Product: Men’s Mountain Trainer Mid Gore-Tex High Rise Hiking Boots.
Price: From £133 on Amazon.
Colour: Black, charcoal, grey red.
Do I Recommend This Product?
This is a difficult one as is always the case when it comes to hiking boots or footwear in general. Everyone’s feet are different which means that these boots could be absolutely perfect for me but be a miserable blister inducing experience for another hiker.
For these reasons, I’m not going to jump the gun by saying that you must buy a pair of these and that it’ll be the best decision you ever made. I’m going to give you as honest a review as possible coming from my experience since purchasing these boots and using them weekly out in the mountains. The boots have been fantastic for me and I barely have a negative word to say about them and this review is based on that experience.
I’m also going to factor in what I know about the brand and what makes them different from other boots (every pair of hiking boots has its unique aspects, even if it’s something almost negligible).
- Very comfortable and took very little, if any, breaking in time.
- Come with a ‘no-blister guarantee’ (I’ll let you be the judge of that one).
- Lightweight and fairly compact.
- Waterproof membrane.
- Optimal volume and width give a very comfortable experience.
- Conforms very quickly to the shape and flex of your foot.
- Compatible with crampons.
- Excellent ankle support.
- Not a cheap pair of boots.
- I sometimes find myself adjusting tightness depending on the terrain or section of the hike.
- Wear-resistant fabric.
- ‘Blister-free’ guarantee.
- Gore-Tex lining.
- Shock-absorbing midsole.
- Breathable mesh.
- Ankle support.
Salewa is not a brand I had ever heard much about before and it was the saleswoman’s advice and information which sold them to me when I bought them back in June. I had actually already bought a leather pair but, after wearing them around the house, realised that they just didn’t feel right. Boy am I glad I went back and got these!
The first thing you do when you get a new pair of hiking boots is want to break them in. One of the things I was told in-store was that they take very little time to break in. She was 100% right and after my first couple of hikes, I felt like I’d had them for months. The first hike I took them on was a long walk through Glen Affric and, even though this distance was a gamble for a new pair of boots, they felt absolutely fine. There was maybe a bit of tightness but this was to be expected and was barely noticeable after a few miles. They conformed nicely to the shape of my foot and loosened up to allow for some flex.
One of the things I was told when I bought them is that Salewa has apparently stuck a ‘no-blister guarantee’ on the boots which is where you get your money back if they give you blisters. Luckily I haven’t had to follow them up on this claim but I think that it’s an extremely bold statement to make when you are selling hiking boots. It actually showed me how confident they are that no customer would be disappointed with the boots. I haven’t had any blisters from then but I will say that after my first hike the skin on the sole of my foot was feeling slightly tender. That was after a 10-mile hike and I’m fairly certain had I continued another 5 miles or so that I would have ended up with blisters. Like I say, a bold statement from a company that sells hiking boots. The next image is from my first hike in Glen Affric with these boots and it honestly felt like I’d had them for months.
Weighing in at approximately 1.5 kilograms, they are a very light pair of boots. This is obviously great if you plan on putting them in your suitcase or rucksack. They also compress quite nicely unlike a pair of leather boots. You don’t want to squash them which goes without saying but it just gives you that little extra space in your suitcase. What Salewa have done brilliantly here is make them lightweight but with a thick and sturdy outsole which makes them great for carrying heavy loads.
Any serious hiker should almost take for granted that their boots will be waterproof. The vast majority of them nowadays are, but some more than others. All of my hiking so far has been in the Highlands of Scotland which has some seriously boggy terrain and I’m happy to say that I’ve not had one drop of water through the boots. I did get my feet drenched in the Monadhliath Mountains when I mistook a metre deep bog for a puddle and ended up in water to my knees. I don’t think that even the world’s most waterproof boots would have managed to resist that.
The width of the shoes is said to be regular but to me, it feels a little more. The ‘regular’ width was probably the reason I took back the previous pair of boots. It’s a perfect balance here if you tighten the laces correctly. It gives my feet just enough movement inside to keep the blood flowing but not enough for blisters or rubbing.
Another one of the main factors which sold these boots to me is that fact that they are fit for any season. Breathable material which keeps your feet cool in the summer months, and a carefully designed sole with plastic grooves at the back making them compatible with crampons. If you are interested in getting crampons then I would get them fitted in-store to be sure you are getting the correct size.
The ankle support is another excellent feature which is ideal for long hikes. It’s a lot easier than you may think to roll your ankle and the excellent, rigid support provided by Salewa makes this very difficult. It also helps keep the heat inside the boot in wintry conditions.
One thing that slightly annoys me about these boots is having to sometimes re-fasten the laces. I often find that I get the perfect tightness for climbing the hill but that it won’t quite be tight enough for coming down so I’ll have to adjust. Sometimes vice-versa. This isn’t a major problem and has only happened a couple of times but no review would be complete without at least 1 negative! Looking on the bright side (pun intended), I got the pair with bright orange laces which means that, if you were to get lost, you’re much more easily spotted by rescue teams. Let’s hope, of course, that it never comes to this but every mountaineer is aware of the risks and that even the smallest of things could potentially be a life-saver.
Obviously, they are hiking boots so any guesses what their main use might be? Apart from climbing mountains though, they can also be used for cross-country trekking if you know the terrain is going to be wet or boggy.
Getting more specific, the boot was actually designed by Salewa to be suited to technical hiking. This is rock-climbing and scrambling so if you are particularly keen on these aspects of hiking then these boots are perfect. They still do an excellent job on a normal hike and it’s comforting to know that they are designed to deal with some of the toughest terrain.
Value For Money
These boots come in at £133 on Amazon for only one size with the rest ranging up to £200. You’ll find the in-store prices to be the same, if not more expensive. This is a perfectly reasonable price to pay for a good pair of hiking boots but not for somebody who’s looking for a cheap pair. If you are a serious hiker who regularly takes to the hills then they are well worth the money. If you want a pair of boots for going out 2 or 3 times in a year then I would recommend looking for something cheaper and not as good. Overall, for a keen hiker, these boots are excellent value for money.
Since buying these boots in June of this year, I have used them almost on a weekly basis. Initially, I’d go out in the summer on hikes in the milder weather. I found the boots to be breathable and that my feet didn’t get too hot. When I climbed up to The Saddle and had to traverse the famous Forcan Ridge, I was a bit concerned about the state my boots would end up in. I was very happy to find that, at the end of the hike, they were in the exact same condition and had done a great job in blasting through that rocky ridge.
More recently I have been on a few snowy hikes and the boots perform just as well. They provide excellent grip on icy terrain. Please bear in mind though, for seriously wintry conditions crampons are much safer and more reliable than the grip of the boot alone.
Comfortable, lightweight, waterproof, good value for money and easy to break in makes these boots an all-around great buy. The Gore-Tex design is sturdy and actually gives them quite a nifty finish. I own the black pair with the bright laces but you can also get them in a grey/charcoal colour as well.
Click here to get them on Amazon ranging from £133 up to around £200, the price range depends on your size with half sizes tending to be a bit more.
The advantage of getting them on Amazon is that you end up paying less depending on your size. If you buy them in-store you’ll be paying around £200 which is what I paid.
I hope that you found this Salewa mountain trainer Mid GTX review helpful! Whether you want to purchase these boots or not, you should now have a better idea of what they offer and whether they’re for you. Below I have also added some other boots made by Salewa which you can have a look at if you are interested, the second-last image is specifically for women.
Thanks for reading and please leave any questions or anything you want to add in the comments box below. 🙂