Over the past month, the Carhartt Lightweight Low Hiker (CMO3356) has revealed a lot about itself. On the outside, it looks like many of the other low hiking shoes that have been designed to tackle the sidewalks, parking structures and pothole dodging existence that is life in the big city as well as life on the ranch, at the weekend getaway, or lost on some trail in the Sierra. What cannot be seen, though, is what makes this shoe ideal for the job site, too.
Underneath the rugged, casual facade of grey split leather and breathable nylon mesh is a shoe built to provide serious protection. Instead of a steel toe, Carhartt has set this shoe up with what many in the business say will soon be the industry standard: A composite toe. In fact, according to shoe builder Hans Albing, “[t]his is 100 percent where the industry is headed.” If that’s not enough, according to MythBusters Co-Host Jamie Hyneman “we dropped progressively heavier weights on steel-toed boots to see if they’d curl over and act like knives to cut your toes off. They do not. But we found that the steel toes can, in a pinch, make decent hammers.” In other words, due to the overall lack of rebound, when pushed to the limit, steel-toed boots will smoosh your toes and keep them smooshed. Composite, on the other hand, when pushed to the limit, will also smoosh your toes, but when the material rebounds you should be able to pull what’s left of your foot from the wreckage of your shoe. In either case, the amount of weight and energy it would take to crush a safety toe is huge.
In addition to all the safety features of this ASTM rated shoe, there’s a lot of comfort, too. In a month of testing, the Lightweight Low Hiker became my go-to shoe because of the comfort and support it provides for long days on the go. The EVA midsole cushions the foot from the harsh realities of the outside world, while the OrthoLite footbed cradles the foot while keeping it nice and cool.
The design of these shoes was well thought out, and the implementation of that design in regard to construction is on the money. Other than a scuff on one of the shoes, they show no sign of wear at all. No matter how hard you work or play, the Lightweight Low Hiker from Carhartt can handle it.
For more information or to make a purchase click here.
**Full disclosure: These shoes were provided at no cost for the purpose of testing/reviewing. To think otherwise would be silly.