Hiking every day this year I went through quite a few pairs of shoes. I finally found a pair that I love and they lasted the final four months of the year but I'll need a replacement soon.
I hike in running or trail shoes with very few exceptions because I can cover more miles in less time without heavy boots weighing me down.
I started the year with two pair of New Balance 992s and was happy with them but I wore them out fairly quickly. They'd had plenty of miles on them and I was very happy with how well they held up. Due to my happiness I bought a pair of the updated 993s and could not have been more displeased with the changes New Balance made to their flagship shoe. The midsole was softened and started compressing almost from the first day I wore them. They also changed the outsole and it lasted just a couple of weeks before it started coming apart. Considering that these retail for $139.95 I have to say these are the worst shoes I have ever bought.
I then bought a pair of Patagonia Release trail running shoes. These shoes I loved until they also started to break down. On the heel of these shoes is a gap in the rubber and this stupid design is a major weakness on these shoes. This was disappointing because I really liked these vegan friendly shoes.
I then went back to wearing a pair of Merrell shoes that I'd had in my closet and those were OK until I found my latest and final shoe of the year, the La Sportiva Wildcat. I highly recommend these. The sole is not perfect and it did wear faster than I would have liked but considering that I was hiking every day, they held up pretty well. These shoes are light, comfortable, breathable and have sufficient support for hiking on the rough trails in the desert area that I live in. If the rubber on the sole were just a little harder they would be perfect.
We don't have a place in town that sell these but when REI comes out with their next 20% off coupon I'm getting another pair. There are a few hikes that I still want to do.