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September 2017 Issue
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2017’s best hiking shoes

Salewa Wander Hiker GTX ($349). www.bobo.co.nz
Whether you’re out for a day hike or determined to carry light loads on your overnighters, a pair of low-cut hiking shoes are just the ticket. 

Eyelets and laces
Fabric eyelets are common, with some metal or hard plastic eyelets used on those shoes intended for demanding uses.

Outsole
Wide-spaced and deep lugs are designed to shed mud and offer grip in all conditions. A pronounced instep will provide braking power on descent.

Toe box
A rubber bumper protects toes from knocks and the shoe upper from abrasion.

Midsole
Most midsoles – the material between the inner and outsole – are EVA, a polymer designed to handle the stress and impact of walking over uneven ground. Easy-flex models are more comfortable on level ground and when moving fast. Stiffer shoes are better for rockier terrain and allow more precise footholds when climbing and scrambling.

Fit and width
The toe box should have a thumb-width of space in front of the longest toe. The overall fit should be snug – not tight – across the arch and forefoot.

Heel
A heel counter supports and stabilises the foot, preventing heel lift. A shock absorber will reduce heel strike.

Upper
Most hiking shoes are made from a combination of leather and synthetic material, which makes them light and relatively cheap. Full leather shoes are more expensive, but, with less stitching, should last longer.

Now you know what to look for, it’s time to choose a shoe…

Salewa Wander Hiker GTX $349
Use Alpine hiking Upper 1.6mm nubuck leather Construction Gore-Tex Extended Comfort lining, 3F heel hold system, quick lacing system, flex collar, OrthoLite footbed, rubber toe cap, GumFlate midsole cushioning foam Outsole Michelin Outdoor Compound rubber Weight 780g (m); 620g (w). www.bobo.co.nz

Salewa Mountain Trainer $329
Use Approach, hiking, light tramping Upper Suede Construction adaptive memory foam, 360-degree rubber rand, mid-stiff nylon insole, 3F heel hold system, climbing-style lacing system, customisable footbed Outsole Vibram Alpine Approach Weight 1060g (m), 870 g (w). www.bobo.co.nz

The North Face Endurus Hike GTX $300
Use Lightweight tramping Upper Synthetic, mesh Construction Gore-Tex membrane, seamless welded-TPU panels, TPU toe cap, FlashDry collar lining, OrthoLite footbed, forefoot-to-midfoot ESS snake plate, soft-density XtraFoam midsole, firmer EVA compound around perimeter. Outsole Vibram XS Trek Weight 764g (m); 658g (w). www.thenorthface.co.nz

 

Keen Men’s Targhee EXP $289.99
Use Hiking Upper Leather and performance mesh Construction KEEN.Dry waterproof, breathable membrane, nylon shank, leather mud shield, injected TPU heel stabiliser, dual-density compression-moulded EVA midsole, mesh lining, removable EVA footbed Outsole All-terrain rubber Weight N/A. www.keenfootwear.co.nz

 

Merrell Moab FST Waterproof $279
Use Hiking Upper Leather, mesh and TPU Construction M Select DRY waterproof.breathable membrane, bellows tongue,breathable mesh lining, M Select odour control, blended EVA-contoured footbed, moulded nylon arch shank, air cushion heel Outsole Vibram MegaGrip, 5mm lugs Weight 796g (m); 646g (w). www.merrell.co.nz

 

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