Gear Review: Altra Zero Hoof Drop Shoes

As I’ve mentioned previously, hiking in Utah poses some challenges versus other places where I’ve lived.  The main one, of course, is how the terrain just chews up the gear.


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The Colorado Plateau – Where gear goes to die I did a 600 mile or so walk across southern Utah last Fall. In that time I went through four national parks, two national monuments, and other recreation areas. I saw sites still seared into my memory over a year later. And in a little over thirty days, I went through two pairs of shoes. This past summer, I hiked the Great Divide Trail through Canada. Though one pair of shoes did not last long, I did buy a pair of Salomons near Banff that did last the last half of the trail and then some. Now after nine weekends of hard use, these shoes are showing their abuse. It wasn’t the scree and talus hopping of the mountains in September. It was the sand, water, and red dirt of October that is hastening the demise of my shoes. “Unbreakable” Kevlar laces are snapping. Mesh holes are appearing. And the uppers are starting to separate. Red dirt gets everywhere. And acts like sandpaper. Stream crossing only add to the “wear and tear”. And shoes aren’t the only gear just showing the wear. The zippers on a favorite car camping tent needed some TLC. And my socks are getting holes. And at our humble abode we dubbed The Homestead, we seem to sweep all the time. And have become thankful for non-carpeted floors! Our gear room will never be completely clean. Despite our best efforts. A bit of grit seems to be ever present with all the packing and unpacking that takes place in that room. So we love where we live. And we are thankful for what we see even from the window of our home. We just realize that the price is a (seemingly) constant purchase of shoes and socks! … #hiking #camping #backpacking #coloradoplateau #utah

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The sand, the stream wading in canyon bottoms, and bashing through the tamarisk can make for slow going that beats up the gear.

But there is a local expert, if grudgingly accepted by some, that gets through the terrain quite well: Cattle

From the LA Times

Yes, these bovines found throughout the American West often make paths where others can’t get through.

Famously called “slow elk” by Ed Abbey, any backcountry explorer knows that where there’s a cattle path, you can make your way through seemingly gnarly terrain easier.

Well now, you, too, can have this fantastic ability to get through tamarisk, willows, and seemingly gear busting areas.

How? By using Altra’s new Zero Hoof Drop Shoes.

Long known for their foot-shaped toe box, the Altra Zero Hoof Drop Shoes allow any hiker or trail runner to get through the difficult terrain of the Colorado Plateau quickly.

Need to get through a wash choked with the brush?

Have no fear, throw on some Altra Zero Hoof Drop Shoes and you’ll magically find the mouth of the wash and move to literal greener pastures!

On a cliff and need to get down to the canyon bottom? And always get astonished at the steep cattle path that consistently materializes to lead the way?  

The Altra Zero Hoof Drop Shoes will allow any trail runner or backcountry explorer to find their way down these steep cliff faces.

Though the shoes are somewhat expensive at $200 a pair, outdoor users have proved time and time again they will purchase anything marketed correctly despite what little utility they receive from the purchase or how practical it might be for their use.

So, purchase some Altra Zero Hoof Drop Shoes. And be assured not only of making your way through the often arduous terrain of the Colorado Plateau with ease, but also getting the latest item to impress your trail running, ultra, and backpacking friends.

The Altra Zero Hoof Drop Shoes makes a useful, stylish, and trendy gear trifecta!

From High Country News

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4 years ago

You didn’t mention the “bonus” that comes with the original owner of those shoes–the “cow pie”!