Columbia Master of Faster Low Hiking Shoe
THE SELL: A featherweight with punch. THE TEST: It might look like a runner, but the Master easily outperformed squishier low-cuts while descending steep Shenandoah switchbacks. Credit the snug fit, foot-stabilizing upper, and stiff heel cup that minimized roll, pitch, and yaw. The waterproof liner handled slushfests during fast-paced Appalachian Trail hikes, but we’d have liked a bit more toe bumper in a shoe that’s clearly built to charge. THE VERDICT: Best for fast-and-light days with less than 20 pounds on pretty much any terrain. 12.8 oz.