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GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews

GoLite Footwear has developed a unique underfoot suspension system that largely accomplishes their intentions. The shoes are comfortable, but there are durability concerns for the soles.

Overall Rating: Below Average

Both of these shoe models are light, comfortable, and have well-made uppers worthy of a Recommended rating; however, the soles have durability problems that are significant enough to make their overall rating Below Average, especially at these shoes' price point ($120 to $130 US).

About This Rating

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by Darin Banner |


I haul myself out of my packraft and onto the rocky shore, wet from the tops of my farmer johns down to the GoLite shoes on my feet. Grasping my paddle with one tired arm, I reach down with the other and grab the pack, strapped to the bow of my packraft, and pull both it and the raft out of the water and onto the rocks. Looking down the river at the souse hole I narrowly avoided (by arresting myself on the shore), I wonder if I'm up to rafting Bear Trap Canyon, which is running at 4000 cfs. Time for some portage.

Mounting the pack and packraft onto my back, I join the other Backpacking Light instructors moving downriver over wet stones and up steep banks. As I move along, I'm impressed by how well my soaked shoes grip the rocks and dirt - I feel very stable on my feet and am able to move securely down to the next put-in site.

Brief History of GoLite Footwear

A couple of months earlier, I called GoLite Footwear and asked to test the two lightest models from their latest line of shoes. GoLite Footwear, whose name is licensed from GoLite, LLC in Colorado, was founded by Doug Clark, who had worked at Timberland as the chief innovation officer. While there, he and his team developed a line of shoes that were designed to stabilize the foot during off-pavement travel by combining a hard footbed with an outsole consisting of soft lugs made to absorb the uneven surfaces of the ground. They called this "Soft Against the Ground" technology. In 2008, Clark bought the rights to GoLite Footwear from Timberland and formed New England Footwear, which now manufactures GoLite Footwear shoes.

GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews - 1
2007 Sun Dragon upper

In 2007, GoLite Footwear introduced its first line of shoes. The lightest in the lineup, at 10.9 ounces, was the Sun Dragon.

GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews - 2
2007 Sun Dragon sole

Its Trail Speed outsole consisted of fourteen widely spaced lugs in a symmetrical pattern. Initial reviews of the shoes were very positive: Carol Cooker said, “My favorite shoe for backpacking is the GoLite Sun Dragon. When I wear Sun Dragons, my feet don't get that hamburger feel after a long day of hiking up and down uneven, rocky trails.” Andrew Skurka used them exclusively on his Great Western Loop hike and said, “These shoes are really great, truly revolutionary. For a backpacker, it means less pointy stuff to give you foot bruises, better traction on snow, and better traction on dirt and rocks.” After a backpacking trip to the Olympic Coast, Doug Johnson said, “While I was skeptical at first, this system has won me over. The shoe conforms to trail irregularities when running and hiking, keeping the foot level and providing better shock absorption. The large lugs also provided excellent traction in mud and sand - a difference that was obvious.” Everyone also seemed very pleased with the shoes’ large toe box design.

Then things began to fall apart - literally. Due to a problem in the manufacturing process, the fabric on the vamp of the shoe began deteriorating after about sixty miles of use.

GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews - 3
Courtesy of Carol Crooker

The company corrected the manufacturing problem, and the 2008 shoes showed increased durability. However, with both the 2007 and 2008 models, users found that the soles of the shoes wore down more quickly than other brands.

GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews - 4
Courtesy of Carol Crooker

The Sun Dragon on the left has three months of wear, compared to the new sole on the right.

The Shoes

GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews - 5
2009 GoLite Footwear Competition

After great anticipation, my shoes from the 2009 line finally arrived in the mail. The lightest shoe in this year’s product line is called the Competition, or Comp for short. A men's size 9.5 US weighs 12.96 ounces per shoe (367 grams) by my scale.

GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews - 6
2009 GoLite Footwear Competition

The Comp features what GoLite Footwear calls a TPU Cage, which is the web of thermoplastic glued to the shoe’s mesh upper. It is designed to offer protection and stability to the upper shoe.

GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews - 7
GoLite Footwear Competition's loose mesh

The mesh upper, dubbed the NeoForm Seamless Upper, is a seamless loose mesh. The shoe also has GoLite Footwear’s Debris Shield, which is the thermoplastic and leather toe cap that protects the front of the shoe. The back portion of the shoe is protected by a sewn-in leather strip.

GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews - 8
Interlock Lacing System on Comp

One of the more interesting features on the shoe is the Interlock Lacing System, a piece of material that is sewn into the inner sole, wraps around the side of the foot inside the shoe, goes through eyelets, over the top of the tongue, and finally through the shoe laces. It is designed to keep the foot from sliding forward and hitting the front of the shoe. 

GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews - 9
GoLite Footwear Comp sole

GoLite Footwear has changed the design of its uniquely lugged sole. It seems that people either really liked the idea of the big lugs or found them too aggressive looking and wouldn’t buy them. Responding to this feedback, GoLite Footwear has replaced the symmetrical lugged sole with what it calls Trailclaws and Paw Pads. The Trailclaws are lower profile lugs around the outside of the sole and the Paw Pads are smaller tread on the center of the sole.

GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews - 10
GoLite Footwear Comp Trailclaws and Paw Pads

By making these changes, the company hopes to maintain the Soft Against the Ground effect while providing a more versatile shoe that will work well on hard-packed trails.

As mentioned earlier, their Soft Against the Ground technology is designed to keep the foot stable and cushioned on rough and uneven surfaces. They achieve this through a rigid last with a rigid polyurethane layer under that, which protects the bottom of the foot. Between the rigid polyurethane layer and the rubber outsole is a very soft polyurethane layer that absorbs the irregularities of uneven terrain.

GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews - 11
GoLite Footwear Fire

The second lightest shoe in the 2009 lineup is called the Fire. It weighs 13.04 ounces per shoe (369 grams) by my scale for a men's size 9.5 US.

GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews - 12
GoLite Footwear Fire sole

The Fire’s insole, midsole, and outsole are identical to the Comps'.

GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews - 13
GoLite Footwear Fire upper

The difference between the two shoes is in the upper half: the Fire is designed to be more rugged and durable than the Comp. The Cage is made of EVA and is thicker and more protective of the shoe’s seamless mesh upper. The mesh is tighter and has a higher thread count than the Comps'.

GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews - 14
GoLite Footwear Fire toe

GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews - 15
GoLite Footwear Fire heel

Instead of leather, the debris shield and the hill are covered with a rubberized fabric.

GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews - 16
GoLite Footwear Fire Interlocking Lacing System

Another interesting difference between the two shoes is the Fire’s Interlock Lacing System: instead of one strip of material linked to the laces, the Fire has two. More on this later.

The Testing

I wanted to compare the two models side-by-side, so for my first trips I wore a Comp on one foot and a Fire on the other. I switched the feet the shoes were on so the soles of each pair would wear evenly. I used the shoes for snowshoeing, backpacking, trail running, packrafting, bushwhacking, and even for some short races on asphalt. I took pictures of the wear on each model as the testing progressed.

The Review

First Impressions

Of course, the first thing I did when the shoes arrived was put them on. They were both very comfortable with no pressure points and with plenty of room in the toe box. The laces ran smoothly through each eyelet and were easy to cinch up. My heel tended to slip up and down a little as I walked, so I laced up the second eyelet at the top of the tongue, adding enough tension to secure my heel nicely.


GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews - 17
GoLite Footwear adjustable footbed system

The second thing I did was take out the manufacture’s footbeds and put in a pair of Superfeet. In doing so, I discovered a virtually unadvertised GoLite Footwear feature. Their footbeds have a system where, by adding or removing attachments to the footbed, one can adjust the fit of the shoe from wide to medium to narrow. At first I thought this was a completely wasted idea, seeing as I never use the footbeds that come with the shoe. In this criticism, however, I was wholly unjustified.

As my sock needs went from heavy winter socks to thin running socks, I was able to add or remove these footbed attachments under my Superfeet so that my shoes always felt like they were the perfect width. This made the shoes far more versatile than any other trail running shoes I had owned before. I usually need a wide pair for winter trips and a narrow pair for warmer trips. Now I had two shoes in one.


It was then time to take the shoes outdoors. My first outings were snowshoe trips in the mountains of southern Oregon. The snow in the Cascades is either completely frozen or sopping wet. On these trips, the shoes performed like any others I had used snowshoeing: soaked during the day and frozen solid at night. But, as described above, the shoes were wide enough that I could wear my trekking socks and Gore-Tex oversocks in them without losing the blood flow to my feet. Between the two models, I found that the Comps, with the more open mesh, were a little colder and less protected from the snow than the Fires.

