Salomon XA Comp 2

This is perhaps my biggest reason of switching to Ultralight: I get to wear camp-shoes all day long 🙂

Once your pack weight is low, you no longer need big sturdy traditional boots. Trail runners are an excellent choice. Think of how much energy you expend over a 40 mile hike lifting a clunky 5lb pair of leather boots. With these 1.5 lbs shoes on, I feel like I just float over the trail, getting plenty of grip and stability on rocks

When it pours down, with my old nikwaxed leather boots, I found that after 3-4 hrs of rain, (no matter how great the "goretex lining") the things get miserably wet – either from water coming in the top or sweat build-up inside. With my trail shoes, my feet also get wet, but I'm quite happy trotting along with soggy feet – the mesh is super breathable so I don't experience much discomfort and after several hours of the rain stopping my shoes have dried out already. No building a big camp-fire to try and dry out my boots at the end of the day.

The stock insole that comes with these is pretty lame. I tried to put a super-feet in there, but it rode to high for me. I ended up using some insoles from an old pair of snowboarding boots with good arch support – they work great.

Oh – one more thing – I'm sure there are isolated cases, but in general, I beleive "ankle-support" to be a myth. Sure if you're carrying a 60lb pack, you might need it, but with small loads and trekking poles at hand to catch the odd slip, I have never been in need of anything more substantial.

Salomon Shoes from Amazon for $80.

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