Thursday, May 2, 2013

Backpacking with hiking boots or trail runners: The perennial debate

We wrestle with this question all the time in the shop and offer our thoughts/advice on what is really a matter of personal choice.  Matt Heid concisely captured the essence of this debate in his Appalachian Mountain Club blog post Hiking boots vs. Trail Runners.  So we thought we'd share it. 

What Matt didn't say is that many hiking boot makers are now making boots in an attempt to split the difference.  Their provide stability and support at minimal weight.  The two that caught the attention of Backpacker Magazines' Editors in their testing in the past few months are the Asolo Reston--and the Athena for women--and the Zamberlan Crosser.  The Asolo takes on the challenge with mid-ankle support, PU inserts, and a minimalist approach that results in a boot more akin to a slipper than what we usually think of as a backpacking boot.  Zamberlan's Crosser offers a beefier sole platform than the Reston relying on placement of rigid PU pieces in key places like the heel.  With a lightweight mesh and GTX upper, reinforced by Kevlar around the sides this shoe offers Zamberlan's legendary fit without the weight.  However Zamberlan has had major supply issues with their mid-ankle 230 Crosser, so for now interested hikers would be best looking at the low cut 130 Crosser where there is still some limited availability.  Yes, we've blogged about these backpacking boots before, so we won't belabor the point.  Just use our blog's search tool if you'd like to read more. 


  1. A backpacking adventure is both fun and exciting. It is great recreation but in order to have a safe trip there are a few things you need to plan so that you get the best out of your trip - safely.

    backpacking tips

  2. Labels: Asolo Reston, Hiking boots vs. Trail Runners, minimal weight hiking boots, Trail runners or Hiking boots, Zamberlan 130 Crosser, ...