Backpacking and Trail Running

I began backpacking and trail running early in the season, which meant a mix of muddy ground and snow mounds. The shoes’ grip was phenomenal. While my trip partners were sliding around on the slippery terrain, my shoes were staying put pretty well. It felt like the lugs around the edge of the sole were grabbing the ground and keeping my feet where I had placed them.

I found that I turned my ankles less than I normally do. That is one of the intended features of the Soft Against the Ground concept. The shoe sole compresses on uneven ground and minimizes the impact of the feet and legs. Of course, this can only provide stability to a certain extent - when I moved on side hills or over rocks or in a washed-out trail, I still turned an ankle from time to time.

The shoes provided plenty of cushion against the ground overall, but not in a way that was noticeably superior to other trail runners I’ve used. After hiking in them for several days, the bottoms of my feet were sore (especially my heels), which is similar to my experience with other shoes. Perhaps my feet were less sore then they would have been in other shoes, but not so much that I could perceive a measurable difference.

The shoes fit me well. Using the variable width footbeds, my foot didn’t slip around, nor were they too tight, and by snugging down the laces, my heel stayed in place. I did, however, run into a problem with the Fires: before running or backpacking, I would tighten down the laces to secure my foot in the shoes. After a few miles, my fifth metatarsal (the bone just down the foot from the pinky toe) would hurt to the point that it became debilitating. Afterwards, I inspected the sides of my feet and found them swollen in the area of the fifth metatarsal.

The problem came from the Interlocking Lacing System (the straps inside the shoe that wrap around the foot and connect to the laces). Cinching down the laces put too much pressure on that part of my foot. I didn’t experience that with the Comps and concluded that the second strip of material in the Fire was the cause. I removed the laces from the front loops, in effect making them like the Comps. This eliminated the problem.

GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews - 18
Wear on sole after backpacking and trail running


I took the shoes packrafting; the Comp on one foot and the Fire on the other. As I stated at the beginning of the article, I was impressed with how well the shoes gripped the wet rocks along the shore. They were no match for the slippery, moss-covered rocks in the river, but I think the only solution to that problem would be crampons. The shoes transitioned well from the wet river to the dirty side hills. Both shoes drained equally well and stayed equally wet. The leather on the front and back of the Comps got pretty dirty, but this was an aesthetic, not functional, issue.

At the end of this instructor training rafting and packing trip, I noted something very interesting about the soles of the shoes: the soft polyurethane part of the sole, that was not covered by rubber, puffed out and lost its definition.

GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews - 19
Wear on the sole after packrafting

It didn’t affect the feel of the cushioning, but it did have an impact on the sole’s durability.

Wilderness Trekking Course

I chose to take the Comps on the 2009 Wilderness Trekking I course to see if the mesh and leather on the lighter shoe could stand up to a lot of abuse. I took the one shoe that had been packrafting and one that had not. We hiked from early in the morning to late in the evening every day, most of this off trail on aggressive terrain. The results were fascinating. 

GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews - 20
Wear on upper after wilderness trekking course

GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews - 21
Wear on toe after wilderness trekking course

GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews - 22
Wear on heel after wilderness trekking course

As you can see from the pictures above, the upper part of the shoe held up very well. I wore ankle gaiters and, apart from dirt, there was not much difference between the protected and unprotected upper. Although the mesh had relatively large holes, particles did not get in my shoes. The surprise was on the underside of the shoe.

GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews - 23
Wear on sole after wilderness trekking course

GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews - 24
Wear on sole after wilderness trekking course

The sole of the shoe that I had taken backpacking and running, but not packrafting, had obvious wear and tear compared to before the trip and one of the lugs had come unglued.

GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews - 25
Wear on the sole after packrafting and wilderness trekking course

The sole of the shoe that had been on the rafting trip, however, lost all of the rubber on the lugs and a significant portion on the heel. Clearly, the extended time being wet had a substantial impact on the adhesive material between the polyurethane and rubber.


GoLite Footwear has developed a unique underfoot suspension system that largely accomplishes their intentions. The shoes are comfortable and the uppers are durable. I would like to give them a Recommended rating; however, because of the lack of resiliency on the soles of the shoes, I can only rate them Below Average for the suggested retail price. If GoLite Footwear can fix this durability issue, these will be great shoes. I would definitely wear them again, but with the understanding that they will only last me one season.



