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Preview: Salomon X Alpine Pro || For scrambly runs, maybe high routes

By Andrew Skurka / November 12, 2018 / 7 Comments

When running and racing on trails, I normally wear Salomon Sense or Salomon Ultra shoes. But for hiking and backpacking, I currently have to look elsewhere. For two years my go-to has been the La Sportiva Bushido (my review; and my preview of the Bushido II), which is perfectly suited for high routes: they’re securely fitting, durable,…

Preview: Altra Tusher || Hiking boot with zero drop & foot shape

By Andrew Skurka / November 11, 2018 / 25 Comments

My coverage of Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2018 starts with Altra, which has developed a cult-like following among hikers and runners for its zero drop shoes, wide lasts, and gender-specific fits. Altra revealed three new shoes at the show: the Tusher, Grafton, and Wahweap. They will be available in July 2019. Availability is uncertain at this…

Preview: Salomon Odyssey Triple Crown || Altra Lone Peak alternative

By Andrew Skurka / August 8, 2018 / 17 Comments

The Salomon Odyssey Pro (my review) is somewhat unique: instead of being a trail running shoe that has been adopted by hikers, it’s a hiking shoe that has the comfort, breathability, and weight of a trail runner. In spring 2019 Salomon will release the second generation Odyssey, the Odyssey Triple Crown. The target market is not…

Preview: La Sportiva Bushido II || Go-to “high route shoe” gets better

By Andrew Skurka / August 8, 2018 / 13 Comments

The La Sportiva Bushido is designed for running on rugged mountain trails, but I’ve found it to be best suited for backpacking high routes. Most notably, it: Sits low to the ground, for stability on uneven surfaces; Features a stiff midsole, for kicking steps in snow and hard dirt, and for holding an edge on…

Review: Hoka One One Challenger ATR 4 || Easy singletrack + mixed runs

By Andrew Skurka / February 28, 2018 / 10 Comments

My shoe-de-jour changes with the season and the training cycle. Last summer while training for 100-mile mountain ultras and undertaking high routes I was most excited about the Salomon S/Lab Sense Ultra (my review) and La Sportiva Bushido (my review). In the lead-up to the Houston Marathon in January, I put hundreds of miles on the Hoka…

Review: Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro || What am I missing?

By Andrew Skurka / February 22, 2018 / 22 Comments

For a few weeks I have been using a friend’s Suunto Spartan Sport Wrist HR Baro. I am a longtime user of Suunto’s original GPS watch family, the Ambit, but this is the first Spartan series model that I have worn. It has a few nice features, but my recommendation is to stay away from…

Buyer’s Guide: Kathoola Microspikes vs K-10 and KTS Crampons || Differences, intended uses, and limitations

By Andrew Skurka / January 29, 2018 / 32 Comments

Kahtoola was showing off its new gaiters at the Outdoor Retailer tradeshow, but I was more interested in its time-tested traction devices. These spikes and crampons are crux for: Running on snow- and ice-covered trails and roads; and, Hiking on glacial ice, crust-covered snowpack, or steep-ish lingering snowfields. All the Kahtoola devices are compatible with soft-soled…

Preview: Altra Lone Peak 4.0 || More durable upper & new stickier outsole

By Andrew Skurka / January 26, 2018 / 93 Comments

At the Altra booth I found the Lone Peak 4.0, the next-generation of this popular trail running and thru-hiking shoe. It will be available in August 2018, and in four versions: Low Mesh ($120, 10.2 oz for M’s, 8.7 oz for W’s) Mid Mesh ($130, 12.3 oz for M’s, 10.3 oz for W’s) Low RSM…

Long-term review: DeFeet Wooleator Sock || Go-to sock for a decade-plus

By Andrew Skurka / January 23, 2018 / 12 Comments

In December I visited my parents in Massachusetts, and my mom had waiting for me a box of possessions that I needed to bring back to Colorado or throw out. Along with newspaper clippings from the Sea-to-Sea Route, a Valentine’s Day card from a high school sweetheart, and running logs from the pre-Strava era, I…

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

By Andrew Skurka / October 16, 2017 / 16 Comments

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…