Rarely is there a brand of footwear that Mtn Papa and I can agree on and love. His feet are long and narrow, mine more “duck like” (short and wide). What works for him rarely works for me and vice-versa. However, I think we may have found a new favorite brand that we can both agree on AND deserves a little extra attention because it is so impressive.
Ahnu makes a wide-range of footwear for men and women, but we obviously were focussed on the more performance-based models. Even more great styles coming too (I got to preview a few of them at the Outdoor Retailer show earlier this month.)
“With careful and intentional choices, they (the three founders who prefer trails over the treadmill) found a balance between fitness and fashion, performance and aesthetics, profit and philanthropy, and work and play. It was only fitting that they named their company after the Celtic goddess of balance between well being and prosperity. Ahnu. Walk new ground.”
I love this: “Our product goal is to achieve uncompromising footwear performance. We work with leading biomechanists, designers and athletes to develop footwear that will provide the appropriate balance of traction, grip, flexibility, cushioning and durability for a variety of outdoor activities whether on trails, beaches or sidewalks.
Ahnu pioneered Numentum® Technology; a neutral positioning system engineered to encourage your foot’s natural biomechanics. It is designed to center and guide the foot to promote an efficient, stable and balanced stride.”
That Numentum Technology is keeping our feet comfortable on the trail.
When hiking boots arrived for both of us this early spring, I almost sent mine back and kindly refused to review them. I was at the very end of my pregnancy and somehow forgot to take into account the fact that my feet were swollen and completely not “normal”. I am so SO glad I decided to wait and give them a shot – they have become my favorites for everyday hikes. Mtn Papa was impressed with his right off the bat and they continue to perform.
Available in 6 different colors, this is THE lightest and most comfortable hiking boot I have ever worn. It supports well, but lets my feet breathe for warm-weather hiking. It’s also built for all-day wear (but really, ALL boots should be built for that) and is comfortable and light enough to wear both on the trail and out on the town. While it’s not intended as a hard-core backpacking boot, I would have no qualms taking it on the trail for a multiple day trip (and will update this post as soon as I do!)
It’s also available in a shoe – both a mesh version and waterproof version like the boot. I have been impressed how waterproof they really are – especially for a boot that breathes so well. I’ve worn them all summer and they are holding up to use and abuse exceptionally well. They fit true-to-size.
The Coburn is definitely more rugged and aggressive than the Sugarpine. While it still boasts an athletic underfoot performance and is comparatively very lightweight (to other hiking boots on the market), the leather predictably doesn’t breathe as well as the Sugarpine. When my feet are never hot (and my feet ALWAYS get hot in boots) hiking, Mtn Papa finds his heating up. Again, they’ve held up considerably well to rough conditions and are his favorite boots too (which says a lot for a man who wears boots daily.)
I prefer my feet to air out as often as I can, but don’t feel safe biking or hiking in sandals (which I do daily.) While I have worn another brand for years now in a similar style, they are getting replaced by Ahnu. The Tilden has provided me a daily-wear shoe for both water and trail (and sometimes both at the same time.) It is marketed for trail running too, but I don’t find that I can get a snug enough fit for good running support. However, they are GREAT for hiking and river crossing (which both of us have used them for often).
The shoe is very lightweight, has impressive traction and keeps our feet supported. I also love the fact that the holes are well-placed for avoiding a ton of rocks under your foot.
By some miracle (or just a great shoe), we have both avoided the “foot funk” in these too so far (again, I’ll update if that changes.)
Try out Ahnu for yourself!
Ahnu has generously offered the opportunity for TWO of you to try out their shoes!
Boot winner (Sugarpine or Coburn)
Sandal Winner (Tilden or Del Ray)
As usual, please use the Rafflecopter Widget below to enter to win. The winner will be emailed and announced on this post in the Rafflecopter Widget. Have questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact me at mountainmamatales(at)gmail(dot)com so I can help! This giveaway is open to the U.S. and Canada.
Ahnu generously provided us this gear in order to facilitate this review. However, as always, the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly our own. A few of these links are Amazon affiliates. Thank you so much for clicking through them to make your purchases – it helps offset the cost of this blog in a (VERY VERY) small way! You can find my full disclosure here.
