Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra
Price Paid: $110
Hiked 11 hours on the Florida Trail in high temperatures (getting lost added a few hours to the hike). Ran the last hour to escape lightning bolts from an incoming storm. Exhilarating!
Foot check at the car showed no blisters at all. Hiking in these shoes without socks will cause major blisters, especially a certain area on the side of my foot. But hiking with wool socks does the trick.
Also took these on a big hike in Colorado up rugged and rocky Flattop Mountain. Performed well.
Overall, I highly recommend these as hiking shoes (haven't run much in them yet).
Price Paid: $85
I have spent months looking for a new pair of shoes for backpacking. I have wide feet for a woman and find that the men's shoes fit better. I had my mind made up to buy a pair of Merrel Moabs until we stopped at a local backpacking store, just to look. They had this pair of Salomon on sale for $85 and hesitated to try them on (because I was unsure of the laces).
Finally, I decided I had nothing to lose by trying them on and am I glad I did! They have a great arch support (impossible to find in a womans shoe), and they have plenty of width. Also, they breath really well.
My only complaint after using them a few times is that they could have a little more cushion on the ball of your feet. Still, the best I have found.
Price Paid: $150
Best trail shoe I have ever worn. Ran a couple of 50 milers and 100 milers in these. The contra grip pattern on the heel is perfect for steep and rocky terrain. They are a bit heavy, but what you give up in lightness you get in stability and protection. The toe boxes are like steel toe shoes, pretty good on roots and rocks. My second toes hit the end a bit and I tend to lose those nails.
Really, I have tried plenty of trail shoes and these are my favorite — but running shoes are like wine, beer, and mates — find one you like and stick with em!
Materials: Quick drying mesh
Use: Everyday use, Trail running, Light hiking.
Break-in Period: None
Weight: Pair size 9, 14oz.
Price Paid: $109.95
I have been wearing the Salomon XA Pro 3D's for several years and my only complaint was the lack of forefoot cushioning. Salomon must have listened to reviewers because the new 3D Ultras have more cushioning in the forefoot and my feet couldn't be happier!
Having owned many pairs of these shoes I've never experienced any trouble with the kevlar lacing system or the shoes falling apart. They drain well, are quick drying and have plenty of traction to deal with most terrain.
I have lower volume, regular width feet and the shoes have done me right in everything from trail running to light hiking. As far as I'm concerned, the new 3D Ultra's are the perfect trail shoe!
Use: Rough trails
Break-in Period: a few 5-10 mile runs and they were great.
Price Paid: $115
This shoe has it all, protection and does not feel heavy. Aggressive tread, stable, holds well to wet and slippery surfaces. The lace system, while weird, is very nice and quick to adjust and or remove shoes, a must for an ultra runner.