User Review: GoLite Footwear Surge Lite
Price Paid: $80
Nice light hiking boots! I've been trying these out for a couple of months now and I'm definitely impressed/intrigued by them. They certainly do live up to their name in terms of lightness. They are very light indeed.
Quick summary, these are non-waterproof fast-packing boots. Designed for carrying a light load quickly down the trail, I'm sure these will be very well-suited for this purpose.
From other online reviews I saw that they run a bit large, so I ordered on the small side by 1/2 size and that has worked out well for me. Even at the lower end of my size range, I still fit into these with midweight merino hiking wool socks. I have had a little bit of trouble with hot spots on my heels, but not too bad, and easily managed.
The shoes come with a special GoLite insole system that I can't come to grips with. They offer swap-able front sections that they claim help people with different foot-shapes dial in a more custom fit. I found this to be a bit of a joke.
I have narrow-ish feet so I tried the replacing the standard front sections with the ones marked for narrow feet. What it amounts to is a thicker pad under the front of your feet. What this has to do with narrow vs wide feet is beyond me. It pushed my toes up further up (vertically) into the toe box, but it does nothing to successfully affect width.
In addition to this, the insoles are a bit lumpy in places, and the arch support is too far forward for me. So, I scrapped the insoles and replaced them with some others I had lying around (from Montrail). Problems solved.
Out on the trail (insole problems aside) the shoes feel great. Very light, nimble and sure-footed. Your feet are kept quite low; your feet sit in them with a very low center of gravity so to speak. It feels like it would be impossible to turn an ankle in these. Very stable.
The soles are made up of dozens of little nubbins of sticky rubber. They really do provide excellent traction in almost all situations. The one exception is mud. In muddy conditions, the mud fills up all the spaces between the nubbins and you lose traction. In all other situations (rock, dirt, etc), the soles work great. Very grippy. They also provide a bit of shock absorption as well. Nice compromise.
The upper is a combination of leather and mesh. They breath nicely in hot conditions. If you get them wet, they dry quickly. Not waterproof at all. Not intended to be. They offer a similar model called the Quest Lite that is waterproof. But these Surge Lites are for non-wet conditions.
And did I mention they are light? Super light. If you are interested in fast-packing with a light pack on trails in hot dry conditions, I would say these are a great option. If you are going off trail with a heavier load; or are heading for wet, muddy conditions, you might want to look into some other options.