In the first of our Walking/Approach Shoe group test, Bryn takes the Italian made Aku Tengu Low GTX through their paces on his wild camping adventures.
The next shoe in our group test is the Anatom SkyeTrail, it’s their ”ultralight multi-activity” shoe. Matt challenges that by taking them on activity he has been involved with since their arrival. Check out what he has to say.
Well priced trail shoe ideal for long trails but equally at home on a scramble. Very stable with a good grip on most surfaces but definitely a walking rather than running shoe. Waterproof and breathable and built to last.
Real World Test
The Anatom V1 proved to be a bit of a surprise. Testing boots and shoes is usually a nightmare as so much of it depends on whether the shoe/boot fits your foot shape, but the Anatom proved to be a perfect fit from the start.
The V1 is a genuine mid-range shoe; at 805g a pair for a size 42 it's mid range in weight and at £65 they're definitely mid range. The V1's performance, however, proved to be a bit better than mid range, matching or even bettering our trusted Merrell Chameleons. Anatom are known for the stability of their footwear and the V1 certainly doesn't disappoint here, giving enough rigidity side to side for scrambling and both internal and external cradles for the heel.
Backing up all the heel support Anatom have stuffed an impressive amount of padding around the ankle and a lacing system that spreads the tension well. The result is a shoe that fits a medium-broad foot well, flexes at the forefoot for long miles on the trail but offers stability on uneven ground and an above average grip from the sole. The waterproof/breathable membrane does what a waterproof/breathable membrane does and makes the V1 an alternative to lightweight boots from spring through to late autumn.
The V1's not the lightest trail shoe and with a suede and mesh upper and a membrane there's a good chance they'll be a bit warm for some in the height of summer, but for £65 you get a good, solid, stable shoe that'll take pretty much any terrain in its stride and will stay comfortable day after day.
Oh it's not all good news - we've managed to pull the loop off the rear of one, but I have rarely taken them off!
Sizes: Men: 42 - 48 Women: 36 - 42
Pros: Stability, Comfort, Price
Note: This article was restored from the archives. It's published creation date is inaccurate.
Arc'teryx's unique take on an approach shoe, the Acrux2 FL GTX is everything you'd expect from the famous Canadian company. A twin shoe system that pairs a soft removable and replaceable inner with a stiff outer makes the Acrux2 a distinctly different experience. The Vibram MegaGrip sole and zoned construction gives the Acrux2 grip and stability from the car to the rock face, and beyond.
Berghaus call the Explorer Active a ‘Fully waterproof, high performance hiking shoe…bring(ing) all-day comfort to a host of activities’. Its feature list full of strong, dynamic rhetoric such as ‘…incredibly waterproof and breathable’ ‘superb cushioning’ and ‘INCREDIBLY VERSATILE’.
More boot than trainer the Carn Stratosphere ev Low is perhaps the ultimate example of a low cut boot masquerading as a shoe. It's got the solid build required for long trekking, the grip to take on a bit of scrambling and you wouldn't feel self-conscious putting them on for a walk to the pub. Competitively priced it's a shoe to be taken seriously
Real World Test:
The Carn Stratosphere is a bit of a non-compromising beast, which is strange given how well it adapts to a wide range of uses. It looks and feels every bit a boot that's been squeezed into a shoe size and has a touch of Clarke’s shoes from school days about it.
It's principally the tough, durable, fabric upper that gives the impression of solidity, with the one piece toe protector helping give the shoe an almost industrial feel. When it comes to wearing the Stratopshere it's an entirely different matter and more than once I've found myself looking for a pair that are already on my feet.
This summer wasn’t the best time to be testing a pair of waterproof shoes. Record temperatures and a distinct lack of rain left many parts of the country dry as a bone. However, if you’re looking for water North Wales rarely disappoints, so after a couple of weekends camping in Snowdonia, Ward managed to give the Colombia Peakfreak Venture LT shoes a good walk out.
The Haglofs Vertigo II is the company's latest attempt to fill that awkward crossover point between trail walking and scrambling; the approach shoe
Now it's time for the scores from each of the reviewers on the respective shoe. The team has put the shoes through various challenges and all have found a nice spot for each of them.
Something totally different for your feet from Keen, the Uneek is a sandal that's more than a sandal. A surprisingly grippy sole combined with two intricately woven cords give the Uneek both a different feel and a radically different look that works for a range of activities.