Patagonia Drifter A/C Trail Shoe

    Photo: Photo by Inga Hendrickson

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As this year's test began to wind down, one fact became glaringly apparent: The Drifter had accumulated the most mileage. It excelled on 90 percent of our trail adventures—from mellow afternoon outings to weekend backpack trips (with loads up to 25 pounds) and every ramble in between. Stiff sole to push up steep ascents? Check. A toothy Vibram tread that stuck to everything from loose scree to slick rocks? Yup. The break-in period was (almost) instantaneous, thanks in large part to generous ankle and heel padding. And throughout it all, dry feet. The "A/C" stands for air-conditioned, and the breathable fabric panels lived up to their billing. Note: If you most often hike in soggier climes, consider the waterproof Gore-Tex version ($140). 16.8 oz; patagonia.com
Support: 4.5 (out of 5)
Comfort: 5
$110

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