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Archive | Footwear

Four shoes that would I think would work well in early-season conditions, due to breathable uppers, abrasion-resistant toeboxes, and aggressive outsoles. L to R: Cascadia, Lone Peak, Ultra Train, X Ultra.

Footwear & foot care for early-season conditions

What must you absolutely get right when selecting footwear for early-season conditions? As with every other season, they must fit. Period. All other footwear characteristics are secondary. However, if you get these right, too, you’ll be much better off than having a well-fitting shoe that never dries and performs poorly on snow. Boots & shoes “Waterproof” […]

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The Lone Peak 3.0, the most recent iteration of Altra's popular cushioned trail shoe.

Review: Altra Lone Peak 3.0 || For wide large-volume feet or easy trails

Among segments of trail runners, ultra runners, and backpackers, the Lone Peak shoe from Altra Footwear has gained an almost cult-like following for its unique feature set: a voluminous toe box combined with generous midsole cushioning and zero drop from heel to toe. Does the most recent iteration — the Altra Lone Peak 3.0 — […]

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The black rubber around the perimeter is very durable, and the colored rubber is more sticky. The flaw is the strip of foam between the rubber compounds -- the shoe would fall apart here first.

Long-term gear reviews: Product insights after a 100-day Appalachian Trail thru-hike

Intro by Skurka. After his recent 100-day thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, Garrett contacted me with some gear reviews, some about products I have written about previously. I thought his insights were valuable, due to his extensive use and to his unbiased viewpoint, and asked his permission to share them. If you have questions for Garrett, leave a comment. […]

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My waterproof telemark ski boots were overwhelmed by the melting snowpack and open creek crossings in the Alaska Range in April. Cold and macerated feet ensued. Photo by Michael C Brown.

In what conditions will I hike in “waterproof” footwear?

For extended wear in 3-season conditions, I strongly discourage the use of “waterproof” footwear. When it’s dry, they trap excessive heat and perspiration. When it’s wet, the waterproofing will eventually fail. And after getting wet, the shoes will dry very slowly. For a more in-depth analysis of waterproof footwear performance, read this post. The paragraph […]

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After getting wet, my waterproof shoes dried extraordinarily slowly. After 24 hours of dry conditions, the exterior fabric was only partially dry. Meanwhile, moisture was unable to escape from inside my shoe.

Complete failure: I gave “waterproof” Gore-Tex hiking shoes a second chance

My skepticism of waterproof-breathable fabrics (like Gore-Tex) and products that utilize them (like rain gear and “waterproof” footwear) is no secret. For a history, read: Why I’m hard on Gore-Tex, the King of Hype Breathability: an explanation of its importance, mechanisms, and limitations Core 13 Clothing: Rain Jacket & Rain Pants Occasionally, however, it’s healthy […]

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Ascending the snowfield on Thunderbird's north ridge. So long as the snow has not frozen hard overnight, it could be done comfortably in trail runners. But the precipice below the run-out is good motivation to wear crampons.

Notes for next time: Gear, logistics, & snow travel || Glacier Divide Route

For my next trip on the Glacier Divide Route, what should I remember from this past one? Logistics The drive to Glacier National Park from Colorado is intimidating — about 15 hours, depending on the final destination. But it wasn’t terrible, and it’s eye-opening to know that I can reach Glacier in 1.5 days even if I’m […]

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Wear of the front-most knobs, probably due to extensive climbing.

Review: Salewa Lite Train Trail Running Shoes

Since sharing my early impressions about the Salewa Lite Train last month, I’ve logged many more miles in them, 140 and counting. For product specs, more photos, shoe comparisons, and less informed insight, refer to my first post. Now, though, it’s time for a full-on review. The Salewa Lite Train retails for $130. They are available […]

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salewa-lite-train-outsole

Early impressions: Salewa Lite Train Trail Running Shoe

Update (June 15, 2016): Also read my full review. Earlier this year Salewa launched its “Mountain Training” category with three distinct models for trail running and hiking. The Lite Train is the most minimal of the bunch, but most definitely still shares hallmarks of Salewa footwear, like robust design and impeccable construction. I will eventually write […]

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