This month marks the start of hiking season, when winter has properly melted away, revealing the great adventure trails of the Northern Hemisphere. But before you head off to your next hike in Europe, it’s essential to get the right pair of shoes for your mileage, your trail and your feet.
So whether you’re running on dirt, hitting the road or hiking up a mountain, here are five shoes for blazing the trail.
Timberland Greenstride Motion 6 Hikers
As proposed by the mononym Greenstride, this Timberland hiker boot possesses naturally sourced material. The proprietary material Greenstride is made of sugar cane fibres and naturally sourced rubber from sustainably managed forests and upcycled water bottles.
On top of being good for the environment, it is also engineered to improve rebound responsiveness. Calf leather, pull tab at the heel, perforated round toe box and a chunky rubber sole, alongside a debossed logo on the side and a branded insole are the features evident at first glance.
Thanks to the specially treated calf leather that’s resistant to stains and blemishes, the shoe’s enduring durability allows it to sustain its rugged design through extensive periods of time. The Timberland Greenstride Motion 6 Hikers are a natural addition to any hiking gear list, a sturdy companion in your efforts to overcome most mountains that don’t require technical climbs.
Retails for S$249; available at timberland.com.sg
Asics Novablast 3 TR
The Novablast 3 TR revealed in Asicsʼ Nature Bathing collection revels in its inspired and practical themes. Luminary insight from a geometric origami feature takes precedence on the design of the upper and midsole of the running shoe.
Not to betray the collection’s motto, the shoe is drenched in calming hues reminiscent of the floral environs. It has a unique trail-oriented outsole for journeys on off-road terrain compliments of its jacquard mesh gusseted tongue wing construction in the upper, reducing erratic tongue movement for further comfort.
The supportive heel design takes the helm of your trajectory, ensuring your steps are made with finesse and control. FF Blast Plus cushioning on the midsole for lightweight impact absorption and responsive rebound, and a trampoline inspired outsole design similarly performing the cushioned midsole’s latter function, made of AHARplus material for reinforced durability.
A balanced piece of sports footwear, the Novablast 3 TR is one capable shoe suitable in serving you well on a casual jog through pestering terrain.
Retails for $S199; available at asics.com
Ecco BIOM 2.1 X Mountain
With its reinforced sole construction, rock plate and Ecco Performance Rubber+ outsole, this boot lets you move quickly on more demanding terrain. For speed, the BIOM Natural Motion technology encourages your foot to move more naturally and efficiently, while the Phorene midsole delivers energy return and bounce.
A ripstop fabric boot works in collaboration with Gore-Tex waterproof protection to avert any harm done by stray puddles, whilst advanced outsole cleats bestow refined grip, traction and stability to brave treacherous terrain.
The shoes are available in sleek colours: taupe and black, or a more contemporary black and steel. If you fancy a hike on rocky, undulating land, the Ecco BIOM 2.1 X Mountain will distinguish itself as a shoe that effortlessly breaks the impasse of the terra.
Retails for S$399.90; available at sg.ecco.com
Under Armour HOVR Machina Off Road
The Under Armour HOVR series has been rightfully lauded for its cushioning, ranking high among running shoes for energy return, impact absorption and relative lightness. Naturally, most trail runners were anticipating the adoption of the HOVR in an off-road pair of shoes, given the success of the Charged Bandit series of hiking shoes.
So when the Under Armour HOVR Machina Off Road debuted last year, it was to some fanfare. The ultra-durable Vibram outsole, with Megagrip lug pattern for excellent traction on a variety of terrains, does not hinder the performance of the HOVR cushioning above it, and they work in tandem to propel runners and hikers.
Other significant features include the proprietary UA Storm upper that repels water while maintaining breathability, and the external heel counter gives added stability and wraps snugly around your feet for better support. This oneʼs a versatile pair ‒ as great for trail and road running as it is for a formidable non-technical mountain climb.
Retails for S$229; available at underarmour.com.sg
The No‑ h Face Vectiv Exploris 2 Futurelight
The Vectiv Exploris 2 Futurelight has been introduced as a high-end, reinforced hiking shoe. Proclaimed to be the brandʼs most cushioned and stable piece of hiking footwear, the leather shoes are fitted with numerous features, made to best meet the demands of multi-day backpacking and technical hiking.
A form-fitting yet unobtrusive Futurelight membrane boasts waterproof qualities, lending both protection and comfort for the wearer. A rockered midsole forefoot and TPU plate increase visibility in dark environments and stability on slopes and stubborn inclines with peppered rocks.
The midsoleʼs geometry is ergonomically constructed to ensure long-lasting forward propulsion, adjacent to a broader platform placed below the foot to provide inherent stability. Comfortable and resilient, this stalwart shoe will loyally serve you in areas that are tough, narrow and unforgiving, and is reliable on difficult hikes and journeys.
Retails for S$179; available at thenorthface.com
(Images: Respective Brands)