SCARPA Hydrogen GTX
Our take For fast-and-light missions on rough terrain, consider the Hydrogens your chariot. They’re stiffer than trail runners—not buckling or folding under us on a fastpacking trip on the rocky trails of Idaho’s Sawtooth Range—but at 13 ounces per foot, they’re just as light. SCARPA slices weight by using a mostly mesh upper (though leather and TPU overlays still preserve durability) and an hourglass-shaped outsole (saving ounces in the arch area). The formula kept us stable and comfortable under a 30-pound pack.
The details The Vibram XS Trek outsole and its 5mm, multidirectional lugs gripped muddy paths near Oregon’s Owyhee River and dry rock in Idaho. Thanks to Gore-Tex Surround technology (see La Sportiva, above), the Hydrogens kept us dry when we slogged through high-alpine slush, but still breathed well on warm days. Fit note: One wide-footed tester felt pinched in the heel.
Trail cred “These shoes gave me confidence on uneven, rocky terrain, but were light enough that I didn’t want to rip them off my feet at the end of the day,” says our tester, who logged 200 miles in the Hydrogens.
$180; 1 lb. 10 oz.; m’s 7.5-15, w’s 5-10