I was looking for hiking shoes or boots for myself. I live in Michigan, and really just do day trails that never last more than 2-3 hours. We are planning to do some hiking on a trip to the Smoky Mountains in June, but will have our 6 year old with us.
Since trail hiking is something I just took up last year would you recommend the Columbia Women’s Ashlane low shoe or should I go up to the mid. So far I have only worn just trail running shoes. I found your review on the shoes and you seemed to like them for day trips.
Thanks for the question, Robin! You’re sure going to have a fun time on your trip! I haven’t been to the Smoky Mountains yet, but after reading Bill Bryson’s book A Walk in the Woods that is on my list of places I must go!
As far as day hiking shoes for your trip to the Smoky Mountains, a mid top shoe would be better than a low top. You’re going to want the extra protection from dirt and mud!
From what I’ve heard about the Smoky Mountains, the weather in June will be warm during the day, but there may be summer thundershowers in the afternoons. Even if you’re fortunate and miss the rains, the trails likely will be muddy and rutted, and you’ll want some more protection from the dirt and mud than what a low top hiking shoe or your trail running shoes offer.
I haven’t worn the mid-top Columbia Ashlane shoes, but they should work for you. The low tops are great for people like you who are beginning hikers and want a good all around day hiking shoe at a decent value.
If your foot runs on the wider side, you should consider the Keen Targhees Mid top shoes. My friend Patricia has that pair and swears by them, and wears them for short hikes, long hikes, and sometimes even backpacking trips.
I have a feeling that after this trip you’re going to want to do even more hiking! :). I’m glad you’re introducing your 6 year old to the outdoors! Have a wonderful time.
Do you have a question for the Hiking Lady?