By Kiran Herbert
Keen Aphlex Waterproof Boot
The Claim: Designed for all-around comfort on longer treks, these boots also come in a men’s version. KEEN.DRY keeps them waterproof and breathable, allowing “vapor out without letting water in.” High-traction, low-profile lugs shed debris for a lighter step.
Field Test: The first time I wore these shoes was on a 16-mile Grand Canyon backpacking trip, 30-pound pack and all. Luckily, the Aphlex boots required no breaking in. They also offered real stability for 14.3-ounces a shoe. Since then, I’ve tested them extensively throughout Colorado—on the muddy spring trails in Boulder’s Flatirons, on a hike through cold water to Zapata Falls, climbing 14,265-foot Mount Quandry—with zero complaints, even while navigating scree. I’ve fully submerged them in water and been amazed when my feet remained completely dry. However, heli-hiking in extreme conditions in Alaska proved too much: after three hours in the rain, my feet and wool socks were soaked. Whether that moisture came in over the cuff or through the waterproof membrane I can’t say. Nonetheless, they’re still my go-to hiking shoes outside of Alaska.
Why It’s Timeless: Lightweight and stylish, I have no problem wearing these on the airplane en route to my next adventure.
Treksta WNS Edict GTX
The Claim: Treksta says their NestFIT system cradles the foot for a better fit, while HyperGrip and a Gore-Tex membrane protects against slick rock and the muddiest of trails. A triple-density EVA insole strengthens your stride thanks to targeted cushioning and superior arch support. These shoes are also available in a men’s version.
Field Test: The Edicts aren’t out-of-the-box comfortable, but they’re well worth the break in time. After a few days in them, the NestFit did its work, conforming to my foot’s unique profile. At 10.6-ounces per shoe, they’re a little too heavy for trail running; I use mine for after work treks around Boulder where a full hiker would be overkill (not to mention slow my pace). Grippy shoes like the Edict excel on smooth rock.
Why It’s Timeless: These are durable shoes—after weeks of kicking around rocks and debris, the abrasion-resistant rubber overlays show little wear.