If you favor low-cuts over beefy boots—but don’t want to sacrifice support or protection—check out this souped-up trail runner. The upper is a complex pattern of breathable ripstop nylon and rubbery abrasion reinforcements, with a Gore-Tex lining. The midsole is supportive and stable—especially for overpronators—and quite cushy. I was able to eat up miles on bouldery trails in Shenandoah National Park with a 20-pound pack. The thin, ultradurable metal-core laces cinch (not tie) and tuck into a tongue-top pouch. This system stayed tight and never required retying. Pros: the support of a hiking boot with the agility of a trail runner. Cons: long break-in time. salomon.com.
Fastpackers, rugged-trail runners, travelers who want one do-it-all shoe
> Bremen Leak
> Other Tester Jonathan Dorn
> Duration July to Nov.
> Locales/conditions Rocky and mud-slicked trails in MD, VA, CO, Russia, and Finland
> “After a 20-mile training run around Lake Jyväsjärvi in Finland, my legs were shot, but my feet felt fresh.”