Model: Odyssey Pro
Our take This light hiker masquerades as a trail runner, but the midsole was built for backpacking. The secret: Salomon combined a polypropylene that’s used to dampen noise in luxury cars into its midsole to reduce vibrations. It’s something anyone who’s doing big miles (with a light pack) can appreciate, from weekend warriors to thru-hikers. Our tester believed it so supremely comfortable that he ditched his camp shoes entirely: “I’m all for flip-flops or Crocs after a long day,” he says, “but my feet were happy in these after an 18-mile day with more than 6,000 feet of elevation gain.” Caveat: It’s a fast-and-light shoe; as with trail runners, keep loads under 30 pounds.
The details A gusseted tongue helps keep debris out, but the Odyssey Pros are not waterproof (most thru-hikers prefer the breathability and fast drying of non-waterproof shoes). Testers liked the flat laces, which stay tied.
Trail cred “I typically experience foot fatigue after 10 or so miles, but I was pain-free at camp,” our North Carolina-based tester says. “There was zero break-in time and, after 120 miles, I have yet to get a blister. I appreciate the generous toebox for my wide feet.”