This is the time of the year when for families in particular the focus shifts to school and schedules and away from the trail. It’s easy to set aside outdoor adventures for the summer months and give them little thought throughout the late summer/fall, especially as our commitments ramp up. We are on day three of homeschool here and saying we are feeling “swamped” and “overwhelmed” may be an understatement….
However, the benefits of outdoor family time aren’t limited to just when we can make them happen. Ideally, they are an integrated part of our daily life, and break up the monotony of “desk time” while relieving stress.
It can be quite a shock for kids especially to go from a summer of outdoor freedom with hours spent outside, to the typical American education system spending most of the day sitting inside with just a couple short recesses. While that is an entire issue in itself, the point is that outdoor time at home becomes even more critical.
We all have excuses and time commitments and reasons why we can’t – no time, tired kids, tired parents, the turning weather, the impending less hours of daylight, etc. However, the benefits of making it happen anyway (in any capacity you can) include healthier and more adjusted children, less stress, better concentration at work and school, and stronger family bonds.
While we don’t live on the ocean or have quick access to pools, we do spend quite a bit of our outside time getting wet (usually in natural rivers, lakes and hot springs.) Therefore, this year I was looking for a carrier that could work for both water and “dry land” and is small and packable. We are often hiking into lakes, rivers, etc. and carrying a lot of gear. Sometimes it is easier to throw the little ones in a framed carrier with everything else we need to carry and then bring along a small and packable carrier for water play.
This wrap is super lightweight (because it is mesh), does an excellent job in the water and has just the right amount of stretch for good support. It is shorter than the Moby or the Boba wrap for comparison, and is intended to be tied off in the back (instead of the front like the Moby and Boba). Personally, I’d love a little more length to be able to knot in the front – even another 6 or 8 inches would make all the difference. That said, once I get this one on, it is the most comfortable of the three in the water simply because there are no buckles, straps or slightly abrasive materials. It is also the only one that is specifically made for water.
I love how it doesn’t pick up the dirt/sand and can be just thrown in our beach/river bag.
The wraps come in a variety of colors. Beachfront Baby also makes a ring sling, which is definitely easier to get on and off quickly. I prefer the extra security of the wrap, but I see the benefits of the sling also.
Get your own: Use code “mountain mama” for 10% off at the Beachfront Baby site (expires September 15, 2014)!
The Boba Air (linked to my previous review) has been a favorite of mine since it was released over two years ago now. It is the same design and shape as the other Boba carriers, just without the extra padding or bells and whistles. The carrier does have full-size hood and the capacity to be able to zip it into itself for easy packing. The carrier has a wide seat so can be used for children 15 -45 pounds comfortably.
This is not a carrier you are going to wear all day long, but is great for wet conditions (since it dries quickly) and for having a spare in the car, stroller, etc. We have never worn it wet for extended periods of time, but could appreciate the fact that if Baby and carrier were both wet and worn for long periods of time, it could result in some chaffing on the child’s legs.
This summer I had the opportunity to try out the white version and would recommend it over the black for summer use. While white can be a little scary to any parent with young children, it wipes off and washes extremely well and has the added benefits of a lighter color to reflect the heat.
The BityBean Baby Carrier (linked to my previous review) is THE most compact and light soft structured carrier on the market. It is about 2/3 the size of the BobaAir (which, like I said, is very small and packable.) However, the trade off in that less weight is a slightly more narrow seat (meaning not as good for bigger kids) and no hood included (though is available for purchase separately.)
The inside fabric is softer than the BobaAir (which is 100% nylon, opposed to the BityBean being 40% polyester) which makes it more comfortable for the child, especially in the water. It also has smaller straps and buckles. You would most likely be less comfortable wearing this all day than the BobaAir, but still very comfortable for most wearers and children.
As I mention in my review (linked above), the BityBean is ideal for kids aged 3 months – about 2.5.
Do you baby wear in the water? How do make it work? Anyone have favorite water-friendly carrier?
Thank you to Beachfront Baby, Boba and BityBean for supplying us carriers for this review (per our request.) As always, the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly our own.
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