The Vivobarefoot Ultra 3 is a lightweight anatomically shaped shoe that gives you a nice barefoot feel. The Ultra 3 provides impressive underfoot protection via a puncture resistant outsole. My favorite part of the shoe is the EVA upper with hexagon cutouts, that allows my feet to breathe in hot weather, drain and dry after getting wet, and still feel protected when kicking around a campsite.
The Adidas Terrex Two Boa is a nimble 13.3oz (size 12US) trail running shoe with a plush midsole and grippy outsole. The uppers breathe well, and utilize a Boa lacing system that allows for quick and precise adjustments on the fly. The Terrex Two Boa rides like a road shoe, but still has the trail-ready chops for most of my adventures in the mountains.
The Salomon Sense Ultra Pro has been my ‘Goldilocks’ trail shoe of the year so far. From upper to outsole, everything feels ‘just right’ for my feet. I’ve worn these on hikes and trail runs, and have yet to find something that I don’t like about them. The Sense Ultra Pro is built on the same platform as the SLAB Sense Ultra, and as much as I liked the SLAB Sense Ultra, I like the Sense Ultra Pro even more.
The SLAB Ultra is a maximum feature trail shoe by Salomon that is built to take on any trail and any distance. The SLAB Ultra is built on a stable platform with an 8mm drop, and provides two layers of underfoot protection with Profeel Film and a TPU insert. I have put close to 250 miles on this shoe and will share my thoughts in this review.
alewa’s Ultra Train 2 is a trail shoe specifically designed for speed hiking, fastpacking, and high alpine mountain training. The low-profile upper has a precise fit with a durable and protective outer shell. The protective 8mm drop midsole and aggressive Michelin compound outsole are carryovers from the original Ultra Train, which will be welcome news to those that enjoyed the original. I’ve been wear testing the Salewa’s Ultra Train 2 since they were released a few months ago, and will share my experience in this review.
The Adidas Terrex Swift R2 is a burly, rugged, and sturdy trail shoe that’s made to tackle long hikes and backpacking trips. The Swift R2 is built on a stable 10mm drop platform with a sturdy board lasted midsole. The aggressive full coverage outsole uses a super sticky Continental rubber compound for a sure footed stride on wet and dry trails.
The Lycan is a brand new mountain running trail shoe from La Sportiva. The Lycan is nimble and light, combining a highly responsive midsole with a sticky and low profile outsole. I’ve been using the Lycan as a light hiker and as my go-to trail running shoe since their release, and will share my thoughts in this review.
The XA Elevate is Salomon’s newest entry into their “On & Off Trail” shoe line-up. These shoes are designed for high alpine pursuits and are perfectly suited for steep terrain and challenging underfoot conditions. The XA Elevate is built on a highly stable 8mm-drop midsole, and has a Premium Wet-Traction Contragrip outsole that clings on to anything and everything.
The Access Knit is an approach shoe from Five Ten that looks, feels, and rides like a running shoe, yet provides the ultimate in underfoot security with a sticky dot rubber outsole. The one-piece knit upper on the Access Knit makes this shoe amazingly comfortable on long trail days and in hot weather.
Finding the right tent, backpack, clothes, and trekking poles can be tough, but nothing seems to give prospective hikers more issues than footwear. I hope to simplify things with this post. Here are the best 14 pairs of trail shoes for the John Muir Trail and Pacific Crest Trail in 2018!