Timberland Waterproof Snow Lizard Trail Shoes
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Timberland’s Snow Lizard trail shoes, strapped into a pair of MSR Lightning Ascent snowshoes, took me high into the snowfields above Brighton ski resort, in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains, keeping my feet warm and dry during a long traverse. The Lizards also made fast climbs up the muddy slopes of New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristo range—performing as well as hiking boots but without the extra weight.
Timberland Waterproof Snow Lizard trail shoesTimberland Waterproof Snow Lizard trail shoes
Sometimes the best forest trails are also the wettest—hiding deep snowdrifts and boggy tracks well until May. The smell of spring might be in the air, but these treacherous tracks require weatherized footwear that combines the fleetness of running shoes and the durability of hiking boots.
These trail shoes meet the challenge by placing the frame of a running shoe inside walls of insulating Polartec that zip together like a snug footie. Slip in, lace up, and then batten down everything behind the waterproof-breathable soft-shell upper; the whole thing looks like a futuristic Chuck Taylor. The high-top insulator also provides extra ankle support for negotiating quick plunges downslope. Additional features include an aggressive rubber sole that grips both snow and mud, plus an abrasion-resistant and waterproof Keprotec “bathtub,” which runs along the base to keep you dry instead of drenched during stream crossings.
The Lizards are best for winter trail running and day hiking, when muddy quagmires and snow pockets may be encountered. And they can go where running shoes can’t—by way of a toe hook, you can clamp in gaiters, snowshoes, or a lightweight pair of crampons. Be aware that snowshoes with adjustable strap bindings can dig into the side of your foot, as the shoe’s flexible sidewall doesn’t provide the same cushioning as most hiking boots. Snowshoes with plastic clamshell bindings, however, are very comfortable.
For the next incarnation of the Lizard, I suggest more cushioning up front: Coming down rocky slopes can be hard on big toes, especially if you’re wearing thin socks. I recommend a medium-weight polypro or wool sock. $125; www.timberland.com