Heavy, awkward and (often) unflattering, walking shoes are one of the most annoying things to pack when you’re heading out of town. If you’re like me, I usually tie a pair of runners onto the outside of my carry-on bag which tends to induce eyerolls from the security scanners and glares from fellow passengers as they heedlessly swing side-to-side behind me. Often, I don’t even end up wearing them because they feel so clunky and well, everyone likes to look good in their photos, so I end up being ‘that girl’ hiking along a rocky trail in a pair of rubber flip flops. It happens.
Described as a “lightweight multisport shoe ideal for slipping on after you’ve been for a workout or a run, or to relieve tired feet after an epic hike”, these were also recommended to us as a great walking shoe that could handle some light trekking. I decided to test drive these on a recent trip to Arizona which involved days of sight-seeing, light hiking and general wandering.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Zuuk is how incredibly light they are. Weighing in at under half a pound (or 166 grams to be exact), they don’t even come close to making a dent in your baggage weight allowance. Even better, the meshy upper is so soft you can squish them flat so they take up very little physical space, as well. I tend to be a bit of an over-packer and space in my bag comes at a premium so weight and size were definitely an important factor.
Hitting the trails through the Sonoran desert I will admit, these shoes were super comfortable. They run a little big so mine ended up being looser than I would have liked but the elasticized laces with toggle made it easy to tighten them to fit. Thankfully, because they’re so light, it’s pretty much impossible to get a blister, so that wasn’t a concern with the larger size.
The Zuuk comes in 10 colours including a bright yellow, blue, lilac and pink but there are also some more subtle options like white, taupe, charcoal or black. Depending on your style, you should be able to make them work with whatever you’ve packed as they’re relatively sleek and fitted to your feet. Mine were hot pink so it was a bit more of a fashion commitment to wear them but had they been a more neutral colour I probably would have worn them for most of the trip.
Overall, I had a great experience with the Zuuk. I’m never going to be a practical girl when it comes to wearing appropriate footwear while travelling but at least these are light, don’t take up a lot of space and will fare better than my flip flops should some rough terrain cross my path.
The Zuuk is available at Sears for $64.99
For more information, visit: www.hi-tec.com/ca/zuuk/