My first thoughts on the Annex were that it felt bulky and clumsy – especially as I wore them after trying the Salewa Speed Ascent and Scarpa’s Mojito.
But delve into the construction and it’s a pretty neat piece of engineering. The shoe is built quite high, coming in just below the ankle. But with a nylon arch shank to reduce twisting and rigid inserts placed on the outside of the padded ankle and heel to offer resistance to rolling, it offers excellent stability. The inserts are easy to overlook, but they are a simple and effective method of protecting the ankle on uneven terrain.
With leather uppers, a breathable mesh lining and plenty of padding, the Annex is a comfortable shoe. It’s roomy in the toebox – protected by abrasion-resistant textile – easily accommodating wide feet without creating pressure points. The Vibram outsole is complex. It has a multiple tread pattern, each pattern serving a different purpose. There’s forward-facing lugs at the rear to provide braking on descents, and rear facing tread positioned at the big and little toes to provide extra bite when pushing off the ground. Most people will only care if it offers grip on a variety of surfaces. It does.
Being wide fit and having features normally found on boots (the Annex also comes in a Mid, above-the-ankle, style) it weighs a rather cumbersome 907g/pair.
A comfortable hiking shoe for the full range of day and overnight trips.