This is a unique shoe designed with one goal in mind: getting you uphill faster and more efficiently.
It does this with Salewa’s ‘Take Off’ construction – a pronounced curve of the toe – which is supposed to put your toes in the right position on ascents and descents, thus minimising the energy exerted. I’ll go so far as to say it probably works.
The shoe is customisable with a double-layered ‘multi-fit’ footbed that can be adjusted to accommodate narrow or wide feet and there are two rows of lacing grommets offering almost limitless options for adjusting the fit.
The lacing system is a simple pull cord with toggle, and the gusseted tongue, which opens on one side only – is all but impervious to trail debris.
I found the shoe quite tricky to put on – there’s very little give around the heel, made rigid by a rubber rand. This stiffness is a blessing: the heel is held securely and combined with the toe rand, the shoe offers excellent foot and shoe protection.
While there’s good flex in the forefoot area, the shoe overall provides a stiff and stable platform and uses Vibram’s Rolling Gait System to prevent lateral rolling. This is a technology that definitely does work – I found it very difficult to roll my ankles.
I initially found the shoes quite uncomfortable. My range of movement felt restricted and my high foot arch led to pressure across the bridge of my foot. But over time I adapted and the shoes became more comfortable.
All that tech and the shoe is still relatively light – 720g/pair (w – 630g).
An extremely robust and innovative shoe, built to last and suitable for more active trampers who cross a variety of terrain and enjoy heading uphill.