I’m a big believer in packing real hiking boots if you’re going to hike the Saltankay Trail in Peru or the Annapurna Circuit of Nepal, but for the normal casual travel trip where hiking is just one small portion of it, a multisport shoes is best. With this Arete shoe from Oboz, you can hit the tough trails for a day or two, but then still have something for the mean streets of the city.
Oboz is best known for those serious hiking boots and shoes, so the technology in these Arete multi-sport ones has been tested in types taking some real punishment. When I put these on the first time, my reaction was “quality.” After I wore them a few weeks, impression confirmed.
First, they look good. Maybe that shouldn’t be important, but when you’re only packing two or three pairs of shoes for a two-week vacation, it is important. These Arete ones are distinctive and attractive.
Second, I love how the laces go almost to the toe. As with the extremely popular Go Lite Lime Lite shoes, this means you can lace these tight across your whole foot when you need good gripping action for boulder-hopping and root-crossing, but can loosen them up all the way down when performance doesn’t matter. Like kicking back with a beer or chilling by the fire.
Third, the materials in these Oboz shoes are top-notch throughout. There’s more protection than a casual traveler needs on the toe, three layers in the midsole instead of just a simple stability injection, and a non-marking rubber outsole that has some give but feels like it’ll last well past 2020.
Last, I think the marketing description of these plays out in practice: “When we made the Arete, we simply built the shoe we all wanted to wear.”
For my last three trips abroad, plus a dozen walks around the neighborhood, I’ve grabbed these Oboz Arete shoes without thinking. Perhaps they simply built the shoe I wanted to wear as well.
The Oboz Arete lists for $120 and it just came out recently, but you may find it for less at Amazon.