GoLite Footwear


2009 Competition
2009 Fire


Competition - Upper: Ballistic Mesh and TPU Cage; Outsole/Midsole: Rubber, TPU and PU
Fire - Upper: Mesh and EVA Cage; Outsole/Midsole: Rubber, TPU and PU


Competition - Anatomically Contoured
Fire - Anatomically Contoured


Competition - Mens 9.5 with medium width footbed
Fire - Mens 9.5 with medium width footbed


Competition - 12.96 oz (367 g)
Fire - 13.04 oz (369 g)


Competition - Skyway and Rifle Green
Fire - Navy and Black


Competition - $120
Fire - $130

What's Good

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Ample toebox
  • Adjustable width
  • Durable uppers
  • Drains water well
  • What's Not So Good

  • Speedy delamination of the sole

  • Citation

    "GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews," by Darin Banner. (ISSN 1537-0364)., 2009-11-17 00:00:00-07.


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    GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews
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    James Lantz
    (jameslantz) - F

    Locale: North Georgia
    Waterproof Comp vs. "regular" Comp on 11/18/2009 15:08:07 MST Print View

    Something that was not made clear in the review is that there are 2 types of Comps. Both of the black color Comps are said to be waterproof & my friend has a pair of these. I suspect the material on the upper is eVent as it is comparable to my Keen Shellrocks.
    I have a pair of Rifle Green Comps which are as described in the review with open mesh. Another difference is that the waterproof Comp does NOT use the forefoot stabilizer bands described in the review & hence had a slightly different lacing system.
    GoLite is aware of the durability issues & my new Comps were actually a free replacement for a destroyed pair of Versa Force shoes after only 80 trail miles. My Comps are going on their first trip this weekend but my initial impressions are that they seem to be more stout than the shoes they replaced. This remains to be seen.
    I have been impressed with New England Footwear's customer service & sense that they are trying to resolve issues with their shoes. Please know that I have no affiliation with New England Footwear.

    joe newton

    Locale: Bergen, Norway
    Re: GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews on 11/18/2009 15:23:30 MST Print View

    Interesting discussion, I thought I'd add my observations:

    Firstly I've come to realise that we can't expect these very light shoes we wear to last anywhere near what we got out of hiking boots. The mileage, the terrain and the minimal padding and protection means we're going to wear these shoes out fairly quickly. We just have to deal with that. The environmental impact of this needs assessing though, that does concern me slightly, but if we want good grip, lightweight and good breathability/drainage then we have to expect to replace these shoes every few hundred miles.

    I still haven't found the perfect shoe. Some people seem to find one that suits them and then buy multiple pairs. I've had three pairs of Inov8s, Salomons, Montrail and Nikes. All of them have been good but every pair has also had a problem. The Inov8 310s came closest but then split across the sole after a four day trip.

    I agree with Andy's idea about rotating a couple or a few pairs of shoes. I've managed to keep a pair of Inov8 315s and some Salomon Comps going for over a year by doing this.

    On fit I found the Mountain Masochists a little narrow in the forefoot and 'fussy' in the shape of the footbed. They felt light and durable though so I was dissapointed they didn't fit me. Inov8s fit me better, especially the 310 and 330 which are wider for long days hiking but I'd still like the heel cup to be a wee bit deeper.

    The search continues...

    Adrian B
    (adrianb) - MLife

    Locale: Auckland, New Zealand
    Re: Re: GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews on 11/18/2009 15:50:33 MST Print View

    >but if we want good grip, lightweight and good breathability/drainage then we have to expect to replace these shoes every few hundred miles.

    Practically this might be the case with the current shoes on the market, but fundamentally I don't see why light shoes can't be durable (eg sandals can be). It just doesn't seem like it's been a priority for designers.

    joe newton

    Locale: Bergen, Norway
    Re: Re: Re: GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews on 11/18/2009 15:57:39 MST Print View

    Adrian - I think the uppers can be made light and durable (like some sandals out there as you rightly point out) but the softer, grippier soles will always wear faster I think, like racing car tyres.

    Joe Clement
    (skinewmexico) - MLife

    Locale: Southwest
    GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews on 11/18/2009 20:21:47 MST Print View

    The first pair of GoLites I bought for my son wore out in a 9 mile hike up Guadelupe Peak. The last few pairs I've bought (of the older models) have lasted pretty well.

