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Take a Hike: A Run Oregon review of UnderArmour Verge Trail Boots

We are blessed here in Oregon. There are just so many different trails to explore across this great state - from Coastal hikes, to serious backcountry and high desert excursions - there is somewhere out there for everyone. While we are not a hiking blog, we do feel that there is some definite overlap between running and hiking. Sometimes we even overlap the same trails. UnderArmour is gaining traction in the sports world, as they are represented by superstars like NBA MVP Steph Curry and MLB MVP Bryce Harper. Now Run Oregon is entering the shoe fray (albeit on a little different plane than these guys)! We were recently sent some running gear from their 2016 collection and they tossed in a couple of pairs of their new hiking boots. Obviously, they understood that Oregon is a perfect location to test these out and wanted to get a different perspective from reviewers who are more experienced in running shoes than hiking footwear.

Company: UnderArmour

Shoe: UA Verge Mid GTX Hiking Boots hiking boots ($169.99)

First use on the Wildwood

Specs (from UnderArmour Website): 

  • Height: 6.5″
  • Weight: 13.1 oz.
  • Breathable GORE-TEX membrane is 100% waterproof but still allows sweat to escape so you stay dry
  • Lightweight breathable mesh upper with supportive welded overlays
  • Anatomically molded collar for comfortable support
  • Dual density EVA midsole with UA Charged Cushioning inserts in the forefoot/heel
  • Anafoam stability chassis delivers body-mapped fit, lightweight structure & support
  • ESS rock plate and TPU shank for protection, stability, and incredible support
  • Michelin outsole with Wild Gripper rubber compound for excellent traction on a variety of terrains

Impressions (Matt):

I am not as serious of a hiker as some of our bloggers (i.e. Rachel and Geli), but I do spend a fair amount of time on the trails when I’m not running. I generally have mid-level hiking boots – pairs that get the job done, but probably aren’t the newest or most technologically constructed. The UA Verge definitely moves me into a different territory. From the Gore-Tex membrane to the Michelin sole, it’s clear that these boots are all about performance at a relatively reasonable price ($170).

The look of the boots seem to scream “UnderArmour” to me. They definitely push the envelope of what a trail boot should look like and fit in well with the UnderArmour image. That’s not to say it is way out there, as the men’s color schemes are still neutral in nature – consistent with most hiking footwear out there. However, they look like boots for the modern hiker, complete with that UnderArmour flair.

Despite the size and construction of these boots, they are surprisingly light. In fact, I don’t think it wouldn’t be unheard of to wear these in an obstacle course race or technical trail race where water is expected and waterproof footwear would be greatly beneficial . Weighing in at just over 13 ounces, that’s really not all that much more than even some running shoes. They are also extremely comfortable and multiple wears and hikes have yielded happy feet – something I couldn’t say about my old cheap pairs over the years.

If you aren’t comfortable in running (or hiking) in mid-size shoes, they make the Verge in a low profile as well.

Impressions (Annette):

Out on the trail with the women’s Under Armour Verge Low GTX.

I tested the women’s UA Verge Low boots, which are a bit lighter (10.7 oz) and sell for $30 less than the Mid boots. The first thing I noticed about these is that they are actually cute boots. Seriously! The lower profile and the pink highlights make this look like less of a boot and more of a feminine hiking shoe. I know that hiking boots are not usually focused on looking cute, but, thank you Under Armour for the touch of pink!

The fit was comfortable and felt closer to a running shoe than a hiking boot. The slightly higher fit around the ankle made them feel sturdy like a hiking boot without restricting or rubbing my ankles. Though sturdy, the boot was not stiff. I had good movement, but also felt like I was not going to twist my ankle if I stepped slightly wrong on a rock or root. The traction felt good in dry conditions and seemed like it would also hold well if I had to deal with mud.

I tested these on a warm day and the GORE-TEX did breathe well, which I was thankful for. I have yet to try them out in the rain, but I love that these are waterproof so that I can get outdoors without worrying about cold, wet feet.

Overall, I am quite happy with the look, feel, and fit of these hiking boots. I had avoided buying boots in the past because they were just too bulky and stiff. These are a perfect combination of comfort, appealing to my vanity, and performance.

About Matt Rasmussen (1383 Articles)
Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching the Olympics, sampling craft beers, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010. Matt joined the Run Oregon team in October 2011, and since then he has spearheaded the blog’s efforts to cover product reviews, news about businesses related to running, and running events in the Willamette Valley.

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