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Salewa mixed the stability and comfort of a lightweight hiking shoe with the technology and grip of approach footwear to create the Alp Trainer GTX Hiking Shoe. Hardcore ruggedness and comfort come together to give your foot a great ride whether you are sectioning the Pacific Coast Trail or stalking remote lines in the Sawtooths.

  • Gore-Tex membrane keeps water out and lets your feet breathe so your feet stay dry and blister-free
  • Multi-Fit Footbed technology gives you a perfect fit and accounts for the length, width, and the height of your foot
  • Salewa's 3F system works with the natural bio-mechanics of your foot to allow maximum range of movement and complete support
  • KEVLAR® rands give you durable protection from abrasive rocks and increase your grip when your hike starts to look more like a climb
  • Extended lacing runs through the toe box to give you a customized fit
  • Anatomically positioned steel wire transfers the laces' support around your entire foot and keeps your heel from slipping
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

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Almost Perfect

  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer
  • Fit:Runs small

A great shoe outperforms an average shoe without even being laced up. This is true of the Alp Trainer. I use it on extremely technical terrain, steep, rocky, unstable scree. The support is excellent and the shoes appear extremely well built. They run a bit narrow for my foot, but I still really like them. I have had a few minor blisters from the top/side of the toe box after long technical hikes with steep down hills (over 3 hours). There is one major catch, that is a pretty big bummer, they are probably the worst shoe I have ever owned on wet rocks and wet logs, where they are simply dangerous. I was very surprised and certainly disappointed by this, and while I still love the shoe, I have to really watch my footing on wet surfaces (more than usual). This serious issue (since I hike predominantly on rock) cost the shoes 2 stars. They can get hot, but I have that problem with most shoes. I think I have the 2012-2013 model, not the newest one.

28 Miles out of the box

  • Familiarity:I've used it several times
  • Fit:True to size

I loved these shoes. I had to make a last minute decision on getting some new shoes to take on our backpacking trip to the Tetons. You would think it'd be a bad choice to get shoes right out of the box and take them out, but I wasn't disappointed. Salewa have a "No Blister" policy, so I saw myself as testing that out.

The fit was more narrow, I don't have the most narrow foot, but I loved the snug fit. I am usually between a 8.5 and 9, I got both and the 8.5 fit better for me. I felt the 9's had too much room for me. I love that the laces go to the toe, so you get an all-over fit. I do have to say, due to my lack of preparedness, I didn't get blisters, but my feet were sore everyday. But when I woke up they felt great, and didn't start hurting until the last segments of our hikes for the day. The toe is stiffer for the approach style, which was primarily where I felt it, in my forefoot. I can see that these got more and more comfortable the more miles I put on. I loved them overall.

top notch

  • Familiarity:I've used it several times

I go through more day hiker /approach shoes than anyone I know. It must be all of the walking on concrete sidewalks that takes a toll [!]. That being said, these shoes are holding up very well. Comfortable right out of the box, true to size, and seemingly bomb proof construction. I ditched a pretty new pair of Millet shoes because these are far more comfortable in the forefoot area; a little more rigid sole makes for better support...

Favorite hiking shoes

  • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer

Really love these. I have found them waterproof, cool enough for hot days, super rugged, comfortable, and quite supportive. One fit note - My feet are a bit narrow and the fit is perfect for me. The multifit footbeds claim to be adaptable for people with wider feet but I dont think they could make the toe box any wider. If you have wide feet I would recommend trying on a pair first.

Not hot for being waterproof

    The Goretex must work as advertised because I just returned from a vacation in the southwest and I used these shoes for every hike. We hiked in baking sand and my feet did not bake as I thought they might. I like these shoes very much. Keep in mind the waterproofing is on the inside of the shoe I believe.

    Great Shoe

      I have been enjoying these shoes. They are made very well. There isn't a lot of arch support so you might need some custom beds if that's something you need more of. Again they are very well made, they flex where you need them to and are stiff and supportive where you would expect them to be. Water proof, I was submerging my foot in water while crossing streams and rivers. Great grip with the Vibram sole. The fit was perfect I wear a 10.5 and selected a 10.5. Not much room in the toe box but fits like a glove.



