Gear Guide 2012: Mid Duty Boots/Shoes

These mid duty boots offer a great fit with comfort and stability to help you conquer any terrain.

Patagonia Drifter A/C Mid

At the weight of a light hiker with the support of a burlier boot, these midcuts excel at fast-and-light backpacking and scrambling, according to one tester who wore them climbing rocky Mt. Adams in Washington. Breezy mesh panels keep the interior ventilated, while the ample, anatomical EVA midsole provide plenty of cushion and support for carrying up to 40 pounds. $160; 2 lbs. 4 oz.;

Salewa Alp Trainer Mid GTX

There are few guarantees on the trail, but Salewa offers one: no blisters. The key to the Alp Trainer’s success (Editors’ Choice 2011) is a secure and adjustable fit, the result of a Y-shaped exoskeleton with a tiny steel cable for a snug heel that won’t rub, plus a dual-layer insole to adjust overall boot volume. $179; 2 lbs. 6 oz.;

Scarpa Moraine Mid GTX

Looking to scale down from heavier boots without sacrificing support and protection? Get these: The surprisingly lightweight Moraine has a comfortable, roomy toebox and snug heel cup that kept an Idaho tester’s feet happy as he bashed them into rocks while trail running and scrambling in the Boise foothills. $145; 1 lb. 14 oz.;

TrekSta Evolution Mid GTX

The fit and comfort of this ultralight waterproof hiker earned it a 2011 Editors’ Choice Award. Ideal for fastpacking and heavy-load backpacking (up to 50 pounds), the midcut Evolution earned praise for solid ankle stability, low weight, and a supportive but flexible midsole—and an affordable price. $140; 1 lb. 15 oz.;

Vasque Talus UD

“Supercomfortable, with good grip on slickrock,” one Colorado tester says of these classic-styled, waterproof, nubuck leather boots. With good ankle support and a PU midsole for underfoot protection, the Talus let another tester easily carry a 35-pound pack on a trail of rock and ice. $150; 2 lbs. 9 oz.;