Steppin' Out

Is this a review of a couple of nifty shoes for outdoor activities, the Tilden IV by Ahnu and the Power Walk 503 by Prospecs?

Or is it just an excuse to reminisce a bit longer about hiking and beachin' and kicking back on our recent trip to Maui?

Well yeah, you guessed it. It's both!

Plus, the post features a couple of different perspectives, as The Lobster was put in charge of reviewing (and keeping) the Ahnu's.

Being savvy photo-bloggers, we took the shoes to Hawaii, and then kinda forgot about the "review" part of the "get cool shoes free and then review them" thing.  So of course we have a lot of photos with the feet chopped off.

But, we promise we will get to the shoes too!

Hi, I'm the Ahnu Tilden IV!

And hey there, I'm the Prospecs 503!

But First, Lets Show a Few More Irrelevant Vacation Photos That Don't Have any Freakin' Shoes in Them.  Let's Set the Stage!

Packing for an active vacation is tough, especially when it comes to footwear.  So many different possibilities and limited space; so it helps if  your "active" shoes aren't completely sucky looking, yet are fully functional for a range of demanding activities.

There is sightseeing! Sometimes on cloudy rainy days, footwear choices can be crucial to comfort.

(Note the portentous clouds.
As it turned out, they meant business)

There is hiking to view pretty waterfalls!

There is strolling on the beach!

There is walking around on hard concrete sidewalks to find places to eat and drink!

There is sitting on boats after conquering an irrational fear of snorkeling!

And there is enjoying the sunsets!

So, is the stage sufficiently set?

About the Dual Review and the Procrastinating Crab:

So unlike Crabby, the Lobster promptly wrote up her review as soon as she got her shoes, and her thoughts were written pre-Hawaii.  It was the Crab's brilliant idea to hold off and combine the whole Two Pairs of Shoes to Review with Hawaii photos, yay!  As though shots of someone else's freakin' vacation is somehow any more appealing than a shoe review.

But on the other hand, (spoiler alert) these are both great shoes by companies that have not saturated the media with ads like some other major shoe companies we could name.  We're all for promoting high-performance shoes that have to struggle a bit more to get the word out, especially given our lazy tendency to "go with what we know."

So, First up, the Lobster's pre-Hawaii take...

Review of the Ahnu Tilden IV 

I am often a beneficiary of the free stuff that lands in our house, waiting for a review by my most significant other, Crabby McSlacker. I've had power bars and peanut butter, did a bran challenge (a moving experience) and I get to work out with stuff like the cool TRX. But the shoes, oh those shoes, have remained elusive. I mean it makes sense since it IS her blog and all. This is how it went down.

Crabby: Hey Lobster, (she doesn't really call me that but let's go with it), want to do a review of...

Me: Yes!

Crabby: You don't even know what it is.

Me: I know but it might be shoes.

And it was. So a few days later, right outside of our very own door, appeared my shoes, well sandals, actually. Ahnu Tilden IV Harbor Gray. Here they are:

Me again, but bigger!

Cool, eh? I think I got them a tad too big (and yes, duly warned by Crabby that sandals often run smaller than running shoes) but they have adjustable straps which are very nifty for making them snug for normal person wear and expandable for those cooler days when to everyone's horror, I wear them a la Portlandia like this:

Ah, but I digress, back to the my awesome new sandals. Here's what the good folks at Ahnu say about them: "Our new light weight Traverse platform so you can go all day on any surface and be secure and protected. From the quick drying mesh upper to the security of our integrated webbing and the dual density midsole your feet will be comfortable and ready to keep moving."

I don't know nuthin about traverse platforms or dual density midsoles but I do know they are way comfortable and supportive. You add the comfort factor to all those adjustable thing-a-ma-jigs and that makes me a happy hiker. Plus, I think they're pretty darn cute, even in the monstah-lobstah size, which is kind of hard to pull off.

Post-Hawaii Update by Crabby:

The Lobster wore these a lot (and is still wearing them) and kept complimenting their comfort and support.  I tried them too and was very impressed and would try to swipe them back from her were they not too large. (I've made the same mistake ordering sandals too big before too).  They seem a bit more cushiony and flexible than my own sandals which are a similar type from a Bigger Name sport sandal company yet still solid enough for rocky clambering or hard concrete.

Review of the Prospecs 503 PowerWalk:

I was intrigued by the premise behind these shoes:  they are "engineered to address the biomechanical differences between walking and running."

Many of us put many miles walking on shoes that were built for running. Yet walking apparently results in more of the back of the heel hitting the ground as opposed to running. And if you're picking up the pace and doing Power Walking, "the aggressive striding of sports walking results in a 30-degree contact angle with the ground, requiring more cushioning at the heel."

In addition, "the longer your feet stay on the ground, the more your body depends on the rear part of your shoe." So they've provided more cushioning and made some other modifications like enhanced flexibility in the forefoot, and a lot of layers of stuff that you can learn more about at the site.

It was clear a lot of thought and technology went into them.

But I've tried shoes before that sounded like they included enough technology to be awesome, yet when put to the test, were either too flimsy, or too stiff and uncomfortable.

I'm happy to report, these shoes rocked!

They seemed to require no break-in time, yet the comfort didn't mean lack of support.  They are perfect for walking on hard streets sidewalks and kicking random objects for no apparent reason.

Though they are not billed specifically as hiking shoes, they were great on the trail!  Again, comfortable but with enough support to handle rocks and roots and other naturey things.

So in summary: great vacation, great shoes all around!

Oh crap, this is a hard post to comment on, isn't it?  Um, any thoughts about active shoes or vacations or bloggers who procrastinate? Or hell, my feelings won't be hurt if ya got other things to do today!

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