Gear Review: Lafuma XMotion Mid Leather Boot

These boots are light and fast like a trail runner but offer the support and protection of a boot.

[light and fast]

Some hikers prefer wearing the lightest possible footwear, and they accept the inherent tradeoffs: less support, protection, and durability. Of the nine models we tested, this proved the top choice for saving weight while still offering enough armor for Grand Canyon hiking. The XMotion is basically a steroid-injected, leather-reinforced version of Lafuma’s trail running shoe, with soft underfoot cushioning, an EVA midsole anatomically contoured to the shape of the foot, and double-thick foam in the heel for extra shock absorption.

A rigid plastic plate beneath the center of the midsole provides arch support and lateral stability without hindering forefoot flex. The upper is a thin—yet tough—1.8-mm-thick nubuck. All of these features add up to big comfort for fastpackers who stick to trails. Off-trail, however, comfort suffered.

“I could feel every pebble through the sole, and debris got in over the relatively low collar,” says one tester. The Vibram sole’s cleatlike lugs provided outstanding traction on canyon trails—even muddy and loose ones. Fit is best for medium- and low-volume feet.