If you’re serious about backpacking, climbing, or bagging a few summits this summer, you’re going to have to graduate to top-shelf gear. We’re not talking about taking a short hike in your running shoes. No, if you’re going to be putting on double digit miles in a day – or even ambitious enough to tackle a week of backpacking – your boots are the first thing you should start upgrading. The boot gurus at Salewa were kind enough to help us select a few pairs for any mountain adventure this year, and we’ve been logging some trail miles in anticipation of some big spring treks.
Alp Flow GTX
The Alp Flow is Salewa’s crown jewel hiking boot. It features GORE-TEX Surround technology, which means short of jumping in a lake you’ll enjoy dry feet for every mile. A burly Vibram sole stands up to extreme punishment – ours have nearly a hundred miles on them and still look brand new. Finally, the 3F fit system ensures a blister free ride no matter how far the trail takes you. Look for them to hit retailers later this summer.
For technical terrain, a boot or shoe designed with climbing in mind is your ticket to the top. The Mountain Trainer series comes in both low and mid-top heights. Its toe is stiff enough to provide some edge grip should you need to scramble up steep rock. The lace system goes all the way to your toes, enabling you to dial the fit perfectly.
The Ramble is much more of a mellow, lifestyle shoe than Salewa has previously offered. However, don’t let that fool you. This year it is getting updated with GORE-TEX Surround, and has the same 3F fit heritage that all Salewa boots do. We love this shoe for logging days at the office and thousand-mile commutes by airplane, but it has performed well on a couple of spontaneous evening treks to catch a sunset from the trail.