Kayland ZEPHYR W'S
A boot with mega support without the extra weight
Model: ZEPHYR W'S
[lightweight support] Carrying a monster pack over monster terrain? You need rigid support and rock-solid stability. But you don’t need a clunky boot that’s anchor-heavy and uncomfortable when trail walking. What you want: the Contact Rev. “It never felt clompy despite thick soles and stiff collars,” reports one Colorado-based tester. “It protected my feet and ankles, but it has enough flex that I could hike fast when I dropped my pack to summit a spur peak on a Fourteener.” Credit a polyurethane midsole atop a lasting board that’s stiff in the heel and progressively more flexible toward the toe. That, combined with the weight-saving upper materials—suede and nylon, reinforced with abrasion-resistant microfiber—creates what one tester called a “springy feeling.” The high ankle kept another tester secure during a scramble—with a 50-pound pack—through an Adirondack blowdown. And the toothy tread never failed. “On a hike that included mud and ice, these boots held whether I was climbing over downed trees or up slick rocks,” says a New York tester. An eVent liner delivers waterproofing with top-notch breathability. Bonus: Zero break-in. $250; 3 lbs. 5 oz.; m’s 8-14, w’s 6-10The Zephyr was recognized as a Backpacker Editors’ Choice Award winner for 2009.