In a head to head comparison of leather waterproof hiking shoes, The North Face Storm II hiking shoe proved to be a protective and extremely comfortable option. The 5mm lugs on the Vibram outsoles provided excellent traction across a variety of trail surfaces. The EVA foot beds and thick heel and tongue padding provided optimum comfort and fit.
Traction and Stability Thick Vibram outsoles, with rugged 5mm lugs, provided excellent grip and traction over all trail surfaces. Extra thick padding around the heel cup and on the tongue added increased stability and minimized both twisting and back and forth internal movement. The EVA Cradle midsoles increased the stability of the stride. Textured laces stayed tied throughout hikes.
Protection The deep Vibram outsoles provided excellent sole protection against rough trail surfaces. Leather panels added side protection. A leather toe panel with Snake Plate™surface created a flexible, semi-strong protection barrier against front impact.
Support and Comfort The North Face Storm II hiking shoes provided more padding than any other shoe in this head to head test. This padding provided optimum comfort and increased overall stability. The snug toe box might be tight for a wide foot. Mesh panels allowed interior moisture to escape and kept feet dry. The heel pull tab helped with on/off ease.
Waterproofing The Hydraseal coating on The North Face Storm II formed a watertight barrier in both damp and wet situations. There were no leaks even after splashing across a shallow stream.
Durability Both the leather and mesh shoe panels wore well, did not shred and showed no immediate signs of wear.
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HOW WE TESTED
To accurately assess the performance of a women’s hiking shoe, a number of testers put each product through rigorous hiking, on over 20 miles of varied terrain. During these hikes the testers pay close attention to the level of product performance across six factors most affecting a hiker’s foot comfort and risk of foot or ankle injury on the trail.