Gear Review

5 5

Best Hiking Shoes I Have Ever Worn

I am incredibly impressed by these shoes. The lacing system is really well designed because I can adjust the lacing in various areas of the shoe. The sole has great durability and traction on trail or rock. And the full rubber rand makes durability and rock scrambling easy. They also have great cushion, making them perfect for long days on the trail. Well done Salewa! I cant believe this brand isnt more well known. My prediction is that they will be soon . . .

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Well, as one of the reviewers wrote in outta-stock version page, I really wanted to love these shoes... And I just might love em. But here's some downsides I recognized. First of all, even tho the shoe size seems to have been picked correctly, i.e. the footbed is like 5-7 mm longer than my foot, the shoes are somewhat tight in the toes area, not that there's some pressure to toe toe-tips, but there is some rather to the sides of the toes, like the shoes were slightly too narrow. Theres no cushoning in toes area at all, so when u try lifting ur big toe, u end up coming across a hard, stiff obstacle. Depending on the how u lace the shoes, u may experience heal slipage, which I suppose would ruin the 100% blister-free myth in no time during trekking. U have to tie the final knot real hard, suregeons knot (basically two loops) higly suggested. This will help your heel to stay in place, and thus prevent both heel slipage, and whole forward foot-slide during descend, it will also give you a little amout of extra space in toes area, which in case you think you might be having too small size or just very true-to-foot size as I do, is very desirable thing. I haven't tried them on (or off, for that matter) the trail yet, but let me point, that the outsole seems very narrow (clearly visible on the 1st foto in the gallery) compared to the whole shoe. So when u walk, it might feel little unstable, and make you affraid of twisting your ankle in case ur foot slipped off and to the side of the sole. It better not be true, but that are my worries. Also the lining around your ankle feel kinda hard and stiff, so I highly suggest using a little thicker socks, even while wearing the shoes downtown on a daily basis or else u might get some real annoying pains and stitch-kinda marks around ur ankles.
Originally I was about to turn the shoes or swap them for bigger size, but since I was so anxious about trying them on and wore them downtown 2 times, I think, even if I cleaned em up real good, the e-shop would problably recognize the usage by the tears on the vibram sole. I guess that excludes returning them. So I'm kinda doomed to wearing those. Fate? :-) Anyway I hope they turn out to be real good shoes, as I plan to use them on off trail scrambles/easier climbs. I hope I helped someone. BTW it's not true that SALEWA is not known. Well, maybe at yours, Americans, but here behind the ocean, SALEWA is one of the most recognizable outdoor brands, in fact its quite an elite. TOPR (Tatra SOAR) uses their products, and I'm sure some other european SOARs too.

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Oh, the new version is significantly lighter than 510 g outta stock one. 1 shoe weighs about 480 g.

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OK. I think I might say I've tested them real hard. Another complaint - well, as you know they are membrane free, so they are supposed to dry quickly. However, it took like a whole 24+ h for them to get dry. Another very annoying thing is, is that after getting totally soaked after major thunderstorms and heavy rains&hail one day, they began to smell, and I mean really unpleasant smell, like a vinegar or something real sour - my guess is that its that sticky substance that you can see and feel under the removable insoles - on this hard, white "underinsole" thingy, toward the toes and heel of the white. It totally not a question of my feet, as I have problems in other shoes plus the smell only appeared after they got soaked, there was no significant scent after a regular climbing/scrambling day. Another thing - the insoles (top, thicker ones, with the yellow SALEWA logo on them) tend to dye the socks. As to the very usage itself, they seem pretty much OK, they got those few flaws I've mentioned, tho. I've found myself cursing after setting my foot wrong a few times (so it felt like I was gonna twist my ankle) but I guess, it also happened in my previous high-upper boots. Despite the stiffness, I haven't got any major blisters (during my scrambles in the recent few years I used to come back home with totally heels with raw flesh showing and stuff), although there was this minor little toe graze - but I think it wouldn't have had happened, should there be none of those heavy rainstorms I've mentioned. That's it. After all, I think I can recommend them, even though it my first season with them.