Rating: 4 / 5
I wanted to love these shoes. In actuality, I do love these shoes. They are exactly what I wanted coming off my ultralight "enlightenment" and after I ditched my ultraheavy and "waterproof" hiking boots that likely contributed to my recent bout of knee pain.
Marketed as trail runners, these shoes boast zero drop and a uniquely shaped wide toebox, both elements that I was searching for in a shoe. They lived up to the promise, and my first true zero drop shoes were a revelation to me. My knees thanked me once my calves got used to the extra work of landing on the ball of my feet rather than my heel, and the toebox entirely eliminated the pesky blisters that always seemed to show up on the outside of my pinky toes, not to mention the freedom that my feet felt to not be stuffed into narrow, tight boots. In fact, I never experienced even a hot spot anywhere on my feet through the 9 hikes and 128.5 miles they survived.
However, that last piece mentioned is the rub with these shoes: durability. They've carried me through 128.5 miles, but in reality they started to fall apart at less than 100 and at this point are literally hanging by a thread at a few points. It's apparent that these shoes don't hold up to the lateral movement that hiking/backpacking often demands, the mesh sides is what has catastrophically failed. Both shoes have gaping holes in the sides that have negated the use of my gaiters and made me highly question the ability to hold up further hikes.
In the end I still considered purchasing another pair of these shoes, however considering the amount of miles I've been putting in lately I opted to try out a pair of Lone Peaks in the hope that they will be more durable to justify the higher cost.