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Review: Hoka Clifton 2 || Featherlight, plush, & well fitting running shoe

By Andrew Skurka / March 18, 2017 /

Count me among the Hoka One One skeptics when it first arrived on the scene. I assumed the exceptional stack height would translate into a wobbly ride. I was turned off by the obnoxious color pallette. And I observed one client destroy a new pair in just 60 (hard) miles in the High Sierra. But…

Footwear & foot care for early-season conditions

By Andrew Skurka / March 14, 2017 /

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”…

Preview: Altra Lone Peak 3.5, Timp & King Mountain

By Andrew Skurka / January 11, 2017 /

On display at the Altra booth was the next iteration of its best-selling trail shoe, the Lone Peak 3.5, plus two new trail shoes, the Timp and King Mountain. Preview: Altra Lone Peak 3.5 Expect minor changes from the current Lone Peak 3.0 (my review). The 3.5 will retain the same voluminous last and fit,…

Win the Salewa Ultra Train Trail Shoes || Holiday Giveaway #6

By Andrew Skurka / December 13, 2016 /

Did I save the best for last? I think so, but only incidentally, since Salewa is last in alphabetical order among the brands that generously provided goodies for this giveaway series: Coast, Esbit, GaiaGPS, LuminAid, and Platypus; plus Sierra Designs, which broadcast my holiday gift guide last week via Facebook Live Yesterday’s winner Congrats to Elena G,…

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

By Andrew Skurka / November 30, 2016 /

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 —…

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

By Garrett Workman / September 26, 2016 /

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.…

Review: Salewa Ultra Train Hiking & Running Shoes

By Andrew Skurka / September 13, 2016 /

The Salewa Ultra Train is the shoe I hoped it would be, with one circumvent-able flaw. In the past month I have worn it on rugged backpacking trips in the Colorado Rockies, as well as on several trail runs and mild hikes to better understand its optimal range. Review: Salewa Ultra Train Some may find…

Review: Altra Provision 2.5 || An easy-rider for roads & non-technical trails

By Andrew Skurka / September 2, 2016 /

When I retired my Altra Lone Peak 2.5 shoes in June after surpassing 550 clicks (read my long-term review), a void was left in my closet: I had no generously cushioned shoe suitable for easy recovery runs on roads and non-technical trails. Fortuitously, the Altra Provision 2.5 recently arrived for review. (Altra also sent the Lone Peak…

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

By Andrew Skurka / August 26, 2016 /

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…

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

By Andrew Skurka / August 13, 2016 /

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…