Footwear

Hiking | Trail Running | Road Running | Boating | Casual

Our footwear department is one of the largest that you'll find; we have everything from expedition boots to flip flops. Hiking, trail running, and road running shoes are all lined up and ready for you to try on. We also have a comprehensive selection of casual shoes from your favorite outdoor and surf brands. Come have a chat with us, we'd love to fill you in on what's new with shoes!

 

Back to School

08/01/2017


Get ready to go back to school with great brands that provide comfort, durability, and style, keeping you focused on a smooth school year ahead.

August 20th to 26th is Tax Free Week in the state of Connecticut! All clothing and footwear items under $100 will be free of sales tax. Shop for back to school and save 6.35%.

 

Fall Apparel


Get ready for cooler temperatures around campus with all new flannels and fleeces from Patagonia. We have swapped out our summer styles with warm layers, and cozy sweaters for the season ahead. Stop by and shop for you or your kids to head back to school during Tax-Free Week (August 20th to 26th) for extra savings! We even have Canada goose Jackets on shelves now if you're as excited as us for winter.  

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Footwear


Check out our newest selection of Asics in every size and color. We have new inventory arriving daily for your ever growing needs. Footwear options include winter boots, sneakers, rain boots, and much more. Take advantage of Tax Free Week to save money and stock up on what you need for the school year! 

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Backpacks 


A new school year means a busy routine, and our sturdy backpacks provide organization to help you stay on top of your schedule. With separate compartments for your laptop, notebooks, phone, small items, and even sunglasses, there is a place for everything to stay safe. Classic favorites from The North Face come in a variety of styles and colors with all the features you need. Looking for something more durable? Osprey backpacks have compartments to keep your laptop and sunglasses safe and protected from the rigors of a busy school day.

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Local Hiking Spots

08/01/2016


We are lucky to live in a part of the country where beautiful hiking trails abound, and even luckier to have endless options right in our own little corner of Connecticut. There are many hiking trails that cater to those of you who want to spend a full day out in the woods, conquering new terrain and never passing the same rock twice. On the contrary, if you are a new hiker or you want to introduce the activity to your young children, there is no shortage of local trails that will fit your needs. We've put together a guide to some of our favorite nearby hiking spots based on the ease of the hike and size of the park. In addition, we compiled a list of must-have items for each one so you can stay safe and comfortable on the trail. Don't forget: a good sturdy pair of hiking boots or trail shoes is your number one piece of gear! 



The Norwalk River Valley Trail
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The NRVT is a local favorite; it offers the chance to take a walk in the woods without having to deal with any variable terrain. If you want to spend some time beneath the trees with a young child, or even push your baby in a stroller, the NRVT is the perfect spot. The Wilton Loop has an entrance on Route 7 at the corner of Wolfpit Road, with a park & ride lot right across from the trailhead. There is another entrance to the Wilton Loop at Merwin Meadows; this section of trail is set back from the road a bit more, but both sections are flat enough to walk comfortably with a stroller.

Gear List:
water bottle, bug spray (we recommend Natrapel 8-hour)



Wilton Town Forest
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The Town Forest, sometimes known as Wilton Woods, is the largest open space in town. It is also considered to be the most rugged, meaning that you will get the experience of variable terrain and interesting geography without having to even leave Wilton. Hiking all the way around the park is about two and a half miles, so it would be a great opportunity to introduce your children to the joys of hiking without taking them somewhere too overwhelming. 

Gear List:
water bottle, bug spray, extra layer, small first aid kit (we recommend Family Medic from Adventure Medical Kit), whistle



Devil's Den Preserve
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Devil's Den in Weston and Redding is the largest preserve in Fairfield County, at 1,746 acres. It encompasses 20 miles of trails and has variable terrain with ponds and streams. Depending on your skill level, a hike around the park would take around 3 or 4 hours, but it is definitely possible to explore deeper and spend the entire day getting to know this huge park. The hike would be a bit strenuous for small children, but any child who is fit for a few hours of hiking will love this park (note: this park is not dog-friendly).

