GoLite Footwear Lime Lite
GoLite Footwear is no longer in business, and the Lime Lite has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best trail shoes for 2023.
In an increasingly saturated shoe market, it takes a really unique feature stand out. The soles of GoLite Footwear do just that. They call it Paw Pad technology and it was inspired not by endless brainstorming sessions in the product development lab—but by a mountain lion.
Like a mountain lion’s paw, the top of the sole has a firm platform to stabilize the foot while soft pads (or lugs) on the bottom to absorb the abuse and inconsistencies of the trail. The result is fewer twisted ankles, sore ankles, and tweaked knees.
This is the complete opposite of standard shoe construction, which puts the softer part of the shoe close to your foot and in the middle of the sole, with the harder, more supportive material on the outside close to the ground.
In my field tests, the Lime Lites proved to be a high-performing shoe that can go just about everywhere and do most things. They are low-cut to give you unrestrained freedom to hike, run or wear around town, yet the Paw Pad soles stabilize the shoe and protect your ankle from twisting on any terrain. I experienced zero movement and friction in the heel thanks to a stabilizing cradle in the heel. The soles are really cool looking. They have radical, 45-degree pyramid-shaped lugs that gave me great traction on semi-icy sidewalks, rough snow-packed trails and rocky paths.
Construction is very well done and I'm confident that these shoes will last a long time. They’re made of premium leather and have a durable lightweight rubber toe and heel guard to protect your feet, and the shoes themselves, from the scuffings of rocks and other trail flora and fauna. My only complaint/observation is that they're not breathable so I don't recommend them for multi-day hikes or bagging 14,000-foot peaks in Colorado.
The fit? The Lime Lites have a patented adjustable insole that customizes itself to accommodate narrow, medium or wide feet. My feet are just standard mediums so width-wise they were very comfortable. The antimicrobial sole even comes out for washing.
I recommend trying them on before you buy. The sizing is incredibly precise. I got a sample pair from GoLite Footwear in size 7.5 (which is my size) but I think I would have been happier in an eight.
Use: Short dayhikes, urban trekking, bar hopping, casual Fridays
Break-in Period: None
Weight: Very light
Price Paid: Free sample from GoLite Footwear
The grippy sole is very reliable when scrambling up an escarpment or skipping across wet river rocks. The outer leather was extremely durable and weathered many temperatures. I'm looking to buy a second pair before my first are no longer usable.
- Excellent grip
- A little stiff
- Water can get in at the bottom of the laces
I've owned these shoes for five years and have worn them hiking, shoveling snow, crossing rivers, scrambling up lose rocks, and day to day nature walks. They are comfortable and reliable once they've been broken-in.
They've recently proven themselves on a rainy weekend camping trip by drying quickly next to the fire. After days of wearing them when I put them on I sighed with relief to be back into a comfortable pair of shoes instead of having to go barefoot.
Truly a worthy investment if you're the slightest bit interested in trails and hikes.
Source: bought it new
I bought a pair and loved them, but they are terrible for anything other than dirt for traction. I almost fell due to how slick they are on a wet surface. The soles wore out in 6 months!
Comfort is a plus but be willing to replace these shoes if you are active. The grip is terrible on slick rocks too.
Price Paid: $115
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