Trail shoes rock. They really do. I love them, but the delight that is cool fresh water draining gently out of your shoes in the summer can become less comfortable when the water is more like grit-filled slush and it’s just above zero. That can lower the mood. I find gaiters fiddly and annoying and generally only use them in the snow; as a result you’ll find me sporting a Mid of some description for jaunts in the late autumn. Ideally I don’t need ankle support, just ankle coverage and I’m still keen on keeping the weight down. Needless to say I was chuffed when the postie chapped on the door and handed me these.
These are the Haglofs Strive Mid GT.
They bear the three colour badge of might that is the LIM branding. The Less Is More pieces have always been a hit with me, being an outstanding balance of performance and weight.
These are no exception.
The pairing of Haglofs with Asics seems to have brought some valuable insight into their footwear range. The outer is mainly nylon mesh, and there’s a Gore membrane in there too. Normally that makes shoes immediately too warm for me, but I’ve not had that problem with these. I’ve got absolutely no idea why that might be, maybe the mesh helps with breathability or maybe I’m getting older and just don’t move so fast. Who knows?
I’ve also not experienced any water ingress either yet. It’s inevitable with all shoes eventually, but so far they have resisted my haphazard approach to streams, bogs and big puddles. Cushioning is excellent and the supplied footbeds are very good, I’ve not had to pop my usual Sole units into them.
The ankle does provide a bit more support than I’d like, I prefer to have free ankle movement and on some of my more sporty manouvers I’ve notice that my ankle is being restricted, but I only notice occasionally and it’s not a big issue. My size 11’s weight it around 800g for the pair, so the weight is very good and it’s noticeable on the feet.
The sole unit is flexible but grippy. I’ve done the usual tests and miraculously these pass the wet schist test that so many fail. Their weak point would be deep mud, the sole pattern is shallow, but on rock and trail they are reliably secure. The laces are narrow but I’ve had no slippage and the loop and hook combo helps with getting them adjusted to fit comfortably. Comfort is the big story here, it’s like slipping your feet into a mixture of your old school trainers and your old man slippers. Straight from the off they have been superbly comfortable, even on rough and rocky hilltops.
The elephant in the room for lightweight gear is longevity. I’ve done somewhere in the region of 120 miles in these, so it’s early days but they are holding together well so far. Time will tell. Keep an eye on the gear diary for updates.
If you look on the Haglofs site, you won’t find them, due to the wonderful seasonal nature of outdoor gear they ain’t there. That and the fact that I’ve had six months off and so I’m a wee bit behind. They might be back in the Spring, we shall see.
If you fancy a pair of Strives in the meantime, a quick google will find that they are still in stock at a wide variety of suppliers. Trust me, you do fancy a pair, they are bloody brilliant.