Summer ☀️ and Winter ❄️ shoes for hiking, running, bikepacking, approaching the ⛰ and picking the kids up – these are the shoes I have used over the last 16+ months on my trips near and far!
Disclosure: I bought some of the shoes from my own money while others I have received for review. There are Affiliate links in this article which are marked with an ∞ Infinity Sign 😊 You can use these at no extra cost to you but I get a small provision from the company. As you know: I’m keepin’ it real and tell you how it is – I maintain full editorial control of the content published on Hiking in Finland. Read the Transparency Disclaimer for more information on blogger transparency and affiliate links.
I own more shoes than my wife. I blame the multitude of activities I partake in for the amount of shoes in my closet, as well as my desire to try out new technologies. In this article are all but one pair of shoes which I have used in the last 16 months – the notable absence are the ∞ Luna Sandals OSO Flaco which are my much-loved summer sandals, which I will review at a later point. Many of the shoes in this article are made for specific activities but I tend to use all shoes at a minimum for hiking and some every-day use. Anyway, let’s jump in!
La Sportiva Trango Ice Cube GTX
The La Sportiva Trango Ice Cube GTX are my ice climbing boots (which means they are fully crampon compatible!) – but as I climb less ice nowadays (simply less time) I have used these boots for the most part as winter hiking boots. For many years I have tried to get away in winter with using trailrunning shoes, but as soon as some snow is involved low shoes fill up with snow, which equals wet socks, which means cold feet. I am not fond of cold & wet feet, and hence the La Sportiva Trango Ice Cube GTX come since two years on every time I go into the snow in winter – these are mid-high boots with a super nice integrated gaiter, which closes around my leg and hence there’s no snow coming inside the boot or socks!
Another problem of trailrunning shoes is that I mostly use unlined shoes, and that means the wind goes through – and again cold feet are the result. The Trango Ice Cube GTX have an upper which is made in a seamless construction method and have an Gore-Tex Insulated Comfort lining that keeps my feet toasty and warm, even at -25°C in Lapland. I have used these boots for hiking, cycling, skiing with OAC Skinbased skis and also ice-climbing and mountaineering, as well as pottering around in the snow. I like that they are relatively lightweight, the high gaiter is ideal for my kind of activities and keeps the snow out, and they are toasty warm when moving around in the cold. If you need a warm pair of winter boots which you also can take climbing in the mountains, then I can strongly recommend the La Sportiva Trango Ice Cube GTX!
ON Cloudventure Peak
I have been trailrunning in these shoes for over two years now (switching around with other shoes!) and really like them. They have a wide-ish toe box, a good fit in the heel cup, a very thin tongue which make these shoes almost feel like a sock and the sole gives great grip on all sorts of surfaces: Mud, granite rocks and trails full of roots. On asphalt sections and hard gravel roads they weren’t perfect – the “Clouds” as these open sections of the sole are called do have good cushioning on trails, but on roads I find them less good – and as they are not made for road running, I only use them on the short sections to get to the trail. But yeah, the sock-like fit, together with the thin, breathable upper, make this a great shoe for running in the summer. The laces are really good, too – a tad long, but they stayed closed, even on long runs. And the sole has good grip and cushioning as mentioned already. But do the Zero-Gravity heel Clouds provide softer landings, as they claim? I can not agree nor disagree with it to be honest. Does that make them less good? Hell no! I’m always happy to go running in these shoes – and they fit well in with my trailrunning outfit, too!
Black Diamond Mission LT
I received these in January 2020 and they have become my Every-day use shoes after the snow is gone and before it gets really warm (as then I prefer to wear Sandals). Besides walking to the Kindergarden and along the coast I also use them for easy day hikes, cycling and scrambling =) These are Black Diamond’s first entry into the Footwear market, and after using them for over a year I think they have done a good job. The sock-like fit is great: It’s easy to slip into the shoes for example, and if you have them on there’s nothing rubbing you the wrong way, so they are really comfortable. The upper is made from one piece and claimed to be very breathable, which is true to a certain temperature – at temperatures over 20°C I do get sweaty feet in them. The rubber sole is really excellent on rock and it’s nice to scramble up the big rocks which the last Ice Age left here in Vaasa – precise placements are no problem. The sole is also surprisingly durable for all the asphalt walking I have done in them over the past year, which is very positive. Overall a really lightweight and grippy shoe, which I use with pleasure – I hope to test them in the mountains soon, approaching some climbs!
