Best Top Lightweight Hiking Shoes 2016
Gear Lists and Advice

10 More Exciting Lightweight Hiking Shoes for 2016

The explosion in popularity of trail running has really benefited us lightweight hikers, as most of the gear used by trail runners can also be used by hikers and backpackers looking to lighten their load. Here are 10 exciting lightweight trail shoes that you'll be able to find in the second half of 2016!

For the second year in a row now, my “Top 10 Lightweight Hiking Shoes” post has been the most popular page on Trail to Peak. I created that post almost a year ago, and have some exciting updates to add for the second half of 2016. It’s an incredible time to be alive for those of us interested in lightweight hiking footwear. The explosion in popularity of trail running has really benefited us lightweight hikers, as most of the gear used by trail runners can also be used by hikers and backpackers looking to lighten their load. Here are 10 more exciting lightweight trail shoes that you’ll be able to find in the second half of 2016!


1.) Hoka One One Speed Instinct

Hoka One One Speed Instinct
Hoka One One Speed Instinct

Hoka has taken the trail running world by storm over the past few years with their oversized max cushion shoes. Many hikers and backpackers have avoided Hoka shoes due to the instability found in the high stack height of those max cushion midsoles. The Speed Instinct looks to be a game changer for Hoka in that it offers a great deal of cushion in a much more stable platform. The Speed Instict has a 3mm drop with 26mm in the heel and 23mm in the forefoot. This is also a very light shoe, coming in at 8.4oz in a size 9. I can’t wait to put these shoes to the test soon.

Available August 2016


2.) Brooks Mazama

Brooks Mazama
Brooks Mazama

For quite a few years now, the Brooks Cascadia has been one of the main leaders in the lightweight hiking shoe category. It’s popularity has began to wane a little in previous years with so many great offerings available, and it looks like Brooks has responded with an all new model to sit alongside the Cascadia. The new Mazama has a 6mm drop, and is built on top of an interesting midsole with a forefoot propulsion plate. This is another shoe I’m looking forward to trying soon.

Available October 2016


3.) Salomon SLAB Wings 8

Salomon SLAB Wings 8
Salomon SLAB Wings 8 (Photo: Runningwarehouse.com)

When Salomon released the SLAB Wings earlier this year, I began to wonder what would happen to the numbered line of Wings shoes. It appears they’re back, and nearly identical to the Wings update. The Wings 8 is only distinguishable from the Wings with a new colorway. I’m sure Salomon has made other changes as well, but I won’t know until I get my hands on a pair or am able to find more information online.

Available August 2016


4.) Inov-8 Trail Talon 275

Inov8 Trailtalon 275
Inov-8 Trailtalon 275 (Photo: Runningwarehouse.com)

It’s been a while since I’ve been excited about an Inov-8 trail shoe. It seems that much of the Inov-8 focus has moved towards their fitness and Crossfit line of footwear. They still have some pretty incredible offerings on the trailside, but I’ve found that their shoes work better in wet, muddy, and sloppy conditions. For whatever reason, they just don’t seem to handle the hard, hot, and rocky trails we have here in SoCal. The new Trailtalon 275 looks like to could be a nice option for the trails I frequent. This shoe has an 8mm drop with 25mm in the heel and 17mm in the forefoot. The slight knock here is that there is no forefoot rockplate, and a 17mm forefoot cushion in the midsole might not be enough for my tastes. Still, I’m really liking the upper and outsole design.

Available August 2016


5.) Altra Lone Peak 3.0

Altra Lone Peak 3.0
Altra Lone Peak 3.0

Altra has made some very inspired and promising changes to the Lone Peak model this year. The 0mm drop and footshaped toebox remain, but new are the outsole and upper. The stitched overlays on the upper look to add a great deal of additional stability, structure, and durability over the previous model. The new outsole also looks to be a really nice change.

Available August 2016


6.) Salomon Speedcross 4

Salomon Speedcross 4
Salomon Speedcross 4

The Speedcross is quite possible Salomon’s most iconic and popular shoe. The Speedcross 3 can be seen in trail races and on hiking paths all over the world. The upper and midsole on the Speedcross are pretty incredible, but ask anybody, and the first thing they’ll mention is the grip of the outsole. The outsole on the new version 4 has a slight update over the 3. This shoe has an 11m drop with 33mm in the heel and 22mm in the forefoot.

