In a head to head comparison of women’s mid-rise, light hiking shoes, the Ahnu Sugarpine Hiking Boot was a pleasant surprise. Their incredibly lightweight construction retains a high level of comfort and protection on the trail. And their appealing design is an added plus. These boots are best for short or long day hikes without heavy loads.
Support and Stability The 4.5″ high, generously padded, nylon mesh and suede, ankle shaft provided a very comfortable fit. Some buckling in the material below the ankle did limit the support in this area. The boot’s interior construction, which includes a Numentum™ heel clip and integrated nylon shank, kept interior foot movement to a minimum and offered a good degree of torsional rigidity. The boot’s 3.75″ wide Vibram outsole offered excellent stability across multiple trail surfaces.
Protection The Sugarpine’s provided quality protection against the rigors of the trail. With their thick Vibram outsoles, dual-density EVA removable foot bed, shock dispersal forefoot plate, rubber toe protector and thick suede lower side panels, these boots offered excellent protection, shock absorption and heel and arch support. Their gusseted tongue kept trail debris out. These factors, combined with their extremely light weight, resulted in zero foot fatigue on lengthy hikes.
Comfort The boots ran true to size, and did not require any break in. Their supple mesh and suede uppers, and exceptionally light weight, well-padded construction made them one of the more comfortable boots tested. A small amount of buckling in the material just below the ankles occurred, causing minor pressure, but no hot spots, in that area. The toe box was comfortably snug and held the foot firm. The boot’s breathable nylon mesh uppers minimized sweating and wicked away moisture, which was a plus in warm conditions.
Traction The 4 mm, crescent shaped lugs on the Vibram outsoles provided quality traction across a wide range of trail surfaces, with no notable slipping on ascents or descents.
Weight At an incredibly light 11.2 ounces these boots were a pleasure to wear, while standing up to rugged hikes without any foot fatigue.