it's another perfect day to hibernate today, which means i have time to catch up on a review or two. there's one i've been meaning to do for a while now, years even.. on a pair of hiking shoes. if you know me, you know that i like to spend a lot of time barefoot, but when spending a long time on the road and experiencing various terrains and weather conditions, i wanted to get a pair of comfortable and durable shoes. something that could carry me many kilometers with a good amount of weight on my back.
to be honest, a big selling factor on this pair at the time of purchase was the price. they have a sturdy comfortable insole that eventually conforms to the shape of your feet, and they are reasonably water resistant while maintaining good breathability. they are lightweight, yet sturdy. the soles are by Vibram which assures reliability and durability.
i bought these shoes right before embarking on a year-long coast to coast journey hoping that they would last me through three seasons, and they did so well enough. i broke them in gently on my early spring hike along the southern portion of the Bruce Trail. they have seen many hundreds of kilometers of trails, mossy mountain sides, soggy field, rugged forest and miles and miles of the Trans Canada Highway, and the Trans Canada Trail wherever i could find it along the way.
my journey began when it was still quite chilly outside, and these shoes are well adapted to the cold with a good sock inside, i chose merino wool and they kept my feet toasty warm and dry. as the seasons progressed even into late summer it was easy to transition by wearing a thinner sock in the heat. i even used them as work shoes when on the road, perfect for doing hours and hours of garden maintenance, and the journey to and from my job sites.
i'd have to guess that i had hiked well over a thousand kilometers total on all types of terrain through almost a year's worth of various weather before i finally busted a toe seam. and even then , i still managed to squeeze a few hundred more kilometers out of them before they needed replacing. certainly the best value for the price i'd ever gotten from a hiker, and they were just under a hundred bucks. by the way, i made the purchase back in 2008 and i still have them kicking around [as my shovelling shoes] today. and they were such a good make, they're still widely available! i'd consider reinvesting if ever i find myself needing another solid hiker. i have since transitioned to fivefingers [by Vibram] as i have gained enough strength in my feet to carry a considerable amount of weight without as much support. stay tuned for my fivefinger review!