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Gear review: Ahnu Sugarpine Airmesh day-hiker

Ahnu Sugarpine Airmesh
Ahnu Sugarpine Airmeshahnufootwear.com

Ahnu Sugarpine Airmesh day-hiker

Rating:
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The Ahnu Sugarpine Airmesh ($110) superlight dayhikers hit the sweet spot between a lightweight hiking boot and a trail runner.

A mesh upper keeps your foot cool and airy, then balances it out with more protection by way of waterproof leather overlays at the toe and heel. The toe actually has the leather overlay plus a rubber toe cap. Doubling the defense right where you need it.

These are among the best lightweight hikers that have come across my review desk in this price range. When you put them on, they will feel more like a pair of comfy sneakers then dayhikers.

Arch support is great, the shoe is stiff enough for hiking on just about any trail with a light daypack, and the Numentum™ Hike technology delivers the neutral positioning and stability that is so important in a dayhiker. This are also ace rock scrambling shoes, even on the wet stuff.

If you have wide feet, you will love. If you have narrow feet? Best try them on first, in the store, with a thick pair of socks and see how tightly you can lace them. I like Darn Tough Vermont Daphne 1/4 sock with full cushion.

Because you can't really cinch the laces the way you would a full-on hiking boot, pay attention to hot spots in the heel area. My first few times out in the Sugarpines I got a hot spot on my heel, which I treated immediately with moleskin.

The hot spots stopped about the third or fourth wearing. Don't know if it's because the shoes took a while to break in or if it was my experiments in different lacing style/tension.

Finally, the Sugarpine comes in two other flavors: Waterproof dayhiker ($130) and a full-on waterproof hiker ($140).