Adidas AX2 Hiking Shoe Review
Atika Men's Tesla Orbital Sport Sandals
The analysis of the sandals is brought to you in cooperation with SoleLabz.com.
Hiking sandals ABCs
Hiking boots and shoes are essential for a pleasant and safe outdoor adventure. Sometimes, though, they are something of an overkill.
Let's take light hiking or water sports, for example. If you're not putting much stress on your feet in the form of heavy loads or nasty terrain, dusting off your hiking sandals seems like the way to go.
There is a general trend of hiking sandals trying to get as close as possible to hiking shoes without losing their original purpose. Hiking sandals of today provide excellent cushioning, relieving the pressure on your heels and tendons.
Some models can even go against rougher trails since they provide a proper shock absorption and protection. Some of the manufacturers have spotted the obvious problem of hiking sandals and started including toe caps for extra protection.
The midsoles are what separate hiking sandals from regular ones. They are thicker in hiking iterations and help reduce back and joint pain. The soles are usually made of polyurethane and provide comfort, good cushioning and traction when trekking over hard surfaces.
As far as materials go, hiking sandals use pretty much the same array as hiking shoes or boots.
Before we start testing these sandals out, let's read the manufacturer's specification.
They start with their quick-lacing system. The "laces" are basically elastic strings that are quick and easy to adjust.
The upper is made of neoprene. It's a synthetic material that keeps the sandal from drying wrinkled, helping it retain its shape even if the water managed to do some damage. It's also stain-resistant.
The inner lining is padded and should provide you with a comfortable hiking experience. Atika claims that the Tesla Orbital is extremely elastic and soft.
This is one of those models with the mentioned toe cap. It's highly durable, they say, protects the feet of the wearer and prevents abrasions.
That all sounds very good, as it should when the company making the sandal is talking about their products. They make bold claims about their sandals being the best in many aspects. Initial take on the online reviews of these sandals seems to support a lot of their claims. Having said that, the most relevant test starts when the delivery truck pulls up in front of your house. Let's take it from there...
My review of the sandals
My Atika sandals are size 13 and weigh 24.6 ounces. Most of the weight is from the solid molded sole and tread that is thick and rugged. The upper material is light with the main task of holding the protective sole firm to the foot.
The upper and lower shoe parts are molded together, not just glued. All attachment points seem to be solid and complete. I find no loose or weak spots that may fail prematurely. The sandal appears to be very well manufactured.
The sole is thick and made of two densities of material. Softer grey foam is against the foot and a denser, tougher black and grey material is against the ground. The front toe guard wraps around for good protection against stubbing against rocks, sticks, and the like.
The foam of the sole is comfortable on the foot, with a little give to absorb the foot strike shock. The sandal fits my foot nicely, with the straps being wide enough to prevent any focused friction spots but far enough apart to allow air to circulate and dry the feet. The elastic lace keeps uniform tension across the top of the foot.
Look for more impressions after I've worn these sandals over more miles on the trail to see how well they work out.