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The uppers are made of breathable mesh and TPU reinforcements. This has proven to be a winning construction for Salomon running shoes.

Review: Salomon Odyssey Pro || Hiking shoe with strong running pedigree

The Salomon Odyssey Pro was introduced to me at Outdoor Retailer as “a thru-hiking shoe with running shoe design cues.” That sounded interesting and right up my alley, so I asked for a review pair to test while leading trips this summer in the Indian Peaks Wilderness and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park. Our routes were […]

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The Hoka One One Speedgoat 2, developed with superstar Karl Meltzler, is classic Hoka: it's lightweight and generously cushioned, and offers a smooth ride. For its height, it's remarkably stable.

Review: Hoka One One Speedgoat 2 || Light, plush, grippy & surprisingly stable

On my first three outings with the second-generation Hoka One One Speedgoat 2, I took it out for 13-, 11-, and 25-mile trail runs with nearly 10,000 vertical feet in cumulative climbing. That’s rare for a shoe with which I had no prior history — normally, I start off slowly, with short and low-risk runs […]

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The third-generation Pocket Cleat from Vargo, which will be available this fall.

Preview: Vargo Pocket Cleats v3 || Sub-3 oz traction for early-season backpacking

The third-generation Pocket Cleats from Vargo have undergone significant revisions since v2, which was tweaked from v1. They will be available in October or November in stainless steel ($40, 2.9 oz) and titanium ($60, 2.1 oz), each in just one size that will fit most running shoes, hiking shoes, and hiking boots. Problems with v1 and […]

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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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