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Hiking Boots

Northside Stimson Ridge Mid WP

The best value footwear of 2021

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If a pair of sub-$100 boots can take a season of beating in the Alaskan wilderness without falling apart, it passes muster. We hiked around 130 miles in the Stimson Ridge, and found its nubuck-and-mesh construction surprisingly tough—the seams never loosened and the mesh never failed—even after dense bushwhacking around Bird Creek. A craggy outsole easily handled gravel, mud, and a scree-filled gully on an ascent of 5,873-foot East Twin Peak in the Chugach. The Stimson Ridge’s mid-height cuff and EVA midsole allowed us to shoulder a 45-pound pack, and the midsole stayed surprisingly springy over our season of use. This isn’t a perfect hiking boot, though: The generic waterproof membrane gave up after a few puddles. Still, at this price we were willing to choose our footfalls carefully.(One more bummer: no women’s sizes.)

m’s 8-13

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