Initial impressions of a shoe can vary based on the amount of time the shoe is worn, that’s why I like to get at least 50-100 miles on a shoe in varying conditions before writing a full review. Having done that for the XA Pro 3D, I’d now like to share some additional updates as this pair hits 400 miles.
The upper of the XA Pro shows very little sign of wear given that they’ve seen a very harsh 400 miles, including, rain, mud, snow, ice, granite, and ash. The Sensi-fit cage is completely intact, even after some tough scrambling action up to Mt. Gould from Kearsarge Pass the other week. The mesh shows no signs of tearing or vulnerability to it’s structural integrity. One of the major signs of durability comes in the heel of this shoe. Many times the heel will wear out for me in shoes once they hit 400 miles, as this is a major point of friction for hiking uphill. As you can see, the shoe is an all around beast, with only superficial markings to signify it’s use.
The midsole of the XA Pro is running short of life after 400 miles. On the positive side, the plastic 3D chassis helps maintain stability, whereas solid foam outsole shoes can create dangerous instability as they break down. A lot of the push through protection in the forefoot of this shoe is provided by a dual density EVA. As this has broken down, I can feel quite a bit more of the trail poking though. That being said, I have been very tough on these shoes. Almost all of my hiking occurs on uneven rocky terrain, which has destroyed many shoes before their 300th mile. I feel I could easily put another 100 miles on these before they really start to feel flat.
The reason it’s time to retire the XA Pro at 400 miles is because of the outsole. It’s a bit strange, my left shoe looks more-or-less unblemished, just the standard wear of 400 miles…but my right shoe has completely disintegrated. I should note, Solomon’s warranty department has been absolutely stellar about this, and have replaced the shoes at no cost, as it appears to be a manufacturers defect. This is my 12th pair of Salomon shoes (and I have plenty of their clothes), so I knew this wasn’t quite normal. Almost every other pair of Salomon shoes I’ve owned has made it to 400 miles looking pretty good. I tried repairing this pair of XA Pros with ShoeGoo, but because the outsole was pulling away from the 3D Chassis, there was no way to get a good foundational bond. Nonetheless, I have another pair ready to go, and I have no doubts they’ll be making it past the 400 mile mark before spring. I also have a GTX pair on the way for some of the days with more snow, so a review will be coming for those this winter when I have a chance to log a few trips.
Here are some pictures of the XA Pro 3D on their farewell voyage!