In December of 2014, I wrote a post titled “5 Most Exciting Lightweight Hiking Shoes For 2015“. I had no clue it would turn out to be so popular, as it’s been my most viewed post since its debut. I love keeping up to date on all of the newest trail shoes hitting the market, and rely heavily on other blogs to find out what’s being developed for each season. Hopefully, I’ll be able to attend an Outdoor Retailer Market soon, so I can be on the front end of the gear news delivery. For now, I’ll keep writing posts like this. Here I give you 5 more lightweight hiking shoes that I’m looking forward to for Summer and Fall of 2015!
5 More Exciting Lightweight Hiking Shoes for 2015!
1.) Inov-8 Terraclaw 250 and 220
My first ever lightweight hiking shoe was the original Inov-8 Roclite 295. Last year I put a lot of miles on the Inov-8 Trailroc 255, with mostly favorable opinions. I’ve been reading that Inov-8 may be planning to ditch both the Roclite and Trailroc lines in favor of this new Terraclaw, and I couldn’t be more excited. The upper looks to have the greatest improvement over the Roclite and Trailroc, with an appearance of a seamless fit. The overlays look secure, and the design is a homerun. The 250 looks to have the more conventional upper with a more durable toe cap and additional overlays. I’m really liking the asymetrical lacing on the 220, and I’ll bet it will make for a great raceday shoe for trailrunners.
In the midsole, the 250 will have an 8mm drop, whereas the 220 will have a 4mm drop. The outsole looks retooled and closer to the Roclite than the Trailroc. The widely spaced chevron lugs look to shed mud very well, and offer great grip. The Roclite outsole was a single compound, and the Trailroc outsole was made of three compounds. The Terraclaw looks to be right in the middle with two outsole compounds to maximize grip and durability.
The Roclite had the second generation Metashank rock plate, which I found to be adequate for up to 10 miles. The third generation Metashank in the Trailroc is far superior, and I hope they use this same technology in the Terraclaw. You can see pictures of the different shanks employed by Inov-8 here.
I’m going to try and get my hands on a pair of the 250 as soon as they become available. Keep your eyes open for a review in the fall!
Release date: Summer 2015
2.) Salomon S-Lab Wings (Hardground and Softground)
Two years ago, I put a massive number of trail running miles on a pair of Salomon S-Lab XT 5 trail shoes. I really loved the quality of fit, stability, and overall durability of the shoe. After they reached the end of their running life, I started working them into the hiking rotation. The major problem was how narrow the shoe was. Any hike over 8 miles put my toes in an absolute bind, and trashed my toenails on the downhill. This is the reason I always buy my hiking shoes a half size larger than my running shoes. The problem with Salomon, is that they don’t carry a 12.5 in all of their models. I’ve seen that they’ve begun to manufacturer a 12.5 for the Sense Ultra line, so I’m hoping they do so as well for the Wings. If so, I’ll be very interested tin trying a pair.
As you can see in the pictures above, Salomon will offer a hardground (red) and softground (black) version of the S-Lab Wings. If these are like the previous XT 1-6 models of this shoe, the major differences between the two versions are the softground having deeper lugs on the outsole, and less permeability for the upper. This shoe is listed at 10 oz, with a 9mm drop.
The upper of these shoes employs the internal endofit socklike liner for superior comfort, and uses Salomon Sensifit as an overlay to optimize fit and stability. Much like the Sense Ultra line, Salomon uses a welded toe cap overlay for protection at the front.
The biggest departure from previous models is in the midsole. Salomon has gotten rid of the solid plastic 3D chassis found in previous models and replaced it with a solid foam midsole. For rock protection, Salomon uses pro-feel film in the forefoot. I first experienced the pro-feel film in my Salomon Sense Mantras on trail runs, and really liked it. The outsole has also undergone a very serious overhaul, as Salomon has replaced the previous model’s chevron lugs with a new contra-grip trapezoid pattern.
Release date: July 2015
3.) Altra Lone Peak 2.5
I wore the Altra Lone Peak 2.0 for some trail running and hiking this year, and my only real complaint was the durability of the outsole. The comfort and fit of the 2.0 was really nice, and I found myself reaching for the Lone Peak whenever my feet were craving comfort. It’s just a shame that the lugs on the outsole were worn flat by about 80 miles. I’m hoping that was just a production and manufacturing issues, and if so, I’d be more than willing to give the 2.5 a shot.
The upper is the big mid generation update here, where Altra claims to have shed an entire ounce. This is done through a combination of new materials, and by decreasing the overall volume in the heel and midfoot. I had to cinch the laces pretty tight on the 2.0 which is unusual for me, so I’m thinking the decrease in volume will be welcomed by many. The midsole will stay the same, which is very good news. The outsole pattern looks to be the same, which is not a bad thing. As I mentioned above, I just hope these last longer than the 2.0 that I wore. I read that Atlra may be using a different rubber compound for the outsole, a welcome change for many if it proves more durable.
Release date: July 2015
4.) Saucony Nomad TR
This is one of the more surprising shoes for me, as I haven’t worn a Saucony shoe since the Peregrine 2 back in 2012 for a season of trail running. I wore the Kinvara before that in 2010 for the Los Angeles Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon! The problem with Saucony for me has been the last, as their shoes always felt a bit too pointed in the toe box. This new Nomad TR seems to correct for that with a much wider looking toe box design.
The Nomad is listed at 9.2 oz and has a 4mm drop. The upper design is a flashback from the 80’s, which I’m a big fan of! The upper is a one piece unit with overlays that looks to be very secure and comfortable. One of the coolest features of this shoe is the outsole. The newly designed power track outsole looks like it will be very flexible and grippy over hard packed surfaces. I’ll be excited to try a pair of these on and see how they feel.
Release date: June 2015
5.) Dynafit Feline X7
I haven’t been able to find out that much about the Dynafit Feline X7, or when they’ll be available for purchase here in the States. Hopefully, that information will be available soon. For now, I’ll just keep myself interested with the specs on the Dynafit website.
The first thing that drew me to this shoe was the design. The ballistic bumper and durable overlays make this shoe look bomb proof. I’m also very enthusiastic about the BOA lacing system, although I’ve yet to experience it on a shoe of my own. The Feline X7 has an 8mm drop which is right in my sweetspot, and an aggressive looking Vibram outsole. Hopefully this shoe will be available in the States soon, so I can try on a pair.