I put these shoes in some tough places. I asked a lot of them, and made them do things they didn’t want to do. Still, they remain by my feet for over 100+ miles of backcountry (most on this site), dozens of foothill hikes, and pacing miles back and forth as a server in a small brewpub in Boise, ID.
An interesting fact about me: I ruin shoes. I fall. I scrape them against rocks. I step in swamp muck. I get sap on the mesh. I kick stuff. I tend to burn them by drying them on the campfire. These shoes have been through a lot together. Although these shoes have creases in the common places, they remain remarkably sharp in appearance and function. The Vibram soul has retained 95-90% of its original rigidity, despite its really light weight. No seams have torn apart, even above the toe. And examining them now, I see no frayed stitching or mesh… Besides the burn on the heel cuff which pretty much cauterized it.
I bought these for hiking in Zion National Park, Havasupai, and Vegas- All in one road trip. I would be hiking up rock, ice, rivers, ice-rivers (no joke, in March in “The Subway” there is damn icebergs in the river!), swimming, and hitting the Vegas streets. I bought them for their strong Vibram sole and the open mesh at sole level. This ensures water will flow out of your shoe after a bad – A river cross. The description of the shoe may say “water-proof,” but they are more “water-resistant.” The difference is that “water-resistant” will bead-off light amounts of water, but not withstand submergence. This mesh also fails to insulate feet during snowy times.
This shoe rocks. North Face’s lightweight, but rugged design combined with Vibram’s sole makes for a man/shoe relationship that should last for a long time.
- Synthetic leather uppers with nylon mesh panels are flexible, lightweight and durable for breathable, comfortable use on the trail
- Reinforced toe boxes and molded rubber heel counters protect uppers from abrasion; gusseted and padded tongues keep out debris and add comfort
- Seam-sealed Gore-Tex® XCR® inserts with wicking nylon linings offer waterproof protection while allowing your moisture vapor to escape
- Removable EVA footbeds feature forefoot and heel cushioning pads and built-up heels for enhanced support
- Dual-density EVA midsoles deliver all-day cushioning and shock absorption; heels feature a stiffened cradle to help center the heel and enhance stability
- Thermoplastic urethane shank plates add torsional rigidity and protection from uneven terrain
- The Hedgehog III GTX XCR hiking shoes feature aggressive Vibram® rubber outsoles to supply dependable traction on uneven terrain