For hikes that head into rocky, slabby terrain, think of the Fuel as an underfoot security system. “I was comfortable wearing this shoe on scrambles that bordered on actual rock climbs,” one Northeast guide says, crediting Black Diamond’s sticky, proprietary rubber outsole with impressively bridging the gap between rock traction and trail grip. He reports that a balance of stiffness (primarily under the big toe for edging) and flex (for a natural stride) made the Fuel ideal for missions like the boulder-hopping approach to Mt. Washington’s Huntington Ravine. Lacing that extends close to the toes makes for a precise fit, and kept our tester’s foot in place on steeper descents such as the Trap Dike on Mt. Colden in the Adirondacks. An overlapping tongue (fewer seams pressing into the top of your foot), a breathable upper, and an EVA midsole keep the Fuel comfy and capable for dayhiking duty.
m’s 6-14, w’s 5.5-11