“These are great for people who tackle big miles with substantial packs,” says one Oregon mountaineer who wallowed through deep mud and snow on the steep Ruckel Creek and Ruckel Ridge Trails in the Columbia River Gorge. “A 45-pound pack, hours of snow, and 3,700 feet of elevation gain in 9 miles: no problem,” he says. All testers raved about the comfort of the mostly nubuk leather, Gore-Tex-lined Tundra. “I wore them as camp shoes, even after a long day,” says one.
“The supple leather gives, like it’s been worked or massaged, but it’s thick and substantial enough to provide solid protection, even in the toebox.” Says another: “They conformed beautifully to my feet almost instantly, and the underfoot cushion feels decadent.” Testers appreciated the details of fine Italian craftsmanship, like the perfectly sculpted padding around the anklebone and the way the bellows tongue folds smoothly into the one-piece leather upper. “I’m typically not a big fan of boots that are primarily leather, because I find synthetic fabrics more breathable,” another tester said after enduring rain, ice, snow, and mud on Colorado’s 9,237-foot Emerald Mountain.
“But the four small Cordura mesh windows let heat escape so my feet stayed plenty dry.” Testers agreed that their feet felt armored in these boots, thanks to the supportive and well-contoured heel pocket (which is reinforced with hard plastic TPU), a stiff but cushioned PU midsole, and a durable Vibram tread. $240; 2 lbs. 14 oz.; m’s 40-48, w’s 37-43; zamberlanusa.com
Womens and MensSABINO TRAIL MID GTX (GL2106, GM2103)
Lightweight and protective, the Sabino Trail Mid is built for fastpackers and those who demand a high performance, long distance hiking shoe. GORE-TEX® lining for waterproof, breathable protection.
Synthetic leather and nylon mesh upper materials are lightweight and flexible.
Variable width lacing design for an adjustable fit over the foot
Dual density compression molded EVA midsole for stability and support, with heel and forefoot internal pods for cushioning
Thermoplastic midfoot shank for torsional rigidity and support
Gryptonite traction outsole for great traction and exceptional durability
Gusseted tongue to keep out debris
Details- Women's: 13.5 oz.; Last: ULT; Stainless, Blue River (081); $140
Men's: 15.6 oz.; Last: ULT; Grill, Yellow (063); $140