Charge of the Light Brigade

Mountain Athletics Drop-In, Nike ACG Air Dredge, and Hi-Tec Remote Mid

Aug 1, 2001
Outside Magazine

Mountain Athletics Drop-In (Top)
$80; 800-445-5545;
With a cushy running-shoe-style EVA midsole, a half-length nylon insole, and uppers wrapped in lightweight nubuck and nylon glued to a durable rubber sole, the Drop-In is an all-terrain oxford capable of taking you anywhere that doesn't require a top rope or a black tie. The downside? Well, as with all the shoes in this review, they aren't much for big loads--push it beyond 20 pounds and EVA assumes the consistency of microwaved Spam--but it's best to travel light with these 2-pound shoes anyway (all weights are per pair, size nine).

Nike ACG Air Dredge (Middle)
$85; 800-344-6453;
The 2-pound Dredge is a running shoe on creatine. Exactly as it should be. While boasting plenty of cushion--thanks to Nike's air-suspended heel insert--the Dredge has been tanked up with a polyurethane midsole and a nylon shank. Trailworthy right down to the lugs, it has one of the best loose-dirt chevron patterns we've used, with angled cleats in the forefoot that grip going up, and
opposing heel cleats that dig in going down. Easily our top choice for covering a lot of ground fast, whether you stroll, scramble, or sprint. Gripes? The 50-cent foam footbeds are worthless. Toss 'em and insert some drugstore, or better yet custom, orthotics.
Hi-Tec Remote Mid (Bottom)
$55; 800-521-1698;
Cut from handsome gray or brown nubuck, the Remotes look as nice as shoes twice their price, and because they employ a light-duty midsole and a steel shank, they have ample beef for day-hiking loads. All of which would be meaningless if the Remotes weren't comfortable. No worries: Nicely padded uppers and a well-shaped footbed make this a no-break-in boot. On smooth trails carrying moderate loads they'll provide blister-free performance right out of the box. Just don't expect robust alpine support--despite their midheight uppers the 2-pound, 5-ounce Hi-Tecs collapse under high-angle side loads.

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