BACKPACKER MAGAZINE - MOST DURABLE
Our take: If you want a shoe that rides like a trail runner but wears like a light hiker, look no further. Oboz designed the Crest Low with thru-hikers in mind, but you don’t need to go on a 2,000-mile walk to appreciate the combination of high-mileage comfort and durability. First off, it’s constructed like a trail runner (double-strobel lasted, for the shoe snobs out there) for flexibility, but a thin rock plate under the ball of the foot prevents overflexion and bruising. Second, an EVA midsole keeps it soft like a trail runner, but an end-to-end outsole without cutouts protects it (like a midweight hiker). Our testers put more than 160 miles on these shoes and we have yet to notice any signs of wear.
>The details: A heel retention strap secures the foot when you tighten the speed laces. Our Appalachian Trail tester vouched for the waterproof membrane’s breathability: His feet stayed moisture-free in lightweight socks, even when temps reached 80˚F.
>Trail cred: “Even on long hikes, my feet never felt fatigued or sore underfoot,: says an Adirondacks-based tester. “The Crest Lows’ soles are beefy enough to inspire confidence: I felt like I could stomp across branches, rocks and shallow water on the trail.”