Field Tested: Mauna Lalo

As overland travelers, it is often difficult to find the ideal footwear for our unique pursuits. We require shoes and boots that are not only capable of scrambling around a rocky trail, but also look appropriate for a night on the town. Our footwear can be trudged through mud while pulling winch line, or sauntered through an airport or hotel lobby. Our shoes must afford ample protection, but still need to be light and comfortable. It is a big ask, but there are nice options to be had like Olukai’s Mauna Lalo.

Originally known for making some of the finest sandals in the world, it was only recently that they turned their attention toward closed-toe footwear. With their uncompromising attention to quality materials, finely tuned fit, and elegant designs, it was no surprise that their shoes and boots quickly caught up to the acclaim of their other offerings.

 

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The Mauna Lalo are some of the more intriguing shoes in the Olukai lineup. With their classic hiking boot inspired aesthetic they not only look brawny, they are. The full leather uppers are waterproof and include a minimum of seams. The padded cuff and tongue paired to Olukai’s plush footbeds make the Mauna Lalo easy on the feet for all day comfort.

The stitch-down construction is not only timeless in appearance, it allows for easy resoling should the non-marking lugged outsole give out before the uppers. The inner Merino wool lining helps regulate moisture and mitigates odor, natural properties for what has now become a very popular fiber.

Over the course of the last several months, I have used my Mauna Lalo shoes in a variety of settings from walking miles of concrete trade show floors, to extended walks in the woods. I’ve worn them daily, frequently making the transition from the wilderness to the restaurant, more times than I can recall. While I admit, they are more fashion forward than some may prefer, I tend to like things that not only perform well, but look nice. Within that design mission, the Mauna Lalo gets a perfect score. MSRP: $225

 

www.olukai.com

 

 

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Christophe Noel is a journalist from Prescott, Arizona. Born into a family of backcountry enthusiasts, Christophe grew up backpacking the mountains and deserts of the American West. An avid cyclist and bikepacker, he also has a passion for motorcycles, travel, food and overlanding.

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