Hi-Tec Zuuk Lite
Credit: Hi-Tec

Hi-Tec Zuuk Lite

This is a funny little shoe with a funny little name — but for tropical travellers and general summertime wear, the Zuuk Lites proves their worth quickly. For travel, the Zuuks are completely crushable and easily stuffed in your carry-on bag’s outside pocket. They don’t weigh enough to matter (165 grams) and the bungee-lace slip-on style makes for quick on-and-off. The uppers are tough canvas and the soles are a thin-but-durable EVA. Antimicrobial Ortholite soles add some pavement-pounding comfort and help, um, “compensate” for the fact you’ll likely not be wearing socks. Had I owned these in 2012 when I spent a month in India, I would have kept them on from Delhi to Goa. Men’s and women’s styles available. ($50; hi-tec.com)

Eddie Bauer Full Circuit
Credit: David Webb

Eddie Bauer Full Circuit

Eddie Bauer is chasing the active, adventure traveller with their new line of footwear. The Full Circuit is all-purpose a tarmac-to-trail travel shoe — designed to be the only kick you need pack abroad. With their ergonomically designed polyurethane footbeds and carbon-rubber outsoles, quality is not in question. I tested a pre-release pair on a multitude of surfaces and found them to be stable and supportive enough for on-trail hiking, yet soft enough for cruising sidewalks — excellent forefoot support and absorptive midsole means I would even take these on a light trail run. They may be a touch flashy for some people’s tastes — but for an all-purpose active kick, the Full Circuit is hard to beat. Look for them in stores and online at the end of July. Men’s and women’s styles available; 330 grams.($120; eddiebauer.com)

ECCO Biom Ultra Quest Plus
Credit: ECCO

ECCO BIOM Ultra Quest Plus

After spending a few months beating-up a pair of ECCO’s yak-leather BIOM Ultra Quest Plus shoes, it’s fair to say I’ve found the “one shoe to rule them all.” For starters, the BIOM fit is crafted to be roomy in the toe for active movement and ECCO’s direct-injection method of bonding the leather upper to the polyurethane midsole level ensures long-term durability. Further, the lightly lugged rubber sole makes short work of mud, gravel and loose dirt (even slush and snow) while feeling just as at-home on the sidewalk. I’ve kicked around ski towns with them. I slip them on for evening walks with my wife. I even wore them while skeleton racing at Whistler Sliding Centre, and after dragging my toes over the ice at 97 km/h, they sustained only a gentle scuff — a true testament to yak leather’s renowned toughness. Men’s and women’s styles available. ($180; eccocanada.com)

 

KEEN Gallatin CNX
Credit: KEEN

KEEN Gallatin CNX

Of all the KEEN Waterfront edition sandals, the Gallatin CNX is my favourite. This is a trail-ready water-shoe: solid amphibious grip, yet offering full protection and stability with a sturdy toe bumper, full-length bungee laces, heavy-duty polyester webbing and a stability shank. The polyurethane midsole and contoured arch is comfy for putting on the miles, and the uppers provide near-shoe-level protection while still breathing like a sandal. (A antimicrobial treatment reduces stank-foot on particularly hot days.) Online buyers take note: the Gallatin fits small, so going half-size larger is a good rule of thumb. Above all the technical chops, I really like the Gallatin CNX’s industrial looks — like the love child of a work boot and a flip-flop. Weighs 266 grams; four-millimetre midsole drop; three colour schemes. ($110; keenfootwear.com)

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