    David Chenault
    (DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

    Locale: Crown of the Continent
    ideal shoes on 11/18/2009 21:05:19 MST Print View

    I do feel bad about chucking a pair of trail shoes every 6 months or so. I'd certainly pay a bit more for ones that didn't wear out so fast. I do get better than a few hundred miles though, my vague guess would be more like 6-900 miles a pair.

    I've certainly had fits finding ideal shoes. I've had plenty that were good enough, but always left something desired.

    The ideal shoe should have:
    -a sole height as close to the ground as possible
    -tread beefy enough and with lugs well spaced enough to deal with mud (the Fireblades were horrible in this respect)
    -a full sole plastic plate that is still quite flexible
    -plastic grommets for all lacing
    -full toe rand
    -fast draining and drying
    -skinny heal, width toe box

    Still searching..

    Andrew Browne
    (andrew_browne) - MLife

    Locale: Mornington Peninsula AUSTRALIA
    Golite Shoes on 11/18/2009 22:17:07 MST Print View

    Ever since GoLite/Timberland launched their shoes(3-4 years ago??) I have been critical of their quality and complained to no avail. They didn't even reply to my emails. However I like the wide toe box (only shoe I'm comfortable wearing all day even after my feet swell) and I like their soft ride ( even if the underside of the outer sole show signs of wear and tear)...........have worn my last pair after my visual use by date told me to get rid of them 12 months ago but still can't throw them out). I'll persist with my current Golites until they fall apart.........hopefully not on the track. Then I'll probably buy the current version and as long as they are as comfortable as my current one's if they wear out after 100-200 miles I'll probably cope with that.
    Innov 8 for me have toooooo narrow a toe box!!!!!!

    joe newton

    Locale: Bergen, Norway
    Re: ideal shoes on 11/19/2009 01:35:47 MST Print View

    Dave - we're looking for the same shoe! When we find it we have to let each other know!

    Andrew - if you haven't tried the Inov8 310 and 330 then give them a go, they're the Inov8s that people with wider feet can wear.

    David Chenault
    (DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

    Locale: Crown of the Continent
    ideal..... on 11/19/2009 06:09:59 MST Print View


    The Sportiva Imogene's I'm using hit quite a few of those criteria. They lack a toe rand and a full plate, and I'd prefer the toe box a bit wider.

    They dry impressively fast, and their tread is brilliant.

    I should also add:
    -sufficient torsional rigidity to edge and kick steps in scree and soft snow (again, the Fireblade failed miserably here)

    Richard DeLong
    (Legkohod) - MLife

    Locale: Eastern Europe / Caucasus
    Re: Shoe durability tips on 11/19/2009 07:39:02 MST Print View

    >>> "- If you are going to be on hard surfaces day-in-day-out, then I'd recommend either a GoLite shoe (note the associated problems above) or a lightweight trail runner or "day hiker" with a forefoot plate. Basically, your goal is to stay away from an EVA mid-sole, which is collapse-prone and after that your "cushioning" is gone. A growing number of people seem to be fans of minimalist shoes with no cushion, but I think this is impractical for hard-packed, cobblestone-laden trails while wearing a backpack -- your feet get eaten and eventually bruised. It might work for trails with soft surfaces, but at least in the Rockies you won't find many of those (or in the Northeast, or in the Southwest). Even so, I'm not sure it'd work day-after-day. The problem with "light hikers" is that they tend to want to control everything about your stride, which is where I have some agreement with theses barefoot advocates -- that will only lead to problems."

    Pretty much everyone I talked to on the PCT had "bruised feet" after a month on the trail. The balls of your feet become tender to step on for the first 5 minutes after you first stand on them in the morning. After they warm up they are fine again. This issue gradually goes away after you've been off the trail for 2 to 4 (!) months.

    I'm intrigued by the idea that "bruised feet" can be avoided, because we all pretty much accepted this as a fact of trail life.

    Edited by Legkohod on 11/19/2009 07:45:55 MST.

    Lucas Boyer
    (jhawkwx) - MLife

    Locale: 38.97˚N, 95.26˚W
    re: bruised feet on 11/19/2009 08:43:10 MST Print View

    I think the bruised feet is highly subjective like the rest of the shoe discussion. However, spending a lot of time on your feet running, walking, and hiking can mitigate the problems when you hit the trail. Unfortunately, I think that weeks/months of walking daily will have its toll on any person's feet, especially if the shoes completely disintegrate. This is the first discussion that I've seen on BPL that unites those of us w/ narrow heel/wide toebox requests. Manufacturers are you listening? Someone needs to come up w/ some sort of variable lacing system that addresses the toebox volume more acutely. Perhaps a sandal like webbing across the toebox w/ the traditional lacing beginning higher up the foot? Too bad the MYOG movement hasn't transferred over to shoes.

