Low-top hiking shoes are perfect for warm-weather, light-duty excursions. Fit your feet right with these three options:
Columbia Conspiracy OutDry — $125Weight: 0.64 kg (1.4 lbs)
Best for: On-trail day-hikes.
We love running shoes because they're comfortable. We love light hikers because they're burly and stable. With the Conspiracy, we got the best of both for less weight than most trail runners. A multi-density midsole with a partial shank provided plenty of stability on rough and uneven ground while just enough cushioning kept us comfortable on long hauls. They even felt good on a short run, something we can't say about most hikers. Women’s and men’s models available.
Bottom line: Not enough support for off-trail hiking, but when it's about serious distance, these are your best bet. Columbia
Keen CNX Tunari/Haven CNX — $100Weight: 0.55 kg (1.2 lbs)
Best For: Adventure travel.
Making running shoes perform more like a bare foot can reduce injuries. Can the same be said for hiking? The jury is out, but we do like the feeling of the Tunari. With only a four-millimetre slope from heel-to-toe and little in the way of cushioning, these lightweight hikers feel minimalist and our feet definitely felt more in-tune with the trail. The smooth-and-rounded outsole did a surprisingly good job of grabbing mud and roots, probably thanks to the flat sole, which puts more rubber in contact with the ground. (Women's model is the Haven CNX.)
Bottom Line: Best saved for buff trails and travelling the world. KEEN
Teva Sphere Trail eVent — $180Weight: 0.73 kg (1.6 lbs)
Best for: Heel strikers.
When Teva partnered with human performance lab P3 to build the ultimate outdoor cross-trainer — a four-year project — the partners quickly realized that despite the forefoot running movement, most of us still land on our heels when walking. To cater-to and cushion this style of striding, they rounded the heel. Then, to promote better stability, they added a circular pod at the arch of the foot. The result is a shoe that feels incredibly stable and smooth on the trail, but looks and feels a little weird. (We reviewed the eVent, the waterproof and breathable version.) It also comes in full mesh; women’s and men’s models available.
Bottom Line: Might take a bit of getting used to, but it works. Teva