Gear List:
water bottle, bug spray, extra layer, small first aid kit, whistle, poncho, day pack (we recommend the Osprey Daylite), trail bar, knife/multitool (we recommend the Leatherman Supertool)




Appalachian Trail, CT Section
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The famous Appalachian Trail passes through the northwestern corner of Connecticut, and you only need to drive about an hour from Wilton to access it. The AT is a great option for an all-day hike, but we highly recommend taking it a step further for an overnight camping and hiking adventure. Keep in mind that it is a continuous trail, so unless you organize a ride back to your car you will be doing an out-and-back hike. One option we recommend, if you're hiking with a friend, is to take two cars and leave one at the ending point of your hike so that you can experience more of the trail without having to turn around and backtrack. Be sure to research in advance the parking spots that allow overnight parking and the areas that allow camping (there are many!).

Gear List:
water bottle, bug spray, extra layer, small first aid kit, whistle, poncho, day pack, trail bar, knife/multitool, freeze-dried meal, light stove (we recommend the Whisperlite from MSR), gas, tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag (we recommend the Summerlite from Western Mountaineering), pot, utensils, headlamp, pack (we recommend a pack in the 30-48 liter range, such as the 35-liter Banchee from The North Face), water purifier, extra socks

 



 

Go-To Running Shoes

06/16/2016

We interviewed James Whipple, director of the Sono Half and experienced ultra-runner, to find his go-to shoes for running. No surprise here--James owns over 40 pairs of sneakers, and alternates between 2 to 3 during his training periods. James showed us the shoes he loves most for both trail and road running, and what makes them the best tool for a healthier run! Read on to find out how James prepares for a race, and the shoes that keep him on his feet!

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James crossing the finish line at Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run with his family.

 

How often do you replace your running shoes?
"On average, it is wise to replace your shoes every 300-350 miles. Trail shoes may wear out faster if you have sections of road on your trail run, since pavement wears down the treads a bit faster."

How long does it take to break in a new pair of sneakers?
"The approximate break in period for most shoes is 20-30 miles. However, lighter, more minimalist type shoes require much less wear to break them in. It is crucial to get a feel for the shoes before you buy them! Spend some time walking around the store and make sure you do not feel any hot spots that could become painful blisters when you are running in them."

I want to try trail running; do I need different shoes for trail and road?
"There are road specific running shoes and a trail running shoes; each have their own benefits depending on the surface and terrain you'll be running on. If you're just trying out trail running for the first time, a crossover shoe is a great option because it's made to perform in both situations."

Do you have any advice for people who are planning to run a marathon?
"Have a plan! Be consistent! There are many terrific beginner training programs available online. Find one that works well with your schedule and follow it consistently. Keep most of your running easy and comfortable to build your fitness and avoid injury. Be patient! I do a lot of my training on the treadmill at home in order to spend more quality time with my family. This also allows me to control my pace and incline, so there is less risk of injury."

What are some important factors to consider when buying new shoes?
"The length of your run, your experience level and your foot's flexibility help break down the difference between running shoes. Your pedorthist can check based on flexing and twisting your foot whether it is rigid or flexible to reveal the amount of support you need. If you're running for longer distances a shoe with more support can protect your arch and absorb shock. I recommend the new brand Hoka for its lightweight and sturdier soles."

Our on-staff pedorthist Arlo Tarr will take measurements and examine your foot type, carefully to help you pick the perfect pair of running shoes for your feet. This is crucial to ensuring that you have a fun and safe running experience; everyone runs differently, so the same shoe is not necessarily the best shoe for everyone. With a pedorthic background, he can examine your feet and point out potential issues that you might not realize effect your running style, and also recommend a supportive insole to help tweak the fit.

 

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James and his daughter Mia at the New York City 10K last year.

