Hi-Tec Trail Eruption first look

Just when I thought I’d nailed my trail shoes, this comes along. The full name is the Hi-Tec V-Lite Trail Eruption (who thinks up these names?). I came across them on OM and thought: that looks rather good. The combination of the water resistent Ion Mask technology and a Vibram sole looked interesting. Researching the price (£79.99), I came across some at half price at sportshoes.com. The bargain hunter in me took over and I ordered a pair.

They arrived today. My first impression after a couple of short walks is that they are totally different to the Inov8 Roclite 320s. They are stiffer and there is more cushioning underfoot. They feel a bit like my Montrail Hardrocks, but slightly softer. The sole unit looks as though it will take some hammer, with good lugs.

I scientifically tested the upper by putting it under a running tap. The water beaded off nicely. Unlike the Roclites, they benefit from replacing the footbed with a green Superfeet one. Because of the extra underfoot cushioning they don’t feel as precise as the Roclites and are slightly heavier (421g per shoe).

This presents me with a bit of a dilemma as to which one to take on my next outing. I do like the idea of a bit of water resistance. They won’t be waterproof but shouldn’t soak up water like blotting paper. On the other hand, the Roclites are more precise. I reckon the Trail Eruptions might be rather good for Scotland, where durability and water resistance could be handy. My only critical observation out of the box are that the colour is not very attractive. I’ll keep you posted as I test them with a few dog walks over the next few weeks.


17 thoughts on “Hi-Tec Trail Eruption first look”

  1. With that mesh they do look scarily similar to Inov8s…
    Interesting comment on waterproofing too – I’ve just changed from goretex lined to as-breathable-as-possible because I’ve been getting cold, clammy feet… Was planning on trying the sealskins trick for wet walks.

    1. The sole units are very different. I don’t like Sealskinz. I don’t find them very breathable, they are cold when wet and don’t dry very quickly. Apart from that they are great! You should try some Goretex oversocks like Trekmates or Rocky. I think they are better and more versatile.

      1. I second Goretex socks. Low profile, add some warmth (almost like a vapour barrier) and good defense against biting insects. Can be sweaty in hot weather (like all GTX) but you can take them off (unlike the membrane in GTX footwear).

      2. True – my sealskinz gloves mysteriously became ‘lost’ because they became increasingly smelly from not drying properly…
        Thanks for the oversocks recommendation!

    1. The fit is slightly looser than the Inov8 Roclite 320s but still quite secure. The sole unit is stiffer but still flexible. Cushioning is similar to my Montrails but slightly softer. Compared with the Roclites they have more cushioning but not excessive. I suspect they will loosen up a bit, like my Hardrocks.

  2. I find my North Face Hedgehogs have too much cushioning which is great along the flat but rather disconcerting and imprecise when the going gets vertical or rocky:)) They’re also a little volumous for my feet so I too use Superfeet. Maybe what you take depends on the terrain your likely to encounter. I second Martin, I think they look much better than Hi-Tecs of old.

    1. I think they will be OK on rock. They are not too squashy and the outer lugs seem very grippy. However, the Roclites make you feel in touch with the ground compared with the Hi-Tecs. That may be good for scrambling, but could be tiring on hard tracks. The best compromise I’ve found so far are the Salomon Fastpackers.

  3. not so sure about your under the tap test – after all, you can hold a piece of paper under a tap and water will flow off. what happens when you flex them – does water get in at the flex point?

    1. Perhaps I should have put scientific in inverted commas! I don’t think they will be very waterproof or even water resistant for long, as water will work its way through the holes in the mesh. It is possible that the Ion Mask will prevent water from soaking into the fibres, though, which should make they dry quicker. The Ion Mask should also help shrug off infrequent random splashes and combat ingrained dirt. Beyond that, I’m not expecting much.

  4. They look very similar to the North Face Hedgehog, which based on the difficulty I had last year in replacing, suggests a possible shared pattern between NF & HT?
    (After all HT spent many years producing versions of ex-models from other manufacturers)

    Be interesting to see how you get on with them?

  5. yep, i think if you regard ion-mask as a very good DWR you won’t be disappointed, but as you say, it can’t stop water getting through holes (much as Hi-Tec might like you to think so)!

  6. I have just ordered a pair of these on the same site as you mentioned, last size 11 at £30.00, and then remembered that you did a blog on these same shoes and found it!

    I went for them because I didn’t want a laminate in my shoe due to excessive sweat but still wanted a level of waterproofing. I think that the gore sock’ as back up makes this comination superb!

    I cannot find any user reviews considering that many sites had sold out!

    So far, in use, what’s your verdict?

    1. The fit is not quite right for me, unfortunately. They are OK for dog walking, but I wouldn’t want to be all day in them. I changed the footbeds to Montrail ones, which helped.

    1. THe issue for me is that the fit is not quite right. It’s OK for an hour or so. HiTec are slightly larger volume. I have no issues with design and I think the sole unit is one of the best. If it fits you, I’m sure you will find them good.

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