inov-8 Mudclaw G 260
I bought these shoes last year and used them on my backpacking & packrafting trip in Lemmenjoki National Park, and was a bit disappointed that the toe cap came lose after just 60 km of hiking. Also the Graphene rubber sole, which is claimed to be more durable, has not lived up to the hype in my opinion – but then maybe I hiked too much over very hard granite rocks for long stretches, which is a very taxing underground on all soles – especially if I consider that these Mudclaw shoes are made for muddy and wet trails. In those conditions they have been very good, giving great grip with their deep lugs in the mud, and no chance of slipping. I love the close feel to the ground in these shoes, and they have been comfortable even on 40 km days across the wilderness of Lapland. The overall durability is a bit of a let-down though, as I expected more from the Graphene soles – maybe I have to pick up the ∞ Roclite G 275 and see if it is lasting longer on hard rock surfaces. For the time being, I’ll continue to go running and hiking in these Mudclaw G 260 though.
Salomon S-Lab Speedcross
After years of not using any Salomon Speecross Shoes I got these S-Lab Speedcross shoes three years ago – and damn, are they good! As I wrote in 2018: These S-Lab shoes are light, have great grip, are comfortable and have “no ankle support”. But after running in them for 2+ years I can report I haven’t had any problems running in them and the lack of “ankle support” is not an issue for me. I still don’t like that the pocket for the laces is designed badly (newer Salomon shoes do that much better!), but other than that these are great Speedcross shoes which convince with great grip, fit and comfort also on long runs. I expect these will continue to be good for a year or two, as I pretty much only use them for running or the occasional hike so the durability of the sole has been very good.
I bought these in February 2020 as I am fed-up with the super slippery roads we have in winter in Vaasa, and after I fell on my buttocks a few times over the past years I decided enough is enough. These are trailrunning shoes with spikes, and have no lining – which also makes them somewhat “cold” in really cold weather. But the main reason these shoes are brilliant are the 16 studs which ensure bomb-proof grip on even the smoothest of ice! That grip is absolutely fantastic and I haven’t felt insecure on icey roads even once this winter! The bluesign upper is smooth, pretty durable and also water repellent but not waterproof – I have gotten moist feet when using them in deeper snow, so I try to stay clear of that. The sock-like fit is very comfortable and also on runs these have performed very good, ensuring I can continue to run in even the most slippery conditions. Overall a great shoe that ensures I stay upright even on mirror-like ice roads and trails!
Tecnica Plasma S
These shoes I got as a Test sample on the last #OutDoorFN fair in Friedrichshafen, and have used them on-and-off over the past three years. The footbed and upper are fully customized to my feet for a personalized and unique fit, as much like a ski boot these shoes can be moulded to your feet. And yes, these are comfortable shoes, which I have used hiking, cycling and walking around in town. The Vibram Megagrip sole is great on wet and dry trails alike, but the black mesh upper does tend to get dirty and it’s not that easy to clean. The shoe is also pretty warm and nothing I can use in the summer, but for right now and these wet, cold and ice-free seasons I find them really good. However, it’s also a “heavy” shoe and it stands quite high above the ground – something I had to get used to, as I prefer to use shoes with a low or Zero Drop which allow me to be close to the ground. But even if they aren’t the shoes I’d use on long hikes, I do think that these are good shoes, especially for people who want a perfect fit, great grip and don’t mind the higher weight.
And that are all the shoes I used in the last 16+ months – quite a wide selection, and several shoes actually have been used for even longer, but as I continue to get plenty of DMs and question on Social Media about my shoes I though it is about time to answer all these questions in one go! By the way, I also used the previously reviewed La Sportiva Crossover 2.0 on several hikes in the past year – but then they started to smell after the last hike so badly I had to dispose them! So, which of these shoes have peaked your interest? Let me know on Instagram or Twitter!
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