Vasque Blur : Comfort at Any Speed
Out of the box and onto my feet, the Blur felt like a well-worn house slipper instead of a technical piece of footwear... more...


Zamberlan Crest GT XCR Shoes : They Rock

I've put my Zamberlan Crest GT XCR shoes through their paces during the last few weeks, and I've decided they're among the best day hikers I've ever worn. That's saying a lot, but the shoes deserve the praise. The mid-cut hiking shoe is sturdy, comfortable, waterproof, indestructible and has great traction. 

A few weeks ago I hiked up to a pretty high pass in the Indian Peaks Wilderness outside of Boulder. It had rained in the morning, so the trail was slippery and super wet. As we hiked higher and higher, we encountered a variety of conditions ranging from blistering heat to hail and snow. Good thing I was wearing my Zamberlans.

On the way up, I loved Zamberlan's proprietary Advanced Motion Structure sole system. It's huge multidirectional lugs really worked well in the muck I encountered on the trail. Those lugs are big enough to shed the mud quickly when I pass through, unlike some shoes that get progressively heavier as they collect more and more dirt. The outsole is extremely thick, too, so it should wear well. As I hiked higher and higher, I passed through puddles, streams, and, eventually, giant snow patches. Luckily, the interior Gore-Tex liner works perfectly, and my feet were completely dry. Not only did this shoe keep my toes comfy and warm, but it prevented my socks from giving me blisters.

Up at the top of the pass, the trail became pretty uneven and rocky, but I noticed the shoes had really good stability. Thank a thermoplastic plate for that. The Crests are a rare shoe -- the perfect blend of day hiker comfort, approach shoe nimbleness, and light backpacker support. They've also got rubber toe and heel cap, which offer protection for both the shoe and the feet within. 

The way down was pretty fun, and the Crests made my life even more enjoyable. I glissaded for about 1500 vertical feet in the snow, and any other pair of shoes would have been soaked through -- but again, thanks to the Gore-Tex liner, my new Zamberlan Crests weren't the slightest bit wet inside. I also discovered how much I like the shoe's lacing system. It goes further down the toe than lacing on my other shoes, soI was able to tighten it up significantly. I found that my feet were more locked in place, and I was able to keep my toe from bumping into the front of the shoe on the descent. 

This shoe is so versatile -- ideal for day hiking, light backpacking, adventure travel, and long alpine approaches. In other words, these shoes do it all, and do it all well. 

Bottom Line: Utilitarian waterproof outdoor shoe offering durability, protection, stability, support, and mega comfort - N.W. (Aug '08) 

Price: $129

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Worldwide there are more than 12,000 species of ferns. In New Zealand, the silver fern is the national symbol. According to Maori culture,the unfurling tip of the fern, called a "koru," represents the cycle of life and death. This image is often used in art and jewelry.

Source: 100% New Zealand, The Official Site for New Zealand Travel