Close banner

Support Outside Online

Love Outside?

Help fund our award-winning journalism with a contribution today.

Contribute to Outside

What shoes provide light-and-fast performance and support?

I would like to do some long-distance fast hiking with about a 25- to 35-pound pack. What shoes or boots would be supportive enough for rough trails, but light and flexible enough to go fast? Ben Milledgeville, GA


Lots of good choices these days, Ben. You should easily find something. You sound as if you mean to hike good trails, and just make miles. So that simplifies things a little bit. If you have good ankles, you’d be okay with trail-runners. Montrail’s Hardrock shoes ($110) are tough trail-runners. Sort of superlight hikers. Low cut, but supportive, with a firm midsole to protect your feet. They won’t last forever, but you’ll get a good season out of them and love the light weight and the comfort. Try Vasque Aethers, too ($125). They’re very rugged shoes, with grippy soles and a stiff shank for protection and support.

The Hardrock

I do like a bit more support, myself. I’d go with Merrell Chameleon Ventilator 3s ($150). They’re a mid-height boot with just a bit more heft than trail-runners. Taller, of course, and a little firmer midsole. But also...a Gore-Tex booty to keep your feet dry. Very light and comfortable. I also like the Salomon 3D Fastpackers ($150). Very much like the Merrells—a boot made for traveling fast, with just enough support and protection to keep your feet happy and moving. Lowa Renegade Mids ($200) are just a bit heftier, but still very fast and light. Gore-Tex booty, and a nylon shank that really keeps your feet lined up.

Support Outside Online

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.

Contribute to Outside
Filed To: Footwear
Lead Photo: courtesy, Montrail