        These seem like well built shoes but really hurt my heels. After a long day hike I needed a recovery period for my feet. The shoes have a higher than normal heel and the insoles are super hard (even with the 2 that it comes with). I wouldn't recommend these shoes to anyone with plantar fasciitis. Wanted to like them, but my feet didn't agree.

        Good Gear Make the Adventure Better

        • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer

        These Alp Trainers are fantastic . Still testing there ability but so far so good. I got the 9, usually a 9-1/2. Scrambling, 14 mile hikes, backpacking, light mountaineering. They have great grip (vibram soles). Are stiff enough for all day approach and climbing some 5.7's without blisters. What more could u want. Like that the sole is stiff and toe caps help on sharp rock on shady descents..

        great shoe if they fit

          I was looking for a shoe to use for day hiking or overnight (1-2) night backpacking trips and couldn't decide between the Alp Trainer, the Alp Trainer Mid, and the Firetail, so ordered all three for comparison. All three are very well made and I really hoped they fit but unfortunately the toe box was too tight for my foot. The Firetail is more like a climbing shoe with a lower profile in the forefoot, a sole that is less defined, and more rigidity than a trail running shoe. The Alp Trainers have a deeper lugged sole and it felt like there was more protection in the sole of the shoe. If they had fit, I would have gone with the Alp Trainers for my usage.

          Amazing but warm approach shoe

          • Familiarity:I've put it through the wringer

          I have had these for several months now and have put these things through their paces. They are a great and very robust approach shoe. They've not become my shoe of choice for high alpine and long burly approaches. They're very warm / waterproof, but they don't breath well. This leads to wet, sweaty feet in warm weather. I've started using a far more breathable but not waterproof la sportiva for long desert approaches - think Red Rock. These are a far better shoe for approaches where you're packing or where you're replacing a boot instead of a shoe.

          Know what you're getting!

          • Familiarity:I've used it several times
          • Fit:Runs small

          GET 1/2 SIZE BIGGER! If you have normal feet like me, then get 1/2 size bigger. The shoe is designed with all hiking conditions (except hot weather) in mind. So, the toe cavity is shaped to a gradual point more-so than a basic hiking shoe. This makes it possible to hike on rocky terrain more efficiently.

          To put it plainly, they took a rock climbing shoe concept and made it work in a standard hiking shoe. It's not too dramatic, but that's what other rating posts are trying to explain. The cavity will rub your toes unless you have toes that are thinner, or set more at an angle to accommodate the slightly pointed/firm toe cavity on this shoe. I got mine a 1/2 size bigger thinking this might be the case, and I got it right. The toe section of the shoe is also less flexible than a trail running shoe. So, if you are looking for rugged delight on rugged terrain, this is your shoe. I live in Idaho and use them year round.

          They are very stylish while paying strict attention to the needs of rugged hiking conditions. Personally, I wanted a shoe rather than a boot because I prefer to wear a shoe for any condition. Whereas boots are usually too bulky for my taste. I use a boot for long back country excursions, but need a rugged shoe for everything else. This one fits the bill.

          The heal support is a major factor for the shoe category. As long as the heal support is good, then a shoe can be worn in almost any hiking condition. They really focused on this particular feature as is obvious with the metal external wire that helps lock your heal in place when you tighten your shoelace. A really cool feature that makes this shoe a special one for the true hiker. A solid approach and hiking shoe for sure.

          Know what you're getting!

          Loved the shoe, but

          • Familiarity:I returned this product before using it

          What a great, well made shoe. Was very pleased when it arrived and I tried to make it work. I wanted to keep it, but it was just too narrow. My 10 1/2 med foot wouldn't go in without a shoehorn, even after unlacing it completely and wearing light hiking socks. Thought about just putting it on my desk and admiring it, but in the end, I returned it for another. If your feet are narrow, this should be your shoe.

