I’ve been really happy with the Hoka One One Challenger trail running shoes I bought a couple of months back so I recently picked up a pair from their more trail-oriented line, the Speedgoats, to use on longer hikes when my feet get a bit sore in my regular hiking shoes. REI had several colors in my size and I liked them all, two fairly subtle and this pair in Superman’s colors. I debated which pair to order but decided on the playful colors even though I knew from experience the desert would quickly mute them. I have two identical pairs of my regular hiking shoes, one in black and one in tan, and it takes more than a quick glance to distinguish them.
The picture above was from their first hike to the top of the hill at Cavalliere Park, it’s good for testing new shoes since the short loop never takes you too far from the car but it also has a hill with these jagged rocks at the top to test out the footing. Last weekend I took them on a 4 mile hike in the morning on gentle terrain and a 6 mile hike in the afternoon with some elevation changes. The picture below is from the high point of the afternoon hike where the Quartz and Flat Rock trails meet at Cave Creek Regional Park, a thick coat of dust dulling the colors in the evening light.
Love them so far, I think they’ll be a nice addition to my little family of hiking shoes.
I like orange in many guises, whether orange the fruit or orange the tabby or orange the color. In Oregon I had many uses for shoes that don’t apply here in Arizona so I’ve been letting my array of kicks dwindle as the old shoes slowly wear out. I did pick up a pair of trail runners recently to replace two pairs of shoes on their last legs, this style could fill multiple roles but my intent is to use them as a complement to my hiking shoes and to try some occasional light trail and road running. I haven’t run in decades and wasn’t serious about it even then, I found it a joyous way to exercise but quit when I felt it was hurting my knees. I’ve worn the shoes to work a few times to make sure I like them as they’ll be permanently covered in dust once they greet the desert. The Hoka One One brand is new to me but given the closeout pricing and the delightful colors and some positive reviews on Youtube I decided to give them a go.
We had a sunny day on Friday so while I was taking pictures on the way home from work, I took a quick picture of my favorite pair of shoes, orange New Balance trail runners that are coming out of winter hibernation and returning to the regular rotation. I picked them up a couple of years ago after I returned to commuting by train and wanted to be more visible as I walk to and from the station or around town. The sun was low in the sky when I took the picture, and I in shade, but you can get a glimpse of how visible they are in low contrast light that causes human vision to stumble. I love everything about the shoes and should have bought a handful when I realized how much I liked them so I could store them in the closet and have a supply for years to come.
I was walking Ellie a couple of weeks ago on one of her long morning weekend walks when I felt the sole break in my other favorite pair of shoes, a black pair of New Balance trail runners from four years ago (a different style), finally succumbing after years of steady use. I stepped carefully for the rest of the walk and thankfully they held together enough that I didn’t have to cut her walk short. I sadly placed them in the trashcan when we got home, thankful for the years of use, they started out as shoes for summer hiking but I loved them so much they became one of my main shoes until they started to show signs of wear and were relegated to dog walking the past year or so.