By Jason Boyle
Salewa has been around since 1935 when it was formed as Saddler and Leather Wares, which is where SALEWA comes from. They focused on making photobags and other leather goods before moving into making alpine climbing gear. They have continued to innovate with numerous products in the apparel, footwear and equipment lines.
The Salewa Mountain Trainer Mid Gore Tex boot is a lightweight summer alpine trekking boot. The boot features a suede and fabric upper, full wrap around rubber rand, a dual-density Bilight Technology midsole for all day comfort, “SALEWA’s patented 3F System provides flexibility, support and a blister-free fit from day one”, and a Vibram® Wrapping Thread Combi (WTC) sole. The boots can be found for around $200 dollars on various retail outlets.
I think my definition of lightweight boot and Salewa’s definition differ a bit. In my opinion, this is a heavy duty mountain boot. The construction is solid and the boot is very stiff. The initial fit is good. I am a US Men’s size 9 and the boot fits well with light hiking socks. The heel cup is secure and the toe is roomy but not constricting.
The boot features traditional lacing with three clips in the upper ankle portion of the boot to allow for multiple lacing techniques. The laces also go all the way to the toe so the user can dial in the boots for a secure fit in any situation. Even though the boot is stiff it is easy to walk in and seems to provide great ankle protection. I am hopeful that the boot will become less stiff and more comfortable after I put a few miles on them.
I like the styling of the boot. The suede and fabric upper is a muted greyish brown which blends in nicely with the surroundings and the red stitching gives the boots a nice accent. The Vibram sole is aggressive and features large lugs.
I generally evaluate boots on three main criteria – comfort, durability and usability. First are the boots comfortable for hiking, backpacking and general wear? Do they become more comfortable as I wear them? Do I get blisters while wearing them? Do I want to take them off as soon as I get to camp? How many miles do I think the boots will last? Are the boots good for off trail rocky areas as well as groomed hiking trails?
Thanks for reading my initial thoughts. Please check back in about a month.
Thanks to 4alloutdoors.org and Salewa for providing the boots for this review.