Danner has been making hiking shoes since 1932, so they’re retro without even trying. Their women’s Trail 2650 GTX is a nod to the length of the Pacific Crest Trail, and this shoe is up to the task, whether you’re hiking from Mexico to Canada or just out for the weekend. I love that this hiker is lightweight and flexible, has a mid-length ankle, EXO Heel System. Plus, you get a Gore-Tex liner for waterproof protection.
They weigh in at only 28 ounces, with a Vibram outsole and removable footbed. There’s an 8 mm offset from heel to toe, and I found this shoe to hug my arched foot quite snugly and securely. So far, they’ve been my go-to shoes for 2-3 milers around my neighborhood and I’ll be testing them out on the Wonderland Trail once the snow melts in Washington State.
The Trail 2650 is comfortable enough to take traveling, too…these shoes are not massive, stiff hiking boots that won’t fit in your carry on. They’re perfect for travel destinations where you can’t be sure of conditions: think mountain towns that may have slush or mud or snow, and European villages with cobblestones and dirt. They can travel onto the plane with you since they’re flexible enough not to feel uncomfortable for long flights.
Pick up a pair at Danner or their website for $170, or opt for a non-waterproof pair for $150 (though I recommend getting the waterproof protection…you’re bound to need it eventually). It comes in a men’s or women’s version, in no fewer than 11 color combinations for women.