We review here the Treksta Mens Evolution Mid GTX shoes. The company’s big claim for these is that they use a rather different last from the industry ‘norm,’ much more in the shape of a real foot, and which they call ‘NestFIT.’ In fact, we found that the width seemed to be a genuine 4E, so they fit us all. In addition, the shoes have what they term a ‘rocker’ sole: instead of the traditional flat shoe bottom they are built to have a deliberate curve to the sole. This is not a new idea, and it is meant to aid in walking.
Treksta Evolution Mid GTX: 445 g (15.7 oz), US$140
When you look at these shoes from above, you can see waviness along both sides near the front of the shoe. We think this is meant to reflect their use of a last shaped like a genuine foot, with toes. We applaud the idea in principle, as too many shoes seem to be made on a last created by a fashion designer who has never looked at his or her feet – let alone surveyed the masses of customers. However, whether the outside of the shoe needs to have this waviness is a good question: it is unlikely that anyone would want a shoe that was so snug (or horribly tight) that the contours of the toes were that important. It is more likely that the waviness is put there just for marketing value.
We are not sure why it seems that way, but the shoes do have a somewhat ‘synthetic’ look to them. This is neither good nor bad: perhaps it is another step in the evolution away from the classic big heavy leather boot image. The lug pattern underneath seemed to be a curious mixture of rubbers and concepts, although that might be just the colours used. They seemed to grip OK on wet and dry rock.
The claimed rocker sole is there, but barely noticeable. This is good. I once had some shoes from the UK with a ‘real’ rocker sole: they were rather strange things and I was not sold on the idea. Whatever rocker curve was in these shoes did not seem to cause any problem with a depressed ball of foot on one day walk.
There is a significant arch support inside the shoe, which verged on being uncomfortable. It did not actually cause any bruising on a day walk, but I was aware of it pressing against the underneath of my arch near the heel all day. I didn’t really like that. The rep was apparently not aware of any of the foot problems which we now know that arch supports cause.
The worst problem I had was the ankle padding. There is a small but quite hard inner ‘rim’ which does not adapt the way soft leather does, and by the end of one day my left ankle was in considerable pain. The area of the rim responsible is shown ringed in red. I undid the two top layers of lacing but that did not help: by now my ankle was very tender. In the end I had to cut short a walk down Chapman Ridge and return to the car, slowly and cautiously. After that little problem, my wife Sue declined to try the shoes out. Of course, it may be that someone with a differently-shaped ankle (like slimmer than mine) would have no problems at all.
I had the opportunity to test the Treksta Evolution in a low-cut with the original last a year ago. That last provided more volume, and I was very pleased with the fit. With the new Treksta Evolution Mid GTX, the company decided to take some volume out of the toebox area. Unfortunately, the last now used for the mid-height boot, with its reduced toebox volume, blows it for me. The boot seems out of proportion; the upper and heel cup are fine, but the toebox is shrunken. The wider width is still there but there is not enough volume in the toebox area. For wider feet, the Treksta shoes are definitely worth having a look at, but you may end up liking the low-cut version better than the mid, as I did.
This is a mini-review in the 2011 Lightweight Mid-Height Trail Shoes State of the Market Report. A subscription to our site is needed to read the parent article.
Disclosure: The manufacturers provided these products to the author and/or Backpacking Light at no charge, and they are owned by the author/BPL. The author/Backpacking Light has no obligation to review these products under the terms of this agreement.