To help you find the perfect outdoor footwear.

by: Michael Lanza

Oboz Teton Suede (Julia Vandenoever)
Oboz Teton Suede (Julia Vandenoever)

Light Duty | Mid Duty | Heavy Duty

LIGHT DUTY

Best All-Around
Lafuma X Light Mid OT

Bargain!
Oboz Teton Suede

Killer Deal
Ahnu Lodi WB

All-Purpose Comfort
Vasque Velocity VST GTX

Tough and Versatile
Patagonia Karakoram

Ultralight and Waterproof
Teva Aniso eVent

Best Trail Runner
Asics Gel-Trabuco 11 WR

Stickiest Scrambler
Five Ten Exum Guide

Fast and Grippy
GoLite Speed of Lite

New Technology
Hi-Tec V-Lite Altitude Ultra WPi

Top Waterproof Trail Runner
Kayland Dragonfly eVent

Women's Favorite
Merrell Chameleon Arc Wind

Summer Comfort
Merrell Chameleon Evo Mid

Best Hike/Run Crossover
Montrail Hardrock 09



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READERS COMMENTS

Elizabeth Planteen
May 24, 2009

I'm in the same boat as Maria--very narrow feet. I order shoes online (no outdoor store within 200 miles) that say they are narrow, but the ones made in China are very wide, and just LABELED narrow. Very annoying. I have sent many pairs back. Dunham narrows are not narrow, for example. I found some New Balance light leather hikers that are fairly narrow, but they won't hold up to a lot of heavy backpacking, I don't think. I used to wear Vasque boots exclusively, but their "narrow" boots have kept on getting wider over the years.

Also the larger sizes for women are hard to find. It's just plain stupid, with women's feet getting bigger in modern times, that the manufacturers do not make half sizes over size 10!

María de los Angeles González
May 22, 2009

I would like to know if you tested "Narrow Width" boots. I have problems with the regular width, even with extra insoles and double socks. Thanks for your help.

Regards

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