Tough and Versatile
Thrashing through thorny desert vegetation and abrasive rock on rough scrambles at Nevada's Red Rock Canyon can quickly trash shoes. But not these tough low-cuts: After three days of battling gnarly approach routes to the climbing crags, our tester reported, "My shoes still look new–except for being very, very dusty." Credit the tough, polyurethane-coated suede uppers and a rubber rand extending past the arch.
Quite supportive for its weight, the Karakoram held up when a tester lugged a 40-pound climbing pack, yet was very comfortable when he was striding on the trail. To-the-toes lacing and an outsole that's flush with the uppers give the shoe good sensitivity for edging and smearing. But choose it for cooler climates: The upper is only moderately breathable. Best for medium-volume, slightly wide feet. $110; 1 lb. 15 oz. Patagonia.com