Rating: 3 / 5
Weight: 175 pounds
Backpacking experience: 30 plus years
weight: 25 ounces.
Insoles: Superfeet green
I purchased these shoes after reading all the many reviews and comments by other posters that these were really one of the better trail walking shoes out there. So, I bought them and have been wearing them on all of my hikes for the past six months.
My initial reaction to them is that they are extremely light and fit exceptionally well. The toe box leaves plenty of room and is very well-rounded in shape. They fit my medium volume feet well. The heel fit is snug and I felt no lift in that area on any hike either uphill or downhill. I normally take an 11.5 shoe but found that these shoes fit me best ½ size larger. The lacing system is an asymmetrically attached single loop of what appears to be very thin Kevlar lacing, and never seems to loosen once tightened with the cam buckle. I felt that the cam buckle tightened these laces exceptionally well and made my foot feel completely snug in the shoe. Some may find this lacing system not to their liking because it cinches the shoe in one motion and leaves no room for fitting adjustments. Some hikers have a need to account for foot deformations that require special lacing techniques. These shoes will not accomodate these techniques unless one removes the lacing entirely and replaces it with a conventional set of laces.
The cushioning on the shoes, however, leaves a great deal to be desired. Compared to my Vasque Velocity shoes, these 3 D's have very thin cushioning and after a long day on the trail, my feet really hurt. It seems that as I continued to hike, I felt every bump and stone and rock on the trail. The most I have carried has been a skin out weight of 26 lbs. and the least has been a skin out weight of 15 lbs. -- the heavier the pack the sorer my feet became. I would estimate that the heaviest I could go with little soreness would be about 20lbs.(This really translates into a total weight on the shoe of no more than 195 lbs.)
One thing I can say for the shoes is that they are very cool and well ventilated. At no time did I feel my feet were overheating or becoming overly sweaty, despite the fact that I was hiking in temperatures often exceeding 90°. Most the time I wore relatively light weight wool socks or CoolMax socks from REI.
I should point out that at the end of the day hiking in these shoes, and after taking them off, I would notice that my socks appeared to be extremely abraded in the arch area. Feeling inside the shoe, I noticed that the surface of the mesh that composes most of the shoe is very rough, especially where the synthetic leather is stitched to the mesh and this accounts for the abrading that I noticed on my socks. After several days of this abrading, my socks were pretty well worn. Although this may be a case of a single pair of shoes, I suspect that this is not the case.
A lightweight, well fitted, nicely ventilated shoe that can handle up to about 20 pounds skin out weight (195 lbs total weight), but no more. Marked down for thin cushioning and interior abrasion of my socks.