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Don’t be misled by a low ankle and sporty styling, the ECCO Tahoe is a full-on trail shoe. With tough leather uppers and a stiff, grippy sole, the Tahoe is a burly hiker suited for long days and tough terrain.
A closer cousin to a hiking boot than a trail runner, the Tahoe is blunt-nosed, a little weighty and tough. Not the first shoe to grab for a full-speed summit dash, but a worthy choice for anything from frontcountry day hikes to backcountry epics.
The Tahoe is set up to take all the abuse an obsessed hiker can dish out. With uppers made from yak leather – three-times stronger than the stuff that comes from the heifer down the road, according to ECCO – bumpers that cover the toe and heel areas and ECCO’s performance rubber 4.0 outsole reaching high up the sides, rocky trails and scrambles are no obstacle.
Despite its heft, the Tahoe does transmit excellent trail feel without sending every point rock through to the bottom of your foot. ECCO uses its ReceptorTechnology throughout the midsole, designed to take advantage of the foot’s natural movement through each stride and communicate terrain with nerve centers to help “sense” terrain. Not something you’re thinking about while the lactic acid is building in your calves, but technology that makes itself known by the time the trip is over.
Fancy technology or not, the sole is the Tahoe’s high point. Offering predictable grip, smartly designed support and a pretty stiff ride, the Tahoe send you down the trail with confidence about what’s underfoot.
The thin ankle cuff is comfortable even on longer outings and the heel box and high rear cuff keep the back of your foot planted in the shoe, though low socks are nearly a guarantee for blisters on the Achilles.
The Tahoe’s fit edges toward narrow, and ECCO’s toggle lace system, which begins far down the toe, makes a snug fit possible for low volume feet.
The ECCO Tahoe means business, and its construction, ventilation – yak leather may be tough, but it doesn’t breath much – and chunky sole make it a good choice for most. Like the ubiquitous SUV that shares its name, ECCO’s trail shoes can motor up, over or through nearly anything. (MSRP $150)
Alex Strickland was born and raised in possibly the least mountainous and outdoorsy city in America – Memphis, Tenn. Despite the lack of trails and people to enjoy them with, he became a hiker, mountain biker and runner. Today, he's traded up for the Wasatch Mountains of Utah and added skiing to the mix, once someone explained what snow was.
A former newspaper editor in small-town Montana, Strickland enjoys freelance writing and photography for publications around the Mountain West and sharing his love for the outdoors through his work.
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