Model: Mountain Trainer Lite Mid GTX
Our take When a boot looks like it’s built for the rough stuff, we send it to Alaska, where chossy, jagged boulderfields and steep uphills form our best gear grinder. The Mountain Trainer Lite handled everything Wrangell-St. Elias National Park could throw at it. Credit a design that cribs elements from mountaineering boots: A sturdy chassis kept us steady during side-hilling, the extra-thick leather upper withstood moraine-field scrapes, and to-the-toe lacing let us make precise movements. Plus, non-adjustable metal wire lacing that wraps around the back of the ankle locks in your foot for maximum stability while still feeling comfortable.
The details The Mountain Trainer Lite is much lighter than its mountaineering role models, making it nimble on approaches and comfortable on regular backpacking trips. A 360-degree rubber rand and 1.6-millimeter-thick leather upper survived three months in the Alaskan wilderness without faltering, and the PU midsole, along with the stabilizing elements mentioned above, are good for supporting pack loads up to 50 pounds.
$200; 2 lbs. 6 oz.; m’s 7-13, w’s 6-11