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Reviews > Footwear > Trail Shoes > Ahnu Terra Linda XTR Shoes > Owner Review by Kathleen Waters

AHNU TERRA LINDA XTR SHOES
BY KATHLEEN WATERS
November 17, 2009

OWNER REVIEW

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Kathleen Waters
EMAIL: kathy@backpackgeartest.com
AGE: 58
LOCATION: Canon City, Colorado, USA
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 4" (1.60 m)
WEIGHT: 125 lb (56.70 kg)

Living in Colorado and being self-employed, I have ample opportunities to backpack. There are over 700,000 acres/280000 hectares of public land bordering my 35-acre/14 hectares "backyard" in addition to all the other gorgeous locations which abound in Colorado. Over the past 15 years, my husband, John and I have also had the good fortune to hike/snowshoe glaciers, rain forests, mountains and deserts in exotic locations, including New Zealand, Iceland, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Death Valley. My hiking style is comfortable, aiming for lightweight. I use a tent (rainfly if needed). Current pack averages 25 lb (11 kg) excluding food and water.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer: Ahnu, Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.ahnufootwear.com
MSRP: N/A
Listed Weight: 11.29 oz (320 g) each for women's size 7
Measured Weight: 10.7 oz (303 g) each
Colors Available: Dark Slate, Dark Gray and Sage Green
Color Reviewed: Dark Gray
Sizes Available: 6-11 US Women's
Size Reviewed: 8 US Women's

Other details:

Designed for:
Road and Trail Running
Fast Hiking
Traditional Walking
Ahnu Terra Linda Shoes
Picture Courtesy of Ahnu


Warranty (from Ahnu website): "Ahnu guarantees all of our products to be free of defects in materials and workmanship. We firmly stand behind everything we produce. Our warranty is valid for one full year from the original time of purchase. "

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

If I were to describe the Terra Linda XTR Shoes' (hereafter referred to as "Shoes" or "Terra Lindas") appearance in one simple sentence, I would say - "The Terra Linda XTR Shores are one good-looking tennis shoe!" Ah, but that wouldn't say much now, would it?

Starting with their low-cut profile, the Shoes follow most trail shoe designs - lots of fabric for venting, traditional lacing, minimal toe rand and side bumpers and a flexible sole with shallow tread.

Charcoal gray synthetic and nubuck leather uppers combined with nylon mesh create a sporty but dressy, not blatantly outdoors-only look. Accents of light green and blue add a bit of color at the lace loops and at the top of the slightly more padded collar. The laces are smooth, round, black laces with a thread of light green running through them.

A light green polyester mesh lining in the heel continues throughout the foot body. The same colored inner sole covers "dual-density, compression-molded EVA midsoles with heel cushion pods" and "integrated thermoplastic urethane shanks and arch supports."

The soles of the Shoes are reported to be QuickLite no marking rubber and have shallow cross-directional lugs. Bits of blue and green accents connect the sole with the uppers.

FIELD CONDITIONS AND USE

I first "met" the Ahnu Terra Linda shoes in late July and immediately started wearing them the same day. I was at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Show at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City. It was dry, hot and concrete floors. I wore the Shoes for 6 solid hours of pounding the pavement, covering over 7 miles (11 km). Such was the Shoes' initiation.

The very next day, I was out on the trails with a backpack at Arches National Park wearing the Terra Lindas.

According to the Ahnu Footwear website, the Terra Linda XTR Shoes are "Designed as a Cross Terrain Running (XTR) shoe ... specially designed to provide a great balance of rear foot stability with shock absorption and traction on a variety of surface: trails, grass, gravel, rocks and pavement."

For the purpose of this Owner's Review, over the last four months aside from my almost daily hikes down to the mailbox - a 5 miles (8 km) trek - and weekly 4-6 hours hikes in the public lands behind our property; I spent 9 days hiking in various locations in southwest Colorado, the Mesquite, Nevada area and Zion National Park and Arches National Park in Utah.

