The Claim: KEEN says the Versatrail’s seamless foam tongue, dual density compression molded sole, and torsion-stabilizing mid-foot shank make for a sturdy, durable, ultra-comfy daily hiker.
Field Test: The first time I wore these light hikers on the dry, loose-rock trails around my home in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies, I involuntarily started running—I say “involuntarily” because I pretty much hate running. The Versatrails are just that danged comfortable, due mainly to a layer of high-density cushioning that extends the length of the foot. That airy pillow also made me feel airy, which incited the jogging. But though lightweight, they’re plenty stable. My typical hike involves climbing several hundred feet and navigating rock gardens. In that terrain, the Versatrail’s highly adjustable elastic lacing system keeps my ankles aligned while the fairly wide last lets my foot bones spread for balance. And the tongue—a wraparound design with only one seam—added to the custom-like fit. My lone qualm with the Versatrails? The rubber outsole slipped some on featureless rock.
Why It’s Timeless: Any shoe that’s lightweight and nimble enough to make a non-runner want to run will see a lot of trail use. —Tracy Ross