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Ahnu Montara Boot for Women: Lightweight, Stable, and Fun

Ahnu's Montara Boot is a lightweight, full-featured boot that may redefine your notion of what a hiking boot should be… it certainly did for me.

The Montara boots combine a running-shoe fit and feel with more durable hiking boot materials, without sacrificing stability or ruggedness.

Ahnu continues to surprise me with the performance and fit of their shoes. This is my second pair of Ahnu shoes, and just like my trail runners, I found that the Montara boots fit like a glove right out of the box. No extra break-in time needed. The toe box has plenty of room for my wider forefoot to spread out naturally with each stride, and the heel cup and leather-lined, padded collar cradle my ankle. The stock insoles provide plenty of cushion and support on their own, but are also removable for hikers who use custom-made orthotics.

I was a little skeptical about how well the boots would perform on the trail because they are so light--at less than a pound per foot, they’re lighter than my climbing approach shoes. I took them for a 5-mile hike on a rocky trail strewn with wet yellow aspen leaves and dotted with occasional patches of ice that turned to muddy spots on the way back to the car. The Montara boots were incredibly stable, with grippy traction in the mud and on rocks. They're stable enough that I I didn't have one misstep or roll my ankles.

Ahnu uses strategically placed high-density materials and struts to give feet just the right amount of support and stability for the activity at hand, without going overboard. The result is a boot so intuitive and low-profile that I didn’t hesitate to break out into a run to chase my dog on the trail. The Montara boots also aced the challenge of hiking with a pack. Loaded up with a pack full of climbing gear, my feet felt well-supported, showed no hint of fatigue, and moved more athletically over uneven terrain than with other more rigid and heavy hiking boots. Hiking is a lot less clunky and a lot more fun with the Ahnu Montara boots.

On top of all this, the Montara boots are sleek and attractive and come in several bold colors with fun contrast stitching accents. Because these boots are low-profile, I was able to wear them around town under my jeans after a snowstorm to tromp through puddles, slush, and snow drifts, while giving the appearance that I was wearing normal shoes under my jeans. The lined nubuck upper is both waterproof and breathable, so my feet stayed totally warm and dry.

The Ahnu Montara Boots are available for women in Tawny Port, Astral Aura, Coffee Bean, Black in sizes 6 to 11 including half sizes. The Montara boots fit me true to size, and the Tawny Port, a rich burgundy color, makes for an attractive and unique-looking hiking boot. Also available: the Montara shoe. Ahnu makes a similar boot and shoe for men called The Elkridge.

Bottom Line: The Ahnu Montara Boots are so comfortable and responsive that you might be tempted to break out into Footloose dance moves on your next hike. –L.B. (Nov. ‘11)

BUY ONLINE: $140 click for REI. Some styles/sizes on sale at Amazon.

Manufacturer's Site: www.ahnu.com

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When hiking or camping, always carry the "10 Essentials":

Extra clothing, extra food and water, lighter or water-proof matches and fire starter, map in waterproof envelope, compass, pocket knife, sunscreen and sunglasses, flashlight or headlamp, first aid kit, emergency shelter.

Source: Seattle Mountain Rescue and Seattle Mountaineers.