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 Low-cut hiking boots tested in 2020

12 lightweight hiking shoes for day hikes or excursions on the doorstep. Some feel like sneakers, as our test shows

Light, half-height hiking shoes come with a low shaft, soft treaded soles and a pair weight of sometimes well under a kilo. In theory at least, these sporty "treadles" have what it takes to be all-round shoes, which is why they are often on the shelves as "multifunctional shoes". Our comparison of twelve models between 130 and 189 euros shows that they are not wrongly named. They were able to collect points on easy and difficult trails, while hiking, speed hiking and some even trail running.

But the differences between the candidates are sometimes serious. The pair weight ranges from 585 to 915 grams, and not all test shoes have a functional membrane - Black Diamond and Dynafit do without it. The other ten hiking boots tested, on the other hand, should be waterproof - which we checked both while hiking and in the laboratory.

The main focus of the testers with this type of hiking shoe was, above all, the wearing comfort, i.e. the fit and rolling behavior, the cushioning and the shoe climate. As expected, the light, soft sports shoes can boast advantages in the test. Above all the flyweight in the OUTDOOR test 2020, the Dynafit Feline SL. The sporty low shoe makes hiking a real pleasure, and that on any surface, because both cushioning and sole grip are at the top level, as is the rolling comfort. Even the shoe climate is convincing: no wonder, since there is no membrane that slows down the steam. The also very light Black Diamond Mission LT lacks that, but it is a bit warmer and more stuffy than the Dynafit. In terms of roll comfort, cushioning and fit, however, it is on par with it, is even a little smoother and almost feels like a sneaker.

If you think that light shoes are extremely comfortable to wear per se, the Asolo Grid GV gets in the way: With a pair weight of 615 grams, this multifunctional shoe weighs little more than the Dynafit Feline SL, but with its thin, soft soles, angular stones have easy play : They push so hard that it becomes uncomfortable, even the soft shaft is quickly overwhelmed in the terrain. (It is almost reminiscent of a "barefoot shoe").

The heavyweights in this group test are completely different: First and foremost the Scarpa Mojito Trail and the Jack Wolfskin Force Striker Low. Both weigh over 900 grams - and thanks to their torsion-resistant, precise and edge-proof soles, they even master alpine mule tracks, simple via ferratas and tours with heavy luggage, with the Scarpa in particular rolling off wonderfully smoothly. On the other hand, they are not suitable for trail running, as these hiking boots simply hang too heavily on the foot.

The good news: You don't have to choose between ultra-light-soft and heavy-weight-stable - many of the low-cut hiking boots tested lie between the two extremes. The sports shoes from Adidas, Mammut and Salewa are just as convincing for leisurely hikes in front of the front door as they are for trail running or fast hiking, thanks to strong cushioning they can master hard asphalt and forest slopes as well as stubborn mule tracks - especially those of the Adidas Skychaser with itself on wet stone and wood, the almost sticky Continental sole masters particularly well. The pair weight of this hiking shoe trio is 720 to 740 grams in the middle - a value that is still acceptable for jogging.

If you don't have any running ambitions, medium-weight shoes from La Sportiva (see picture above), Lowa, Salomon and The North Face come into play. First and foremost, these low shoes are hiking shoes that are designed to master both easy and difficult low mountain terrain. The Salomon XA Wild GTX and the Activist Futurelight from The North Face do not live up to this claim: Their soles could offer more grip in the terrain and twist less easily. The La Sportiva Spire GTX Surround and the Lowa Innox Pro GTX Lo, on the other hand, made a very strong impression on our test tours. With a sturdy construction and a grippy sole profile, the La Sportiva in particular sprints through even rough terrain as if on rails. In addition, the two reliably keep the inside of the shoe dry. And that from the inside too, because both vaporize very well, the La Sportiva Spire even downwards thanks to the surround membrane from Gore integrated into the sole. It is recommended for everyone who sweats quickly on their feet but who do not want to do without a waterproof shoe. In the hiking boots by Salomon, Scarpa and The North Face, on the other hand, it can quickly get too warm, at least if you walk briskly or at high temperatures.