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

By Andrew Skurka / November 12, 2018 /

Update (October 19, 2019: Read my full review of the Salomon X Alpine Pro. 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…

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

By Andrew Skurka / November 11, 2018 /

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…

Review: Hoka One One Clifton 5 || Iterative changes from 4th gen

By Andrew Skurka / August 12, 2018 /

The fifth-generation Hoka One One Clifton 5 arrived in retail stores a few months ago, and the fourth-generation Clifton 4 (my review) is being phased out (REI clearance here). It is available in two versions: Clifton 5 ($130, 9.4 oz) Clifton 5 Knit ($135, 9.2 oz) I was sent the standard Clifton 5 for review. Both styles…

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

By Andrew Skurka / August 8, 2018 /

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 /

Update: I have posted a long-term review of the Bushido II based on my experience with it in Alaska and Yosemite. 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…

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

By Andrew Skurka / February 28, 2018 /

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 /

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…

Preview: Salomon S/Lab Ultra & Ultra Pro, and S/Lab Sense 7 & Sense Pro 3

By Andrew Skurka / January 31, 2018 /

For 2018 Salomon has partially reconfigured the line architecture of its trail running shoes, to better leverage a few success stories and to create space for greater product differentiation. It created an entirely new category, Ultra, and then updated the S/Lab and Pro models in its longstanding Sense line. Ultra The new Ultra category is more niche…

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

By Andrew Skurka / January 29, 2018 /

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 /

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…