DESCRIPTION: Light, flexible, waterproof, and durable
MATERIAL: Nub leather, Gore-Tex, Vibram sole
WEIGHT:1.3lbs - 605 grams (men's size 9)
Boots are one of those products that is constantly evolving in design and materials. From the days of stiff leather and rock hard rubber, boots have transitioned to fit a wide variety of foot sizes and shapes, designers now look at a myriad of materials and shapes to find their “best” design. Salewa is no stranger to this game and since the 1930s the brand has been on the cutting edge of style, fit, and performance. I recently received a pair of their new Alp Flow Mid GTX boots to review and after countless miles, stream crossings, alpine hikes, scrambling, and even some running, these boots have held up well and show limited signs of wear.
The boot is designed for technical terrain and ability to move with your foot and ankle, rather than to trap it and brace it like some beefier mountaineering boots do. My first impression of the boots was that they are lightweight, not ultralight, but light enough to not strain you as you put down the miles. The fit was snug and even though Salewa tends to run narrow, my ski shaped feet still needed the laces to be locked down for a snug fit. The upper outer of the boot is vented Nubuk leather and rubber that encapsulates a Gore-Tex liner around the upper as well as Gore-Tex Surround in the insole.
Gore-Tex Surround is a waterproof breathable barrier that is utilized int he foot bed to allow wicking even form the bottom of your feet. The sole is one of my favorite, the Vibram hike approach that is nice and sticky. This is a sole that tackles all kinds of terrain and temperatures with ease. One of my biggest pet peeves is when a sole stiffens up so much in cold temperatures that it looses its ability to grip, essentially becoming a block of hard rubber. Fortunately this sole sticks in cold, wet temps the same as hot dry ones!
Another nice addition to this boot is the Salewa 3F fit system, which Salewa boasts as the reason these boots fit like a snug trail runner rather than a bulky hiking boot, off camber approaches on rocky terrain is where this 3F system shows it’s colors by allowing you to fully articulate your ankle without fear of rolling it. The flexibility of the boot as well as the Climbing lacing system allow you to dial in the fit for the rolling terrain Salewa hopes you enjoy with their boot.
Heavier hikers should be aware that this is a narrow boot with a thin insole so be sure you get a good insole that can help pad your steps a bit more.