These Boots Were Made For Mileage

May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine

Camp Outs, Family Vacations 1998

These Boots Were Made For Mileage
By Jonathan Hanson


Happy Trails
From an all-day jaunt to a weeklong trek, seven kid-tested routes to the wilderness

Ten drive-up campsites with a backcountry feel

Backpacks To Grow On
Seven packs for every size hiker

Leave No Trace
Teaching your kids these simple skills, and get them involved in protecting wild places

Boots Made for Mileage
Five tough hiking boots for kids and adults

All the right stuff for camping

1. Hi-Tec describes its Sierra Trilogy Junior boots ($50) as "multipurpose: trail and playground" footwear for grade-school-age kids sizes 1 through 6. All-suede-leather uppers provide firm support for young feet, as well as excellent abrasion resistance. The lugged soles ensure good grip for any activity, and a padded nylon lining guarantees comfort.

2. A high-performance trail shoe for boys, the Nike Air Karst ($55) uses Nubuck leather uppers and a protective rand around the edge of the sole for durability and scuff-resistance. Available in sizes 8-13.5 for toddlers ($48) as well as 1 through 6, it's a sturdy shoe for budding hikers and backpackers, with a speedy lacing system that uses metal rings instead of lacing holes.

3. Adults looking for a lightweight shoe with heavyweight trail performance should try the Timberland StrataVarious 9000SS ($120). A three-quarter-length nylon shank and stiff sole provide better-than-average stability, and the seam-sealed leather uppers are comfortable and waterproof — and look good, too. For light to moderate day-hiking loads, these boots stand out.

4. Need something a bit more substantial? Take a look at the Merrell M2 Superlight ($150). The 2.4-millimeter-thick leather uppers cover your ankles for better support and protection, and a full-length nylon shank backs up a lightweight but strong Vibram Speedhiker sole. A great boot for serious day hiking or light backpacking.

5. A no-compromise boot, the Montrail Moraine AT ($225) has the muscle for long trails and heavy loads. A stout Vibram sole is backed up with a polyurethane midsole and a molded nylon insole for unsurpassed support, and thick leather uppers effortlessly fend off trail hazards.

Copyright 1998, Outside magazine

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