Peak bagging has its own set of rigors and expectations. Beginning at the trailhead, you move with enthusiastic purpose to the objective. Through treed trails you zigzag beside a shaded creek bed. Closer to the crag, you leave the well-worn single track for an incipient climber’s path, then through scree, rubble and finally to the summit. For many people this is the allure of the mountains; the constant changing environment, the challenges, the cruxes, the slog—all of it combine to create those notable days in the hills. And that’s what we want from the Rapid LT.
Based off the chassis of the award-winning Spark, the Rapid LT is a light, nimble alpine hiking shoe that can handle techy terrain with confidence, giving you the comfort and support of an approach shoe but with the svelte maneuverability of a trail runner. The 7mm drop (from heel to toe), low profile compression molded EVA midsole provides cushion and agility when moving over broken terrain or rocky single track. The randed rubber toebox and Speed Lite HDR rubber outsole offer protection, traction and grip for more slabby encounters inherent in mountain travel.
The uppers are comprised of a trifecta of suede, recycled synthetic leather and polyester mesh for comfort and fit that resists stretching over time, and handles the abrasive reality of off-trail adventure. Women will also appreciate the female specific model that addresses subtle anatomical differences in a woman’s foot.
As an approach shoe, the Rapid LT’s value increases to meet the needs of alpine climbers who walk off their objectives. Webbing built into the heel can thread closer to the sole, providing a cleaner attachment point to a carabiner when hauling shoes for the descent off the climb. And at 1lb 4oz a pair, that allows you to bring an extra cam or two.
However you choose to enter the mountains, the Rapid LT is a spry ally for fast packing, day hikes, and people who enjoy a protective but minimal shoe for times on the trail, or off.