Ahnu Hiking Shoe Review

By Starving Bitch

Please welcome Cranky Team member Starving Bitch with this product review!  Note: when lazy-ass Crabby McSlacker finally gets around to updating the blog's "about page" you will learn more about Starving Bitch and how she's been helping out, but you already know her from her fun Cranky comments as well as her excellent blog Striving for Skinny Jeans, where she always manages to keep it refreshingly real even when life challenges abound. Thanks Starving Bitch! --Crabby

I was asked to test run a pair of hiking boots. Well I call them hiking boots but was pleasantly surprised when they showed up and looked more like sneakers, really snazzy colored sneakers.  Just goes to show you how often I “hike” I imagined these hideous brown boots that go half way up my calf. 

So... they're not ugly! But how do they perform?

Here are some of the Ahnu® Sugarpine Air Mesh  features:

  • Breathable mesh upper to keep you cool and comfortable
  • Waterproof leather and suede upper
  • Vibram® non marking outsole and slip resistant lugs provide grip and traction on varied surfaces
  • Numentum™ Hike technology with a lateral to medial TPU heel clip for neutral positioning and stability
  • Gusseted tongue helps keep debris and dirt out
  • Moisture wicking mesh lining
  • Rubber toe cap protects feet from abrasion
  • Dual density EVA provides extra shock absorption with heel and arch support
  • Integrated nylon shank and arch support provide torsional rigidity and mid foot support
  • Shock dispersal plate in forefoot for stone bruising protection
  • Self cleaning lugs
Fancy terminology that I don't exactly grasp but shock absorption and slip resistant as well as waterproof were words that seemed to fit the kind of hike I had envisioned since it just snowed a ton this past week.

They were quite comfortable when I first put them on, again felt like a really good pair of sneakers. The heel area was a bit stiff which worried me as I tend to get blisters really easily, I figured they were new and would loosen up a bit once I started walking.

It was only 19 degrees when my friend and I trudged out through the huge piles of snow to the trail behind her house to go around the reservoir, I noticed my feet didn't feel cold at all despite only have a small thin pair of socks on.  I also was impressed right at the beginning how even though they were only ankle high no snow got into the shoe. That's a huge deal if you are in a wintery climate such as myself.

We started out on the trail and I noticed how well they gripped in the snow, the snow was packed somewhat in certain areas, but in other areas was quite deep, I didn't slip at all even when I had to quickly move out of the way of oncoming snowmobiles.  

I decided to dress in bright colors to match the shoes
Unfortunately half way through the hike, I could tell I was developing a blister on the back of my left foot, as I said I'm very prone to blisters and it happens quite a bit, so if you are also prone to blisters I would definitely advise some moleskin on the skin at the heel area as these shoes definitely were very firm back there and rubbed.

The tread on the shoe is pretty deep, I didn't feel as though I would fall at any time, which will be helpful in the spring as the trail gets muddy and I've often slipped in just my sneakers walking it.

After our hour long hike, I was flushed, sweaty and feeling tired. But I felt the shoes held up nicely and the most important feature, the waterproof worked. My feet were bone dry even trudging through calf high snowbanks.  That is a big deal.

Of course in the shower the screams from the water hitting my bleeding blister and my neighbors probably thought someone was giving birth in the house. 

The arch in the shoe is pretty decent, if you don't have flat feet such as myself it will probably be fine for you. My foot is hurting a bit, but that tends to happen to me until I'm able to change the arches in shoes. I know I'm a huge pain when it comes to feet. But my toes paint lovely.

I think it's a great shoe is you are just starting out in the hiking world, they are sporty looking and I probably would wear them everyday and not just for hiking. The fact that they kept my feet so dry, I think I would probably wear them on those days when there is snow out but not enough to wear my big huge snow boots but enough that my sneakers would get wet. Perfect for those days.

Any thoughts on footwear or winter weather? What do you guys wear for hiking?  

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