For big loads and steep, off-trail terrain, I want solid support and stability without excess weight. The Terek delivers, thanks to the midsole’s relatively light combination of molded EVA (for cushion) and full-length polyurethane shank (for rigidity). I sported these high-cuts all over the West, from light-load dayhikes in Yosemite to difficult treks, like a six-day bushwhack around Mt. Shasta with a 60-pound pack. The boots weren’t too heavy or clunky for the former, nor too light or flexy for the latter.
The eight-hook lace system and tongue hooks enhanced all-day comfort, as I could cinch the uppers snug without causing too much friction in any spot. The split-leather and Cordura upper and full rubber rand stood up to abrasion on Sierra granite, and the Gore-Tex liner kept my feet dry during a soggy-snow trek up Yosemite’s Cloud’s Rest. Bonus: Break-in time was negligible because of the excellent out-of-the-box fit (ideal for my wide feet). $260; 2 lbs. 10 oz. (w’s 8.5); m’s 7-14, w’s 5.5-10.5; lowaboots.com.
Dalea Mid eVent
When you’re hiking, comfort is the most important feature of your footwear, so why settle for a shoe that was designed for a man’s foot? The Dalea Mid eVent was specifically designed to perfectly fit a woman’s foot. It doesn’t matter if your hikes last hours or days, the Dalea Mid eVent will ensure that your feet are always comfortable. Add in the eVent waterproof membrane and Vibram rubber outsole, and you have a light hiking shoe that is up to any challenge.
•Full Grain Nubuck and Suede Leather Upper with Scotchguard Stain Protection
•eVent Waterproof/Breathable Membrane
•Molded Sockliner with Enhanced Comfort Foam Technology
•Nylon Shank for Torsional Rigidity and Stability
•External Shoc Pad for Enhanced Shock Absorption
•Vibram Rubber Outsole For Versatile Traction