 

 

James shared with us his favorite running shoes, for trail running and road running. Here are his top picks in each category:

 

Road

Hoka Clifton 2

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 Although Hoka is a relatively new brand, it has already become incredibly popular in the ultrarunning community, with around 75% of ultrarunners using them. They have even become increasingly popular for all distances because of their thick soles that offer maximum cushioning. James likes to use these shoes on his recovery runs of about 8-10 miles; he says, "They keep your legs fresh and absorb shock." They are very lightweight (around 6.6 ounces) and have unique midsoles. Hokas have 2.5 times the midsole volume of a standard running shoe, and they incorporate Meta-Rocker geometry, meaning a sculpted outsole radius in the heel and toe which supports a runner's form. This shoe comes in men's and women's.

 

Trail

Salomon Speedcross 3

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James' favorite thing about these shoes is the incredible lacing system: one-pull tightening is quick and easy, and there is a lace pocket on the tongue where you can quickly tuck away the pull tab. He also mentioned that it's incredibly comfortable: "it feels like a glove on your foot." A protective layer all around the base of the shoe protects against mud, and an anti-debris mesh keeps the area between your foot and the footbed free of debris. The deep tread on the outsoles provides the ultimate grip no matter what the conditions. This shoe comes in men's and women's. 

 

Other Road Shoes we Love:

 

Asics Gel Nimbus

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This shoe incorporates a gel cushioning system in the rear foot and forefoot that gives it an incredibly smooth ride. The shoe is constructed of seamless materials, and the elimination of seams and stitching also eliminates the risk of irritating friction and scratching. This shoe comes in men's and women's.

 

Brooks Adrenaline GTS brooks

 A full-length segmented crash pad allows for smooth transitions from your heel to your toe, and the Progressive Diagonal Rollbar adds stability to the shoe. The midsole is designed to be great for people with moderate pronation, and for those with flat to medium arches. Your feet will stay dry and cool thanks to the moisture-management mesh upper. This shoe comes in men's and women's.

 

Other Trail Shoes we Love:

 

LaSportiva Mutant

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This aggressive trail shoe will carry you over technical terrain with ease. The outsole incorporates FriXion® XF, LaSportiva's "stickiest running shoe sole compound," which provides superior traction. This shoe offers stability and grip on the roughest terrain, along with cushioning to keep your feet going longer. This shoe comes in men's and women's. 

 

North Face Ultra Cardiactnf

This is an excellent shoe for beginner trail runners, with a low price point and a stable fit. If your trail run includes portions of road, this is the shoe for you, as it is made to perform on any surface. It makes a great crossover shoe for anyone going from road to trail for the first time. It is flexible and light, but also protective, with a wide platform for added stability. Sticky threads give you traction on your uphill climbs, while the midsole cushioning protects your feet on the descent. This shoe comes in men's and women's.

 

Water Shoes

05/26/2016


As temperatures rise and spring fades into summer, we all have one thing on our mind: water sports! There's nothing quite like a long afternoon paddleboard trip across the lake or a boat ride out on the sound. Even while hiking, there is nothing more refreshing than taking a break to wade through a nearby stream. No matter how you like to get your feet wet, we have an abundance of water shoes for everything you love to do in summer. Quick drying and breathable with tightly gripping soles, these shoes will keep your feet protected and keep you cool and comfortable all throughout the summer. 



Summer Hiking
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These shoes are made to be incredibly light and breathable, and we often recommend them to people who are taking a hiking trip in a warm weather climate. Wading through water in these is no problem; they dry very fast and will stay comfortable through whatever terrain you encounter. We carry the Capra Rapid and All Out Blaze Aero Sport from Merrell, and the Chaco Outcross Evo, all in men's and women's sizes.


Classic Boat Shoes
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Sperry shoes were made for the deck of a boat. They were originally invented right here in Connecticut after founder Paul Sperry was inspired by his dog's ability to run across wet surfaces without sliding. The soles are non-marking and siped to keep you from slipping. The Sperry boating sneakers we carry are the Flex Deck CVO, Shock Light, and Sojourn Mesh.


Paddling and Portaging
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When you need to take your boat out of the water and portage, you'll want to have a good sturdy shoe to make your way over land while carrying your heavy boat. Astral makes water shoes that have sturdy, supportive soles with excellent tread to help you make your way back to the water with ease. Check out the Porter, Aquanut, and Loyak, available in men's and women's sizes.


