Gear Box

July 12, 2009|By Candus Thomson

The company known for sharp knives now makes sharp shoes. Wenger, the Swiss Army knife people (wengerna.com), have a line of shoes - the Alps collection - that can take you from the mountaintop to base camp to town in style and comfort.

My favorite Alp is the Shiltorn, a low-cut dayhiker with Euro good looks. The lightweight shoe has a seamless interior to reduce chafing, a mesh-paneled upper for better circulation and an insole that keeps foot odor under control. The sole is made of a proprietary material called Temposit that allows it to soften in summer weather and harden in cooler temperatures for better traction.

My Shiltorns have taken me for a morning walk at Soldiers Delight Natural Environment Area to a hearing in Annapolis in the afternoon to dinner out with my spouse. That kind of versatility comes in handy when packing for a long weekend.

With typical Swiss attention to detail, the shoes come with an extra set of color-coordinated laces. The Shiltorn lists for $120, but Web discounts are available. (FYI: The company also makes a heck of a laptop backpack.)

- Candus Thomson

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