A pair of handmade hiking boots can cost as much as $750, but right now there’s a pair made by a small Italian brand called Naglev available for $165, which is 28 percent off its regular price of $230. Before you discount that as small change, know that the shoe, called the Unico Hiker, is unlike any other hiking shoe available (it’s also on our list of the best hiking boots available).
Naglev is based in the Alps, where outdoor footwear was invented, and it created the Unico to function as a middle ground between a hiking boot and a trail running sneaker. It calls to mind approach shoes (sturdy, low-cut hiking shoes typically used by rock climbers who face long treks through technical terrain on the way to a climb), but it’s built much differently. The upper is made of one single piece of Kevlar fabric — yes, the same stuff used to make body armor — and its inside is lined with a sock-like wool liner. This construction creates a remarkably durable shoe that’s unexpectedly comfortable, and entirely unique.
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