Hiking is an extremely personal endeavor.
Where you hike, for how long — even whether you go with someone else. We all have our preferences, and I haven’t even mentioned the gear we use yet.
For me, I like to hike in rugged terrain. Give me a muddy path or even a hard rain outside that makes the trail slippery and even dangerous and I’m there. I expect my shoes to work overtime and keep my footing secure and my feet nice and dry. I usually combine the shoes with a rain shell and pants, so the elements are only a mere distraction not an impediment.
That’s why I liked the Hi-Tec Ravus Low hiking shoes so much.
They are rugged, waterproof, and provide excellent traction on all surfaces. I used them on a muddy trail near my house, then tried them on a rocky gravel road as well. I kept thinking to myself, lesser shoes with a flimsy outsole and less protection against the cold and wet would have made my excursions less enjoyable if not impossible.
Time and time again, I felt like I had a pair of hiking shoes that provided sure and capable traction, a good foundation for staying on my feet without any slip. You feel like you can hike over anything. The Ravus shoe is not meant for “light” adventures, although I also wore them to work one day and had no trouble feeling like I was wearing overly technical shoes.
Hi-Tec says the shoes could double as work shoes. I imagine that’s true, although it depends on the work — e.g., if a work site requires steel-tipped shoes or some other protections. I found the waterproofing to work well, since the shoes are treated with waterproofing agents. As far as the shoe being water-tight, I would say — almost. I stepped into a huge puddle on a camping trip and my feet did get wet, but mostly because the water seeped in from above. If you are after total waterproofing on hikes, you’d have to wear a taller boot.
As for grip, I had no trouble on that gravel trail with a lot of rocks. Sometimes, normal shoes will slip or you might even slide around, but the rubber sole was not going anywhere with the Ravus. I noticed that Hi-Tec also describes the shoes as ideal for light hiking. I can’t say I’m an expert hiker by any means, but I have worn shoes that were lighter and thinner. The Ravus seems to run wide, which gives you extra real estate for your foot but also means you probably shouldn’t wear this one for technical climbs or hikes where the terrain is more complicated.
In the end, I see these durable, waterproof hiking shoes as “everyday” wearable. I wore them often even when I wasn’t hiking, and even to work in an office. I can tell they will last a long time, even if I take frequent trips on gravel or mud.
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