          Good Fit, Questionable Durability

            I bought these shoes right before I left for a month-long hike. Yes, I know I should have broken them in a bit first, but time was a bit tight. Anyway, the fit was great; I didn't have any trouble with blisters for the first couple of weeks wearing them right out of the box; we hiked around 12 miles per day. We hiked in deep snow for a number of days, but, unlike other waterproof shoes I've had, these shoes almost always dried overnight.

            The reason I only gave the shoes 3 stars is durability. They broke a few days before the end of the hike (after ~220 miles)...the seam on the outside of my foot split (which meant wet feet all the time). The soles aren't overly worn (see picture), and for 160 dollars I really expected that they would hold up a little better.

            Good Fit, Questionable Durability

            Where are Salewa shoes made? Thanks, Craig...

            Where are Salewa shoes made?


            Craig Johnston

            For an impending thru-hike of the PCT, I...

            For an impending thru-hike of the PCT, I am debating between three different pairs of hiking shoes that will need to be appropriate for sections of the trail which will inevitably range from scalding to frigid, if all my research done up to now serves me well. That being said, I have narrowed down my choices to either these, the Salomon X Ultra GTX Hiking Shoe, or the Teva Riva eVent Hiking Shoe.

            Anyone recommend one over the others, and if so, why? Any input, suggestions, or advice would be most appreciated. Thanks!

            Best Answer

            I can only comment on the Salomon X Ultras, I traded out a pair of them for the salewas. The Salomons are a good shoe although I found the fit to be too wide for me. I had blisters on the only serious hike I took them on. Also it seemed they really didn't breath very well. The Salewas are definitely a little narrower with the footbeds stock and I think breath much better.

            These are amazingly light for how burly they are, so I'd work that into the equation as well. Also, the soles are nearly as grippy as climbing shoes, so for any scrambling with a pack on where you'd want your ankle unhindered, these shoes will make you feel secure.

            Which low top Salewa has the largest toe...

            Which low top Salewa has the largest toe box?

            I've got the high and low top of this, and like a fairly wide toe box. I've found these to be plenty wide whether I'm wearing a thin and midweight sock together to mitigate blisters, or with just a thin sock when I can lace the toe box section tighter for a snug comfortable fit.

            I've heard great things about Salewa and...

            I've heard great things about Salewa and I want to try one out. I'm not sure which model would be best though. I do a lot of overnight backpacking (loads ~20lbs, rarely over 25) and a lot of peakbagging--that is, off trail through brush, scree, boulderfields, what-have-you--but not much technical climbing w/ropes.

            Any suggestion between the Firetail, Alp Trainer and Mtn Trainer? What are the big differences? Thanks!

            Best Answer

            The Firetail, Alp Trainer and Mtn Trainer are lined up in a continuum from approach to heavier duty packing and climbing (non-vertical). The Firetail has a true approach sole, meaning less lug depth for better rock scrambling grip. The upper is mesh based for better breathing. Think of the lightness, flexibility and comfort of a trail runner with the durability, protection and features of a mountain approach shoe. The Alp Trainer gets you a deeper-lugged sole for better backpacking. The upper is a super-durable suede. Think of a classic hiking boot with the performance of a technical approach shoe. The Mtn Trainer ups the burliness quotient. Even deeper-lugged outsole with 2 layers of sheet EVA (not "blown") under the mid-foot & heel. Sheet EVA is firmer for more precision and support. Also, you get a partial nylon shank and a 360 degree sticky rubber rand.
            Sorry for the long response. Based on your use, I would lean toward the Alp Trainer with the Mtn Trainer in 2nd.

            I am a size 10.5 What size do you...

            I am a size 10.5
            What size do you recommend?

            I was wondering two narrow...

            I was wondering two narrow the shoe is in the toe box and also if the shoe has adequate arch support. Thanks !!!

            These shoes are great, but in my opinion, they run a little small. The toe-box is somewhat narrow and will fit a semi-narrow foot very well. I would describe my foot as a 10 3/4 shoe size (which I know doesn't exist). Having said that, I need an 11 in this model for sure.