SALEWA Moun­tain Trainer GTX

Adventure - - Gear Guide - Review by Kester Brown, NZ Alpine Team

The first thing you’ll no­tice when fit­ting th­ese shoes is the ‘multi-fit footbed’. This is a thin rub­ber in­ner­sole that can be used in ad­di­tion to the reg­u­lar in­ner­sole. I ap­pre­ci­ate this fea­ture as I have found the shoes fit me bet­ter with­out the ex­tra liner. Per­haps I have high an­kle bones though, be­cause two of my reg­u­lar climb­ing part­ners who also use th­ese shoes have com­plained that even with the two lin­ers in use, their an­kle bones rub painfully on the top edge of the shoe— some­thing to watch out for when fit­ting. Th­ese shoes are stiffer than the ap­proach shoes I have reg­u­larly used in the past (Five Ten Camp Fours). I found it took me some time to get used to the tor­sional stiff­ness. The plat­form of the sole feels very small, by that I mean there is not much dif­fer­ence be­tween the plan shape area of the shoe’s sole rel­a­tive to your foot’s sole. The best way I can de­scribe this is that the shoes feel quite ‘tippy’, so the whole shoe will roll on un­even ground, whereas a softer soled shoe will con­form more to un­du­la­tions and there­fore pro­vide more sta­bil­ity. Of course, most de­sign el­e­ments like this have a trade­off. In this case it’s that for steeper scram­bling th­ese shoes are ex­cel­lent, I felt com­fort­able do­ing some easy but real rock climb­ing in them. They also per­formed es­pe­cially well travers­ing nasty hard grav­elly scree slopes. And I felt con­fi­dent walk­ing on short sec­tions of snow and at­tach­ing cram­pons to them for mod­er­ate sum­mer glacier travel. I have a pair with a Gore­tex layer, and I’ve been amazed at how well this works. I’ve never bothered with a wa­ter­proof low-cut shoe be­fore, fig­ur­ing wa­ter will come over the top too eas­ily. Of­ten, I be­gin a long climb­ing day walk­ing through dewy grass and with ‘speed’ gaiters and Gore­tex shoes, my feet ac­tu­ally now stay dry and com­fort­able. Af­ter a full day of crag hunt­ing in the rain in Fiord­land bush I was soaked ev­ery­where ex­cept my feet be­cause of th­ese shoes. I could hardly be­lieve it when I pulled off dry socks at the end of that mis­sion. I now wear them every morn­ing to walk across the lawn to the let­ter­box and keep my feet dry. Th­ese shoes seem to be very durable. I know a few peo­ple who have had theirs for years and have com­mented favourably on how long they last com­pared to other ap­proach shoes. A straw poll of outdoor footwear in use in the streets of Queen­stown sug­gests th­ese are very pop­u­lar shoes. They’re prob­a­bly the most com­monly worn ap­proach shoe in New Zealand now, and for good rea­son. I sug­gest ex­tra cau­tion when fit­ting and test­ing th­ese shoes, par­tic­u­larly in the an­kle bone and Achilles area. But if, as they say, the shoe fits … well, you should be on to a win­ner with th­ese kicks. FOR NZ SALEWA STOCK­ISTS VISIT: www.bobo.co.nz/brands/salewa

Top: Salewa Moun­tain Train­ers on the 20+km ap­proach to base-camp in Patagonia. In­set: Daniel Joll with his Salewa Moun­tain Train­ers on the Ty­rolean in Patagonia. Im­ages com­pli­ments of NZ Alpine Team

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