There are times you can get away with a lesser hiking boot and times you can’t. If you spend ample time in the hills and mountains you’ll know that a boot can make or break a trip.
Salomon has proved repeatedly that they can be pioneers in making footwear that is so good, you don’t notice it. Personally, I think that’s the ultimate compliment, if you don’t have to constantly worry about your feet, you can get on with the task at hand.
The Salomon Men’s X Alp Goretex Boot offers this exact blessing, even across a variety of activities.
Salomon X Alp Goretex Boots Review
This model, the X Alp GTX, is quite similar to another model in the Salomon boot range but has a few improvements that really stand out and make it the must have boot for use in the hills, mountains, and wild camps.
One of the biggest noticeable features of the X Alp Mid is the technically savvy 3D Chassis built into the sole. This innovative sole allows full movement down the length of your foot, but support across it which helps in tough terrain.
The split-suede leather upper not only looks good but is durable. The rubber around the rand and sole feel bomber but light. The Gore-Tex membrane means that this boot is one of the most water-resistant I’ve come across, with breathability so good your feet won’t overheat. I held my foot in a puddle for upwards of 30 seconds without anything seeping through.
The inner of the boot is comfortable and firm. The mix of comfort and performance really comes through in the inner of the boot with a warmth, breathability, and comfort that is staggering for a boot with this technical range.
The lacing system on the X Alp Mid means that the mid height ankle is supportive but not restrictive. It’s still essential to know how to tie a boot properly for hiking, but this boot is very forgiving for those that get a bit lazy and just want a quick lace up!
Lastly, for those particularly slippy slopes, the Contragrip soles give superb grip in both dry and wet conditions on both rock and mud. The soles are so thick and grippy that you feel you’ll never fall on anything. Which isn’t a challenge!
With all footwear, you have to choose your size by brand. Salomon is one of the brands that I am my correct size (10.5UK). When you lace up this boot it hugs your foot and gives it comfortable support. I wore these boots on an overnighter straight out of the box and they didn’t miss a beat.
Having used the boots for a few weeks now, I’ve had no problems with hot spots or blisters. I’m not really prone to blisters but I do have to choose my boot sensibly otherwise I will get them. With these boots, I just wear a single pair of thin socks and I’m off out the door.
I’ve now used these boots for a variety of occasions. They are light enough that you don’t feel like they’re overkill for a simple hill hike. They are comfortable and waterproof so you get back to the van happy and dry. The X Alp Mid is billed as a 3-season boot but can accommodate a strap on crampon. I’ll be using these as a hill walking boot come the winter season.
The 3D Chassis and rubber rand with thick sole make scrambling a breeze. On scrambles, in places like North Wales the chassis comes into its own and you don’t think twice about using the edge of the boot for edging, the bottom of the boot for standing on rock spikes, or the sole of the boot for smearing. It’s a fantastic scrambling boot that’s rugged and tough.
Another area that I loved this boot was camping. I haven’t had another boot of relative price that offered such comfort and warmth. Being up all night but stood in one spot is a photographer’s life and these boots make life a lot easier. They are warm but breathable and they don’t let your toes go cold on overnight stays. We’ll see how they do in winter conditions but they work well on those crisp summer nights.
All in all a great shoe for the price point and an excellent all-rounder that I will push to its limits and beyond. These have already replaced my previous boots for my go-to-hillwalking boot in the van.
X ALP GTX BOOTS INFORMATION
Name: Salomon Men’s X Alp Mid Ltr Gore-Tex Boots
Colours: Shadow Gray
RRP: £120.00 [Free Delivery]
Features: Waterproof Gore-Tex with Split Suede Leather, 3D Edging Chassis – offering more flexibility and precision on technical terrain, Cushioned, fresh, healthier Ortholite sockliner, Protective rubber toe cap, Mud guard, Heel strap, Heel foam, Gusseted tongue.
Reviewed by Huw James– Huw is a scientist, adventurer, and educator. He has worked with DMM, Lonely Planet and is an ambassador for the Brecon Beacons National Park and Ruffwear. You can keep up with all his adventures and work on his official website, on twitter and his official YouTube channel.