Fast and Grippy
Heads up, aspiring John Muir Trail fastpackers: The large, raised lugs on this nonwaterproof, leather midcut bite into packed dirt (and hard snow) like nobody's business. And they have the support for loads up to 25 pounds, said one tester after late-autumn hikes on and off-trail in Idaho's Owyhee Desert. He also noted that the leather uppers, which conform to feet better than synthetic fabrics, "hugged my feet and kept me blister-free, which is rare."
Unique in this category: a wraparound rubber rand that protects the foot and improves durability. Downsides: They're a little heavy, the lugs show early wear, and the rubber tends to skate on wet rock. They run small; go up a half to a full size. Best for medium-volume feet. $130; 2 lbs. 7 oz. Golite.com