At a glance
Plusses: Lightweight, excellent grip, Salewa’s 3F system.
Minuses: Difficult to get the laces comfortable, durability.
Features: Salewa’s ankle-supporting 3F System is the signature feature on these boots. It also comes with a fabric-coated breathable mesh upper. It’s waterproof thanks to a Gore-Tex lining and has grippy Michelin Ultra Train outsoles.
Fit: The Alpenrose seemed better suited to a foot wider than mine through the forefoot, however, they were quite narrow around the ankle. The extensive lacing system and gusseted tongue limit the opening, making them slow to get on and off. Once on, they felt secure. 3/5
Comfort: The thin synthetic uppers couldn’t cushion my ankle from the chunky lace hooks which dug through the fabric. It took some adjusting of the laces to get this right, but at the compromise of a snug fit.
In use: The 3F System provides ankle support without compromising flexibility and fit – if you can get the lacing right. I found it worked reasonably well and helped the boots live up to the promised agility and natural foot movement. There was adequate grip and ankle support across a variety of terrain, including a trip as far as the snowline on Tapuae-O-Uenuku. After this trip, which is characterised by rocky terrain, the boots showed signs of significant wear, with several of the lugs coming away from the sole and the sole itself beginning to peel away from the toe. They’re billed for use as high-intensity mountain training footwear, but should be used on formed trails to ensure long life.
Value: There are some good features here, but the boot is the highest-priced in the review and, for some, the fit can be awkward and they are not as durable as some models.
Verdict: This is an extremely grippy and agile option for lightweight day or weekend trips on formed trails.