Right outside my back door is 120 acres of protected forest and the reward of a little-known pebble beach, if you know how to navigate the trails. So while I’ve resisted hiking boots in the past (running shoes have always been enough) they are now part of my most sacred daily ritual — the morning and evening hike/run/stroll through the woods. I hike for everything: to sort out a problem in my mind, to get through writer’s block, to wake up, and to chill down (walking meditations are my favorite kind).
The boots that I have come to love are Ahnu by Teva. Here’s why.
Not too much shoe
My feet are both narrow and thin, so the problem I have with running shoes and hiking boots alike is that there is just way too much shoe. My foot floats inside, and when the laces are pulled in tight enough there are huge gaps of gathered material. The Ahnu, on the other hand, runs slim and is well-built but not over-built. It holds my foot in place with a stable, comfortable fit. Even before breaking them in, there was a comfortable amount of bend.
Good when wet
The Ahnu is made from waterproof Nubuck leather. So when my hikes take me to the sea, or around the marsh, I don’t have to worry. The Ahnu can tolerate a bit of wetness also because of its “waterproof-breathable eVent membrane.” I didn’t even know it was there until I just looked it up. It works.
Can still feel the ground
Akin to my first point about not too much shoe, the sole of the Ahnu seems in the right proportion and it is both light and super grippy. For me, this means I can feel the ground under my feet enough to feel like my movement is agile and that I’m not clunking around or going to trip because my shoes got in the way.
Doesn’t collect rocks
This is a bonus, unintended feature. The soles of my Ahnu boots don’t collect rocks. My running shoes, on the other hand, do — the soles are perfect rock catchers, which makes a walk on a pebble kinda silly.