Hiking Shoes
Danner Trail 2650 Mesh

$150, 1 lb. 7.5 oz. (US men’s 9)

Sizes: men’s S-XL, women’s XS-XL

backcountry.com

Want one pair of hiking shoes that do it all? Join the club. And maybe also check out Danner’s Trail 2650. Having knocked off some trail miles in the mesh version of these very light hikers, including in brutal desert heat (which can do terrible things to feet), I’m convinced that many dayhikers and lightweight backpackers would find quite a lot to admire about these shoes.

I tested the Trail 2650 on hikes of up to seven miles in my local foothills and on hikes during a six-day rafting and kayaking trip on the Green River in southern Utah, carrying a daypack weighing up to about 10 pounds. Those hikes were on trails varying from packed dirt to rocky and sandy, in temps ranging from the 50s to 90s Fahrenheit.

Named for the length of the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail, the shoe represents Danner’s bid to create light, comfortable footwear that spans the performance spectrum from dayhiking to lightweight and long-distance backpacking.


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Danner Trail 2650 Mesh hiking shoes.
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While Danner offers the Trail 2650 in several versions, including waterproof-breathable and mid-cut, I deliberately chose the low-cut, more-breathableTrail 2650 Mesh for three-season dayhikes and multi-day trips in the dry climate of the West, where I do most of my hiking and where breathability often takes priority over waterproofing. Whether we’re talking about PCT thru-hikers or the many backpackers and dayhikers who generally hit the trail in dry conditions, the major source of wet feet (and blisters) is not rain but sweat. Plus, in the event of rain or a wet trail, the airy uppers allow the shoes to dry out very quickly.

These shoes passed that performance test. With mesh throughout the perforated uppers, lining, and tongue, they ventilated quite well and kept my feet dry even in the searing heat of June in the Southwest desert. Granted, all of those tiny holes in the uppers allow more
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