Merrell Proterra Mid Sport

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    Photo: Inga Hendrickson

BEST FOR: Overnighters

Hikers accustomed to next to no padding will love the low-to-the-ground feel and flexible fabric upper. Some testers went so far as wearing the Proterras without socks. But these one-pound, 13-ounce shoes aren’t high-tops for runners. A plastic arch shank and ten millimeters of foam under the midsole provided serious support even while bushwhacking with light packs. The inverted lugs (think indents) served up solid grip on dry trails, but we could have used a few more teeth in the mud.

Brand: Merrell $120

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