Everyday Comfort
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Our favorite everyday summer footwear is any one of these comfortable, water-loving sandals. You can't go wrong with a pair of classic Tevas, while Keens offer toe protection just in case you run into some terrain. Anhu is a new brand for us, and their sandals are amazingly light and comfortable. We carry several models of Teva and Keen sandals for men and women. From Anhu, we carry the Del Rey for men and the Tilden for women.


Lifeguarding and Traveling
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Hawaiian Brand Olukai created the Eleu Trainer for the Hawaiian Lifeguarding Association. Whether you are running through sandy terrain or swimming in the sea, these shoes will hold up to the challenge. We also recommend them as a comfortable everyday travel shoe, great for light hiking. The Eleu Trainer comes in men's and women's sizes.

Top Hiking Boots

01/13/2016

Ready for Hiking season? Finding the right boots is essential to enjoying your hike. Trekking through mud, steep cliffs and slippery ground ensures you will be working up a sweat, but you can ease the pressure off your feet by finding the right boot. Every journey requires different footwear, whether you are on a long distance backpacking trip or a short walk in the woods, and we're here to break down the difference in footwear for you. 

Thru-Hiking The A.T.

Normally backpacking boots are made to be very stiff since you don't want too much flexibility when you're carrying a heavy load on your back. However, LOWA has come out with a couple of backpacking boots that offer just enough flexibility to make the boots easier to break in. These boots are made with a stiff shank in the rear boot, and in the front the shank tapers to allow flex, which will allow for a shorter break-in period. For men, we have the LOWA Camino Flex ($300), and for women, the Mauria Flex ($300).

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Exploring Devil's Den

For day hiking, you have the option of boots or shoes, and it really just depends on which is more comfortable for you. A boot that encases your ankle is generally better when you will be doing more climbing on your hike, as it will give you added support and protection. For men's boots, our experts recommend the LaSportiva Core High ($200). This is not only a brand new boot, but it utilizes a whole new type of construction called GORETEX Surround. The GORETEX bootie is incorporated into the boot in a new way that makes it much more breathable, perfect for hiking in the summer. For women, we love the Vasque Inhaler ($159), another new boot that gives your feet added breathability. It is also made with GORETEX, but it incorporates a generous amount of mesh into its design to allow for maximum airflow through the walls of the boot.

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Walking your dog in Cranbury Park

A hiking shoe with a low ankle can feel cooler in summertime than a high hiking boot, and we have a wide selection of hiking shoes to choose from. Our favorites are the Oboz Tamarac ($140) for men and the Phoenix ($140) for women. Oboz boots offer excellent quality for the price, and unlike most hiking boots, they come with very high-quality insoles. In addition, Oboz makes their own outsoles, which are very well crafted and helps them keep their prices low. BDry waterproofing keeps your feet nice and dry.

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It is essential to your hiking experience to have a boot that fits well. With the right fit, the right insoles and the most comfortable socks, your feet will be blister-free and much less likely to be injured on the trail. Our experts can help you find the perfect fitting boot, and also the perfect insole to add comfort and customize your fit. We recommend using insoles in your hiking boots no matter what to give you added support, and since they come in a variety of thicknesses, you can also use the thicker ones to shrink any extra spaces inside the boot. Superfeet and Sole Footbeds make fantastic insoles that will keep your feet happy on the trail.

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We have a huge assortment of socks that are perfect for day hikes or long trekking adventures. A common misconception is that wool socks are meant for cold weather, but this natural material can be used to construct thin, lightweight socks as well as thick winter socks. We carry socks from Smartwool and Fit that come in a variety of thicknesses and are excellent at wicking away moisture. Bacteria don't take to wool since it is a natural fiber, so even after hours of hiking you won't have that unpleasant sweaty foot smell. Never wear cotton socks while hiking, since cotton holds in moisture, sucks in bacteria, and is very slow to dry.

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