Colorado one-day-each hikes took place in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park near Gunnison and Mesa Verde National Park near Cortez. A total of 2.5 days was spent there. Mesquite hikes included trails in the Valley of Fire State Park and Desert National Wildlife Range where I spent 3 days checking out the scenery. Lastly, 2 way-too-inadequate days were devoted Zion National Park and 1.5 days in Arches National Park.
Four Corners Here I am with my husband, John, trying to straddle four states while wearing the Ahnu Terra Linda XTR Shoes. The state borders are located on the Najavo Reservation at "Four Corners" where Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah meet.

Most of the time, the Shoes' wearings were in hot and dry climates, for example Utah and Colorado, but I did wear them on a week-long trip while visiting Beaver Island which is located in northern Lake Michigan and then around our house in White Lake in lower southeast Michigan for another week. While it was rather dry in the west, Michigan more than made up for the lack of moisture (for testing purposes). If it wasn't humid, it was cloudy and misty and if it wasn't cloudy and misty, it was raining!

Elevations ranged from sea level to over 9000 ft (2700 m). Overall, the temperatures ranged from a low of 50 F to a high of 105 F (10-41 C).

Rarely have I had a pair of shoes, no less boots, and feel like they belonged on my feet right out of the box, but the Terra Linda Shoes did and still do. I have worn them near constantly with all sorts of socks from thin bamboo and silk low-cut socks to mid-weight wool calf-height socks without any problems. I have used the stock inner soles throughout.

Because they are a low-cut shoe, the Terra Lindas lace in the same fashion as a traditional tennis shoe. I have had no trouble lacing up or tightening up on the trail when preparing a steep descent. The laces have not become unraveled or developed pulls and snags from all the aggressive vegetation has frequently get "hung-up" on.

I had never worn a low-cut shoe for hiking before these Shoes. Concerns about stability and ankle support coupled with my natural clumsiness kept me in mid-height boots even in the summer. Thanks to the Shoes' Neutral Positioning System (NPS) - "stiffer components strategically located around the perimeter of the heel" to "encourage the heel to stay centered during impact" - I was delighted to find the Terra Lindas proved me wrong. I never experienced any ankle wobbling or foot rolling. I actually felt newly nimble of uphill climbs without sacrificing stability.

While I never carried more than a 30 lb (14 kg) pack, my arches did not suffer soreness or bruising from rough terrain. Terra Lindas' sole cushioning was sufficient for my loads. I can't say if I would have said the same at higher pack weights though.

The only detraction from the stellar performance of these Shoes would be the lack of traction on ice. With all other terrain conditions, I had no trouble at all maintaining grip, but on one hike during a freak October ice storm a section of the trail was solid ice and downhill. I had difficulty staying on two feet and needed my trekking poles.

Ahnu recommends cleaning their "lightweight technical synthetics" with a "mild soap and good old fashioned cold water." For "excessive dirt, we recommend using a brush (an old toothbrush would work fine)." The Shoes should be allowed to air dry away from heat. I did brush off some mud, now and then, but nothing else and the shoes still look great. (See below). Though I'm packing the Shoes away for the winter (I don't like snow in my footwear!) I'm sure to get a lot more use from these Shoes next summer and beyond.
Sole of Terra Linda
Sole of Ahnu Terra Linda XTR Shoe
Uppers of Terra Linda
Uppers of Ahnu Terra Linda XTR Shoes

STAR ATTRACTIONS

1.) Comfortable right out of the box
2.) Lightweight and cool on my feet
3.) Ahnu actively supports The Conservation Alliance

MINOR DISTRACTIONS

1,) Not the greatest on ice.
2.) I wish Ahnu made mid-height boots for winter use. (Hint, Hint)

SUMMARY

These are great trail and 'round-about-town shoes! They, and I, felt as comfortable on the trails in various western National Parks as in downtown Denver. Though their appearance, structure-wise, is that of a tennis shoe, the subtle grey coloration blends in better than the glaring white of a tennis shoe. And support-wise, the Terra Lindas are much more stable than an ordinary tennis shoe. So, comfort, stability and good looks. What more could I ask for? Oh yeah - they show no signs of degradation after near daily wear for the last 4 months.

Thanks to Ahnu for the Terra Linda XTR Shoes. I can't wait until summer to wear them again!

Kathleen (Kathy) Waters

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.

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