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January 2022 Issue
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Salewa Alp Trainer 2 Mid GTX

Price:

$399

Our Rating:

Best for all terrain types

At a glance
Plusses: Lightweight and extremely comfortable, stable, well made
Minuses: The soft sole limits the terrain you can use it on

1104g (m) 932g (w)

Features: Suede and durable stretch fabric uppers with a Gore-Tex lining are combined with a Vibram Megagrip sole. The two are unified with Salewa’s 3F system which utilises a thin steel cable to anchor the heel and provide side stability. Toes are protected with a rubber rand.  

Fit: Salewa footwear is generally narrow fitting and the Alp Trainer is no exception with its anatomic, technical fit, so these boots should be tried on before buying. For me, a UK8 (my usual size) was close fitting, but the toe box is quite tall and felt roomy. 

Comfort: In sole stiffness these are sturdy boots yet, out of the box, they still felt comfortable on an overnighter with no break-in time. The upper is supple and the tongue is plush, so they should be good to go for most people. 

In use:  I liked the Alp Trainer 2 right away. The outsole is a very grippy compound wet and dry, and is said to be about halfway between sticky climbing rubber and the hardest Vibram soles. It won’t last as long as some compounds, but it will be reliable in varied conditions. The boots’ stiffness is about the sweet spot for rugged day trips, or multi-day trips on rough ground where you want a light grippy boot. They edged well when crossing screes and the heel is firm and angular for good descending grip. 

I didn’t use the boots long enough to determine durability of the uppers, but the forefoot is well protected by a rand. 

The lower part of the lacing system does not glide readily (the upper does) so they are a little fiddly to lace snugly. 

Value: A versatile boot with premium features that would serve a variety of trips. 

Verdict: A very light, technical boot that can handle a wide variety of terrain, including scrambling. It’s a good choice for rugged day trips and overnighters.