Way back in 1989, Nike brought performance athletics prowess to the great outdoors with the launch of ACG (All Conditions Gear). The shoe is a durable upper that looks like it belongs in a’90s ad and a blend of foam. Built for the trail, these shoes do duty in urban areas and densely locales. True to ACG’s original aspirations, they’re Nike’s efforts to get the user out of the city’s example.
After Nike put them through 2,000-plus hours of 17, the shoes dropped at the end of April.
It’s the same foam found in the Nike Odyssey React, a sneaker I ran in throughout the winter. The lightweight, bouncy foam keeps your feet comfortable all day long. The outsole includes both medial and lateral pads that add traction for you to walk on snow. A vibrant yellow (or blue) upper with a simple webbed design is easy to tighten and stretchy, yet lightly supportive. I liked the heel pull tab that made it a snap to slide in and out of the sneakers. Similar to running shoes, these 11.22-ounce hikers should last about 300 miles.
Who It’s For: The bright yellow upper is definitely for the hiker or aspiring outdoorsman who likes to get outside and wants to make a statement. The look is quite a departure from your Danner hiking boots leather upper. Nike wants to encourage everyone to get outside — especially those living so the street-style vibe carries you from the jungle to the woods that are actual. These are not for the user looking to summit Mt. Everest or another super technical trail, but they’ll work for someone who aspires to climb the Grand Tetons — or the stairs at the nearest train stop.
Watch Out For: While the shoes are water-resistant, they’re not waterproof. Your socks will get wet, if you step into a puddle. That said, they kept my feet dry during many hours of testing in sleet, snow, rain and mist. Right out of the box, these shoes are comfortable, but after wearing them all day long in a row, I felt some rubbing on my right Achilles. My socks were pretty thin, so I’d recommend wearing hiking socks with these types of shoes.
Alternatives: If you want something with stronger ankle support, look for a hiking boot that comes up over your ankle. For hiking shoe aficionados who don’t like the look of this shoe, check out the Adidas Outdoor Terrex Free Hiker Boot ($200), Danner’s Tramline 917 ($200), or Teva’s Arrowood 2 Mid ($105). The Terrex boots have a look to the Nike ACG shoes, should you still crave a bit of appeal that is sneakerhead.
Verdict: If you’re looking for a pair of sneakers that will double as your hiking boots and work in a pinch as your running shoes, these retro-styled kicks will do the trick. While the colors aren’t for everyone, the top-notch comfort and easy style works for urbanites seeking a sneaker that’s worthy of the streets but doesn’t slip on those trails.