Fit, fit, fit. That's the key to this all-purpose hiker, which has a versatile last and comes in multiple widths for both men and women. The result? All five testers wore the Trail Mix with success (a rarity) and praised the shoe's all-around performance. Cushy underfoot padding and excellent rear-foot stability, thanks to an external plastic heel counter, helped the Trail Mix excel in rough terrain and on loaded marches.
None of the test shoes are waterproof, but the Trail Mix proved more resistant than most, thanks to an upper made with a heavier-than-average nylon weave and synthetic reinforcements. I like the full tongue gusset, which kept out gravel and sand, and the snug lacing pattern, which held my feet tight against sidehill rolling. "Great traction on mud, trail, or rock," reported one tester after runs through Utah's Wasatch foothills and scrambles through Capitol Reef, crediting the prominent sole lugs. But they are heavier and bulkier than the other high-scoring models, so not the top choice if you lean toward nimble runners. Best for medium-to-wide feet.
Overall: 4.0 (5=perfect gear; 1=save your money)
Sizes: men's 8-11 1/2, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 (D, EE); women's 6-10 1/2, 11, 12, 13 (B, D)
Weight: 1 lb. 11 oz.
Contact: (800) 843-2668; www.dunhamfits.com.