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Long-term review of The North Face Hedgehog GTX XCR III hiking shoe


Recently I switched to a lighter boot / shoe for backpacking since most of my hiking is geared toward ultralight. My first hiking shoe was a Merrill brand. It was light with a Vibram sole with Gore-Tex outer waterproof shell. I liked the shoe. Besides backpacking in it, I wore it daily and went on 4 mile trail runs a few times a week.

Eventually, the shoe wore out and I went on the search for a replacement. I  basically wanted the same features, but I decided to try another brand so I could compare performance for future purchases. I decided on The North Face  Hedgehog GTX XCR III.
This shoe is superior to my Merrill in terms of insole padding, aggressive Vibram sole and lacing eyes. It provides better support and the fit size is accurate.

I wore it a daily for a few weeks, then went on a vacation and hiked 13 miles in the Smoky Mountains. No blisters, not issues. The Gore-Tex served me well due to the many wet areas I had to cross.

I would recommend  you check this shoe out if you are in the market.

Update 12/18/2012: I have had these shoes for  over a year, wearing them daily. I have gone on a 13 mile hike, 45 mile backpacking trip and a 33 mile backpacking trip. They are holding up great and have shown little wear. I will buy them again.

Update 06/16/2013: I still wear these shoes almost everyday! I had to replace the insoles, but the exterior remains good. The tread, being Vibram, has shown little wear.  On my last backpacking trip, I sprain my ankle, so I'm considering buying the high top design in this shoe when I replace this pair. Below is a photo of my shoes.

Update 09/25/2013:

I love these shoes so much I just ordered a new pair, but I got the Hedgehog Tall this time (see photo below), mainly because I twisted my ankle last year on a winter, leaf covered trail. I'm thinking the Tall will provide better support. I'm not sure, but I'm thinking The North Face have changed the model a little. I was able to order my pair from 6pm for the incredible price of $69.99 with free shipping! As of this date, they still have them advertised, so check them out if you read this in time.

11/15/2013 News Flash! has the Hedgehog III GTX XCR on sale from 11/15/13 to 11/24/13 for $79.99. Regular price is $120.00. I may buy me a new pair.

If you are lucky enough to catch the sale, click the LINK.

P.S. I don't get a penny from your purchase. I just like these shoes and share my enthusiasm.


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