Available Now


7) Pearl Izumi EM N2 V3

Pearl Izumi Trail n2 v3
Pearl Izumi Trail n2 v3 (Photo: Runningwarehouse.com)

The v3 of the Pearl Izumi Trail n2 keeps the dynamic motion midsole offset that has made previous iterations of this shoe so popular. The outsole and upper of the n2 got a slight revamp, and the changes look promising. This shoe has a 26mm heel and a 22mm forefoot for an 8mm drop. The drop never really feels like 8mm though due to the dynamic offset.

Available Now


8.) Hoka One One Tor Speed 2

Hoka One One Tor Speed 2
Hoka One One Tor Speed 2 (Photo: Runningwarehouse.com)

This is Hoka’s second shoe for the list, with the Tor Speed 2 a mid-height waterproof option for those interested in such footwear. Built on the platform of the popular Speedgoat trail running shoe, the Tor 2 looks to be a great ultra cushioned option for those looking to fly through some nasty conditions on trail. The Tor 2 has a 5mm drop with 26mm in the heel and 21mm in the forefoot. It’s a little heavy at 13oz for a size 9, but that is to be expected for a high top waterproof shoe. It’s still a great deal lighter than anything else you’ll find in this category.

Available Now


9.) Salomon SLAB XA Alpine

Salomon SLAB XA Alpine
Salomon SLAB XA Alpine

The Salomon SLAB XA Alpine is the shoe I’m looking forward to using most this upcoming winter. I really liked the Salomon X-Alp Carbons this winter, but always felt they were a little heavy and clunky on less demanding trails. This year, Salomon comes out with the perfect answer for those looking to move fast in snowy mountains with the XA Alpine. The XA Alpine appears to be built on the same last as the Sense line, but with the added benefit of the carbon chassis from the X-Alp and a waterproof bootie on top. I’m hoping to have these shoes as soon as they are available for a review.

Available Fall 2016


10.) Saucony Razor Ice +

Saucony Razor Ice
Saucony Razor Ice

The Saucony Razor Ice + is another exciting winter trail running shoe. It’s amazing to see this category starting to grow. In previous years, it was between the La Sportiva Crossover and the Salomon Snowcross. I’m glad to see a few more options in this lightweight waterproof winter hiking shoe lineup.  What I like most about the Razor Ice is the new Vibram Artic Grip outsole. It’s supposed to be grippy on ice and snow, which would be pretty nice if accurate.

Available Fall 2016


Bonus 1.) La Sportiva Akyra

La Sportiva Akyra
La Sportiva Akyra (photo: trailrunningreview.com)

The La Sportiva Akyra is actually the shoe on this list that I’m most excited about! It comes in as a bonus selection as it’s not going to be available until 2017. The Akyra looks like a combination of the Akasha, Bushido, and Ultra Raptor from La Sportiva. The upper of the Akyra looks breathable and comfortable, the midsole looks plush and supportive, and the new outsole looks bombproof with a FriXion Red compound. I’m going to be getting these as soon as they’re available in 2017.

Available Early 2017


Bonus 2.) Merrell Agility Peak Flex

Merrell Agility Peak Flex
Merrell Agility Peak Flex (photo: hikinginfinland.com

The Agility Peak Flex looks to replace or compliment the Merrell All Out Peak in the Merrell lightweight hiker/trail runner lineup. This shoe has a 5mm drop and what looks to be a pretty sweet upper. Judging by the pictures, the Agility Peak Flex will have a precise wrap fit with laces that look like Nike Flywire. I really love the Flywire on my Nike Wildhorse 3, so I’m excited by this.

Available Early 2017


I'm Drew, creator of Trail to Peak. Trail to Peak brings content to life on the web through breath-taking photography and captivating video. I launched Trail to Peak in 2014 with a goal to inspire readers to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. I have traveled to 19 countries, walked Camino de Santiago, hiked the John Muir Trail, trekked through the Andes of Peru, and am constantly seeking new adventures in my home state of California. Joining me on my weekly adventures is my partner, Julia, our son, Owen, and our two goldendoodles, Isla and Lilly.

6 comments on “10 More Exciting Lightweight Hiking Shoes for 2016

  1. Oh my, they are all so pretty! I’m sure they perform well too. Lol

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I definitely need to look into some of these! I’m in the market for some new shoes.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Going to try Lone Peaks on tonight. Curious to see how they fit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nice! I haven’t been able to get a hold of the Lone Peak 3.0 yet. I have a pair of the Salomon SLAB Wings 8 on my desk now, though. I’m hoping Running Warehouse gets the Lone Peak 3.0 in stock soon.

      Like

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