I purchased the New Balance 1569 (“Mens Walking” MW1569BR) at the first of the year. I was looking for some hiking boots that were more than just ‘sneakers with off-road tread’ and less than ‘serious’ backpacking boots. I wanted something I could comfortably wear on the hiking I do in the local mountains, but versatile enough that I could wear on some of the higher, longer treks – like Mount Whitney. They had to be durable, waterproof, comfortable, and come with a warranty.
The New Balance 1569 is a midweight hiking boot designed to take on rugged terrain. It uses Gore-Tex technology to make the shoe waterproof, combined, apparently, with premium leather reinforced uppers. The shoe has waterpoof round hiker laces that run through metal grommets, cross through the gusseted tongue, which is padded for comfort and sewn in place, and finally through two sets of hooks. The collar is also padded and high enough to provide comfort and protection for the ankle. The shoe has a good, solid toe box that is abrasion resistant. The sole has New Balance’s ABZORB premium cushioning, ROCK STOP that protects the forefoot from intrusion from sharp debris and features full ROLLBAR technology that provides excellent motion control and lateral support. The shoe has a non-marking deep pattern rubber outsole that provides good grip.
I went to the the local New Balance store to buy these at the recommendation of my REI shoe guy. Apparently, I’ve got duck-shaped feet (9.5E) that don’t lend themselves to the skinny shoes that REI normally stocks. The salesman at the New Balance store was very helpful, although they were fairly busy. He took the time to explain the shoe options, and it pretty much came down to this model, which came in wide widths. The 9.5E was WAY too small. We stepped it up (no pun intended) to a 10E and then a 10.5E. After reading online, it’s my understanding that this model isn’t a ‘Made in the USA’ model. The NBs made off shore tend to run small, and these were no exception. The 10.5Es fit perfectly!
If you’re planning on buying a pair, you’re going to have to jump up a full size so that your toes have someplace so sit comfortably while you’re walking around.
I, primarily, wear Keen sandles or hiking shoes. These shoes are a bit of a departure from my go-to footwear. I was unaccustomed to the collar, and initially had some discomfort in my ankle area the first couple of days I wore them. I also just quit wearing other shoes cold-turkey to break these in.
After the initial getting-to-know-you period (about 10 miles, total), I’ve walked (mostly city weekdays, local trails weekends) about 35 miles. These shoes are comfortable, and I have no foot fatigue, don’t get hot foot, and haven’t noticed any unusual issues. It’ll take some time to see how they wear, but overall I’m quite satisfied with my purchase.
This is a great boot. It works well on-road, off-road on both trails and off-trail terrain. Much of where I’ve used them so far is average Southern California terrain; it’s lots of dirt, some rocks, and isn’t what I’d called extremely rugged. More “groomed” trails are the norm. For general hiking duties, this is a good choice. Longer hikes – with the ABZORB cushioning, ankle support and stiffness – aren’t a problem.
Overall quality: the braided nylon laces stay tied without any double-knotting, the tread is thick and solid, the welt is tight without any weak spots, the stitching is neat without any missed stitches, and the shoe appears to be well constructed.
Rating: 5 out of 5