It was amazing to see the number of new hiking and trail running shoes on offer at this year’s Outdoor Retailer Winter Market. I’ve already covered the new offerings from big brands like Salomon, La Sportiva, Altra, and Hoka, and will cover Adidas Outdoor, Merrell, Vasque, Danner, and Five Ten in this post. You’ll notice that my previous posts focused heavily on trail running shoes that can double as light hiking and backpacking shoes. In this post, you’ll see a lot more dedicated hiking and backpacking shoes.
Adidas Outdoor Terrex Free Hiker (Spring/Summer 2019)
The Terrex Free Hiker is a hiking boot that fits and rides like a running shoe. The Free Hiker has a knit upper, bouncy Boost midsole, and an aggressive Continental rubber outsole. Sandwiched between the outsole and midsole is a anti-torsion support bar that reminds me a lot of the 3D Chassis found in the Salomon XA Pro 3D. The Free Hiker has a 10mm drop with 28mm in the heel and 18mm in the forefoot, weighs 14oz, and will retail for $200.
Adidas Outdoor Terrex Agravic XT (Spring/Summer 2019)
The Adidas Outdoor Agravic lineup is also getting an update for 2019. I loved the original Agravic, but wished it had a more comfortable upper. The new Agravic XT looks to have exactly that. The Agravic XT looks perfectly suited for technical running and hiking with its 7mm (17mm/10mm) drop Boost midsole platform. The XT also packs an aggressive full coverage Continental outsole and will retail for $140.
Adidas Outdoor Terrex Agravic BOA (Spring/Summer 2019)
Adidas is also releasing the Terrex Agravic Boa, which is very similar to the XT. I wore the Terrex Two Boa this year, and am a big fan of this lacing technology. The major differences between the Agravic Boa and XT, are that the Boa’s have a different upper material, 2 more mm of midsole stack (still 7mm drop), and has square cutouts in the outsole. The Terrex Agravic Boa will retail for $150.
Vasque Breeze LT Low (Spring/Summer 2019)
I didn’t get a chance to meet with any reps from Vasque at Outdoor Retailer, so I had to go by what was out on display. The first shoe that caught my eye was the Breeze LT Low. The current Vasque Breeze is a very traditional (almost clunky) looking hiker that’s getting a very nice update. This hiking shoe has a protective but comfortable looking upper, a stable midsole, and a Vibram Litebase outsole. I will update this post with more info on the Breeze LT Low as it becomes available.
Merrell Bare Access XTR (Fall 2019)
I had a lot of fun over at the Merrell both this year. Merrell has some really exciting apparel, boots, and shoes coming to market in 2019. The Merrell Bare Access XTR is the shoe I’m most looking forward to. The Bare Access line of shoes is well known and loved for providing anatomically shaped lasts that mimic a barefoot feel. The XTR is taking that same great fit and adding a lot more cushion underfoot. This shoes will compete well with offerings from Altra and Topo.
FiveTen Five Tennie (Spring 2019)
The original Five Tennie was Five Ten’s very first shoe, and the world’s first approach shoe. Climbers wore many types of shoes before, but the Five Tennie was the first shoe designed to go from horizontal to vertical terrain. The Five Tennie also introduced the concept of super high traction outsole rubber designed specifically for rock climbing. This shoe is the embodiment of Five Ten’s 35 years of climbing heritage paired with Adidas Outdoor materials and manufacturing. I’m really looking forward to taking the Five Tennie on some desert scrambles in 2019.
Danner Trail 2650 (Spring 2019)
The Danner Trail 2650 is a lightweight hiking shoe that was designed with inspiration from the Pacific Crest Trail. Many people know Danner for boots, with their iconic brown leather and bright red laces. Cheryl Strayed made the Danner Mountain Light boot instantly recognizable when she had it on the cover of her PCT chronicles book, Wild. The Trail 2650 is much more like a hiking shoe than a boot, but still packs a ton of features, like a full rock plate and Vibram Megagrip outsole. All of this for a shoe that comes in right around 12oz. The Trail 2650 will retail for $150.