BACKPACKING -- Ultra light, ultra functional and ultra durable -- those are the keys to gear that causes a buzz among through hikers on long-distance trails.
One group of hikers most of the way through their month's long, 2,650-mile journey on the Pacific Crest Trail, recently were comparing notes on their shoes at Washington's Chinook Pass. The durability winner in this group was the La Sportiva Wildcat trail running shoe, a Backpacker Editor’s Choice item in the magazine’s 2010 gear review.
One hiker had 1,000 miles on his pair and they were still going strong.
While trail running shoes may be perfect for PCT through hikers, who are focused on speed and staying on the trail, they may not be the best for everyday hikers who may not be so trail hardened or who do more off-trail exploration.