It was June 2016, and my trip to Mongolia was fast approaching. I needed a hiking shoe and I had no idea what to get. I knew I’d be walking a lot, up big hills and small, over potentially rough terrain, but it wasn’t a “hiking” trip so I didn’t need a full boot. There would be rain too. I had to keep that in mind. What I wanted was a super comfortable and stylish, waterproof hiking shoe.
It quickly became clear that I was searching for an oxymoron. At the very least, I would have to tweak my definition of “stylish.” Meaning, when it came to hiking shoes, it was all pretty relative.
Flash forward I’m in Mongolia, my new shoes on my feet. I’d Googled for the “most comfortable shoe for hiking,” read a few articles and decided to buy the Salomon Women’s Ellipse GTX. I wasn’t familiar with the brand at the time but I liked the neutrality of khaki green color (what’s with all the neon sneakers nowadays?), the interior padding, and the silhouette wasn’t as chunky as others I’d seen. (I hate looking as if I’m wearing boats on my feet.) (In case you’re wondering, this is not a paid endorsement. However, if you buy these babies by clicking on the links, I’ll make a little cash. No pressure.)
They were great. They were surprisingly light, sturdy, my feet never got wet—I walked in plenty of puddles—and they were very comfortable. Just what I needed.
When I got home, they promptly went into my closet. I didn’t need them anymore, I had a pair of “fashionable” slip on sneakers to wear around town.
Shortly after my return, I started a new habit: most morning before work I’d take a long walk and listen to my favorite podcasts. After two weeks of New York City pavements, my lower back was killing me. I pulled out my Salomons and soon after my back aches vanished. Fashion be damned.
Update: I completely forgot that the shoe runs a little big. I wear an 8.5 and the 8 is perfect.
Now I wear them all the time: my walks, errands, exploring Central Park. (OK.. Not when I need to look cute, unless it’s a rugged kind of cute, picnic or something like that.) And from now on I’ll have them with me every time I travel.
From what I could tell from the Salomon website, there’s not a men’s Ellipse but the Evasion 2 Aero looks very similar. Obviously, I can’t speak to the men’s hiking shoe specifically but if it’s like the women’s shoe, they’re worth a gander.