    Back to the topic of rotating shoes. Different shoes support different parts of the feet. As a distance runner who has dealt w/ repetitive motion injuries before, I say the more variety in your foot's movement/support, the better. I'm still hung up on bounce boxing a variety of shoes during a long hike. Perhaps this should expand to including a Chaco or similar all terrain sandal, which would allow the feet a week(s) of breathing and support from a Vibram sole to aid in healing up from the softer running shoe hikers.

    Gabe Joyes
    (gabe_joyes) - F

    Locale: Lander, WY
    The North Face on 11/19/2009 10:50:24 MST Print View

    No one has mentioned The North Face trail shoes yet. Most of those include, including the Rucky Chucky and Ultra 104 and 105, have a forefoot plate. I haven't used them, but I tried a pair of Rucky Chucky's on once and they felt very supportive. I didn't get them because I has just bought a different pair of shoes. Say what you want about The North Face but the Rucky Chucky's seemed like a solid shoe to me and a friend of mine loves them.

    Stuart Steele
    (sbsteele) - F

    Locale: North Central New Jersey
    EVA midsoles and Seam Grip on 11/19/2009 17:28:51 MST Print View

    EVA midsole memory failure is a historical problem. Polyurethane midsoles last due to their excellent memory but are heavier. Combining the two has been done, but my research shows that performance - foot rotational speed is reduced due to the different material densities. My 18 years of research in biomechanics supports polyurethane over EVA for performance and midsole durability. Mid-sole, out sole, fit, comfort, performance, etc. - good luck in finding the ideal trail shoe.
    I'm surprised at Andrew's comment about not sealing seams with Seam Grip which I've used for over a decade with good results to protect stitching, frays and delaminations as well as protecting and waterproofing the "fabric" from the sole to about 1" high. I then use Seam Sealer 3 for the balance of the "fabric". Aqua Seal is a silicone and oil combination for a water resistant/waterproof coating. Perhaps Andrew can comment with further detail about his conclusion.

    Andrew Skurka
    (askurka) - F
    Aqua Seal on 11/20/2009 13:02:26 MST Print View

    My knowledge of the McNett glues comes mostly from Erin & Hig, who repaired their gear extensively during their expedition in 2007-08. Hig says Seam Grip is simply a watered down version of Aqua Seal, and prefers the latter for everything, including seams.

    Stuart Steele
    (sbsteele) - F

    Locale: North Central New Jersey
    Andrew and Aqua Seal on 11/20/2009 21:52:03 MST Print View

    I'll give it a try. Thanks for the response.

    Emmett Lyman
    (ejl10) - F

    Locale: Mid Atlantic
    Sun Dragon 2 Experience on 11/21/2009 06:23:45 MST Print View

    I wore a pair of Sun Dragon 2's for my Long Trail thru hike, and after 300 miles the shoes are officially dead. However, what's interesting is that the soles are still in good shape... it's the neoprene mesh uppers that really deteriorated all around the footbed. And the 2009 Long Trail wasn't exactly dry, either... it was one of the rainier seasons on record for a trail that's known for its mud!

    I just finished a circuit hike of Torres del Paine and some short hikes around Mt. Fitz Roy in a pair of Garmont Eclipse III shoes and I longed for my GoLites the whole time, except for when I was in the deep snow, of course!

    I'm very interested to see what the team can do to solve the sole delamination problems, but in the meantime I'll probably keep using their shoes, despite the difficulties.

    Chris Townsend
    (Christownsend) - MLife

    Locale: Cairngorms National Park
    GoLite Footwear Competition and Fire Reviews on 11/21/2009 09:19:42 MST Print View

    Excellent reviews and interesting comments. My experiences with the first GoLite shoes seem typical - comfortable but lacking durability. I haven't tried the latest versions. Finding a light trail shoe that lasts is asking for the impossible at present I think. That said, I have worn the same pair of Terroc 330s on the last three TGO Challenges, with other trips as well they've done around 650 miles in 50 days of walking over mostly rough terrain. On the last Challenge I did recoat all the seams to keep the shoes going beforehand. I reckon there's some life in the shoes yet, though not much. Given the weight I'm quite impressed though as I've worn out lightweight boots weighing far more with less use.