For the past month, Terry and I have been hiking across the North Bay, as well as up in the Sierras around Lake Tahoe in our ECCO La Paz Lo GTX hiking shoes. With a stable construction and waterproof liner, these hiking shoes have not only stood up to the weather, but to a variety of different terrains.
With a combination mesh textile and Yak leather upper (three times stronger than normal leather), the La Paz Lo GTX are not only breathable, but extremely durable as well. A rubber toe cap adds extra protection for your foot from those errant rocks or tree roots on the trail.
These hiking shoes may be far from minimalist and not the lightest on the market (18 oz.), but they are some of the most stable. With the help of ECCO's Receptor Technology, the hiking shoes respond to your feet, giving you a nice sensory feel of the terrain underneath. I have been most impressed with the stability on the gravely, loose terrain you find all over Mt. Tamalpais.
Made from ECCO Performance Rubber, the flexible yet strong outsole features aggressive treading for superior grip. Similar to the ECCO Sayan II GTX, the rubber outsole offers enough grip that you could comfortably use these hiking shoes as approach shoes. I felt secure scrambling over slabby rock in the Sierras, even on wet terrain..
Even though the La Paz is a low hiking shoe, the gusseted tongue helps to keep debris out. The ghillie lacing system gives you a customizable, supportive fit, which you can really cinch tight for those downhills.
Bottom Line: If you are looking for a more hearty and stable hiking shoe for fall hiking, as opposed to a simple trail runner or light hiker, the ECCO La Paz Lo GTX fits the bill. With a Gore-Tex membrane, these hiking shoes will take whatever the fall weather has to throw at you.
The ECCO La Paz Lo GTX hiking shoes come in a men's and women's version and retail for $185.