Groove Mid G-Dry hiking shoe worn by an outdoorsman in the woods.
Garmont

Gear Review: Garmont Groove Mid G-Dry Summer Hiking Shoes


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Since it's not always a good option to wear your heavier hiking boots during the hot parts of summer, many manufacturers have thought ahead to the design and creation of a "shoe" for general hiking or more casual warm weather walking. We recently got to take a look at the new Garmont Groove Mid G-Dry summer hiking shoe, and we weren't disappointed. Garmont, known for being a premier Italian performance footwear brand, designed the mid-cut hiker with warm weather, exposure to water, and high levels of comfort in mind to keep summer walkers trail-ready for the entire season.

In fact, with the new Groove Mid G-Dry, you can have all of these great traits in a shoe that is easy to get in and out of. We'll look at its waterproof G-Dry functionality, sweat-wicking ability, and the heel locking system to see what it is all about. Add to that the great looks of this hiker, and you may have stumbled upon your new go-to.

First Impressions

Groove Mid G-Dry

Craig Raleigh

Right out of the box, I loved the look and feel of this hiking shoe. The red and grey color pattern looks terrific along with the suede leather. Even the red and black laces set these boots off which only makes for an even better result and a nicer looking boot. They have plenty of room; I almost always buy a size 10 hiking boot, but I had asked for these in a 9.5 which is my normal size. It was the right choice.

The Groove Mid G-Dry is as light on your feet as they look, and feel even better to walk in. I prefer to wear two pairs of socks anytime that I hike or walk for an extended time, but just to get my feet used to them I only wore one. Again, that was the way to go.

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One of the first things that I did in the Groove was to mow my lawn on a particularly hot day. After 90 minutes of sweating and walking (on a pretty good slope mind you), my feet felt great. Thanks to a good pair of wicking socks, they barely showed signs of sweating.

I got another good opportunity to test them out when I used my boat, which I have to launch by hand from the shore of my favorite reservoir. It's quite rocky and uneven, but stomping through the wet spots and over the flotsam and driftwood is a breeze in these hikers since the soles and the heel have a great stability but are still soft on the foot for better cushioning and comfort.

For general hiking tests, I traversed through the property where I live, which can be a challenge since it is very rocky and wooded all at the same time. There are hills, valleys, and many bluestone rock outcroppings where good footing is a must. They excelled, especially when I made my way into the thick stuff to check trail cameras.

The Downside

Garmont

Now that I live in a very tick-friendly area, defense against the little blood suckers is more challenging. Even high-top boots need to be prepped for the journey. Hikers in this county are known to use duct tape (with the sticky side outward) around their ankles to stop ticks in their tracks before they can climb any further up their leg. I own permethrin-treated over socks, but still had trepidations about these low-top hikers in tick country.

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The trouble is, while the breathability, lightness, and support of the Groove Mid G-Dry is great, the upper does not grip tightly around my ankle like I wish it did, letting in gravel and other small trail debris. I can't help but think this may lead to tick issues. I also found that I had to double knot the laces to keep them from coming undone, but that's likely because they're very new shoes and need a little breaking in. Some may consider the care and cleaning of suede leather to be a difficult prospect, but like with any quality footwear, a little TLC and the proper cleaning materials will go a long way. One final nit-picky issue that I have with these boots is that they look so darn good, and I don't want to get them dirty!

Garmont has listed the price at $160, and the pair comes in every U.S. size (including half sizes) from 7 to 14. That puts them right alongside other quality manufacturers in price point and availability. Both patterns are available in men's and women's fit to satisfy anyone. They are quite flexible and have excellent support whether you find yourself doing some serious hiking or just a bit of casual summer walking.

For more information and to find out how you can get your own pair, check out GarmontNorthAmerica.com.

Please check out my book "The Hunter's Way" from HarperCollins. Be sure to follow my webpage, or on Facebook and YouTube.

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READ MORE: GEAR REVIEW: GARMONT WOMEN'S VETTA TECH GTX HIKING BOOTS

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