Tread Safe: 3 Layers of Foot Protection
Published on 07/12/2012
By Peter Reese
Your feet need to be a priority when you're headed out into the woods. Whether you're going for a short day hike or a multi-night excursion, your feet have the power to get you to the summit or leave you struggling on the trail.
Making one pair of shoes work across varied terrain and in-transit. Enough guts to scramble high and still walk tall in town is an uncommon combination. Active Junky likes the idea of quick getaways that aren’t burdened by multiples of any gear category.
Mammut’s REDBURN GTX brought nearly startling performance attributes to testers. With technical chops that add superior traction and stability on loose trails as well as low-angle friction climbing, REDBURN crosses the line to style without looking back. The crud-shedding gusseted tongue was a tester highlight as was the confident lacing system. Light enough for casual wear, REDBURN pushed through snow and slush as a mobile GTX platform. Wrapped by an apocalypse-worthy toe rand, this Mammut model functions as a one-shoe quiver suited for the majority of conditions most wearers will face in an entire year of unroped adventure.
FITS LIGHT HIKER
Cross the boundaries between trail-worthy socks, athletic socks and general wear socks that fit a spontaneous outdoor life – without burning through toes and heels.
What about a 100% fit guarantee? A four-material sock based upon 65% wool? The promise of American-made quality. Pull on the FITS LIGHT HIKER to get a glove-like fit (despite the fact they’re covering feet, not hands). Testers have gone around the block – and country – in other FITS tests with strong agreement on their value. This model, capable of anytime-wear, is a new favorite as it means quadrupling up on wearing for a smaller sock drawer. Fewer choices can be a good thing when the supple feel of a sock is matched by durability. Other FITS models cater to winter activity, but LIGHT HIKER is as close to three seasons plus as any we’ve tested in the last 12 months.
NIKWAX BOOT TREATMENT
Maintain the performance and appearance of shoes and boots that incorporate nubuck and suede. Usage turns materials into smudged, smeared and soiled footwear as dirt and grim saw away at the molecular level – and moisture finds more places to penetrate as a result.
Nikwax has, in the opinion of Active Junky, led the charge for lighter, more frequent treatments for footwear and well beyond. Rather than slathering on NIKWAX NUBUCK & SUEDE, the applicator yields an even, moderate coating. The same is true of the FOOTWEAR CLEANING GEL. While traditional methods attempted to shield the shoes with thicker layers, Nikwax works more deeply. A growing number of products take on cleaning down pieces, tents, climbing ropes and even climbing skins. No wonder testers don’t hesitate to reach for the familiar triangle logo when gear care is on the agenda.