I’ve owned two pairs of the Ahnu Sugarpine now because I love them so much. I have an extremely difficult time finding hiking boots that work for me. As the proud owner of horribly impossible feet, I often go through hours-long sessions at REI asking the poor employee helping me for endless boxes of shoes.
The main issues: I have wide but not large feet. I have bunions. I have high arches, but tight calves and hamstrings. This means that my feet roll inwards regardless of my arches and I require strong support. My toes all curve inwards.
Told you I’m a mess.
The waterproof Ahnu Sugarpine women’s hiking shoe is the best option I’ve found for my problem feet so far, and I’ve tried many brands. If you have a wide foot and like a lightweight, low-cut boot, it’s definitely for you! I personally do not like a high boot. It cuts into my calf muscle and shin and prohibits the free movement that I need through my ankle for climbing steep paths and rocks. I want simultaneous support and mobility. The Sugarpine gives me both.
It’s very waterproof – of course it is cut low like a running shoe, so you have to try not to step in water so deep that it submerges your foot entirely. It’s also equipped with a Vibram® rubber outsole with slip-resistant lugs for superior traction in both wet and dry environments. I personally will only buy shoes with Vibram® soles because I find the slip resistance performance to exceed that of others I’ve tried.
As far as the interior of the shoe is concerned, it has a moisture wicking mesh lining that keeps the shoe breathable and comfortable. The double-lasted EVA midsole provides extra shock absorption while maintaining the shoe’s lightweight feel. The nylon and fiberglass arch shanks and Numentum™ Hike technology provide neutral positioning, stability and support.
If you’re like me and enjoy jumping around on boulders and climbing rocky paths, you’ll also appreciate the shock dispersal plate in the forefoot of the shoe for stone bruising protection. I also tend to stub my toes often because I have short legs, so the rubber toe caps protect me from potential damage.
I’m very happy with my Ahnu boots and I will continue to buy this particular model as long as they make them. I will say that I bought a full size bigger than my usual shoe size and that’s provided me the best comfort so far. My first pair was only a half size bigger and the second has been considerably more suitable to my needs.
My only complaints? The shoelaces are much too short and there’s no extra set of riveted shoelace holes at the ankle in order to create a heel lock. Both of these drawbacks make it difficult to create a secure fit that prevents friction and blisters on the back of the feet. My solution has been to wear slippery sock liners under my hiking socks and thus far it’s worked. I do think that if Ahnu were to adjust these two small issues the boots would be perfect! As long as you’re in the market for a lightweight and flexible hiking shoe that provides support and control while allowing space for a wide foot bed, definitely check these out!