The XA Elevate is Salomon’s newest entry into their “On & Off Trail” shoe line-up. These shoes are designed for high alpine pursuits and are perfectly suited for steep terrain and challenging underfoot conditions. The XA Elevate is built on a highly stable 8mm-drop midsole, and has a Premium Wet-Traction Contragrip outsole that clings on to anything and everything.
The Access Knit is an approach shoe from Five Ten that looks, feels, and rides like a running shoe, yet provides the ultimate in underfoot security with a sticky dot rubber outsole. The one-piece knit upper on the Access Knit makes this shoe amazingly comfortable on long trail days and in hot weather.
The TX3 is an approach shoe from La Sportiva that rides like a trail runner, yet provides the protection of a light hiker. With a breathable polyester mesh upper, a stable injected EVA midsole, and a super sticky Vibram MegaGrip outsole, there is a lot to love about the TX3.
The Salomon X Ultra has been updated to version 3 for 2017. Building on the success of the X Ultra 2, Salomon has made a few minor improvements to the upper that make for a much better fitting hiking shoe. The midsole and outsole go largely unchanged, which will come as good news to most of us that wore the X Ultra 2.
The La Sportiva Wildcat is a trail shoe that’s well tuned for hiking, trail running, and backpacking. The Wildcat combines a sticky and versatile outsole with a well cushioned midsole for a solid base that will handle a wide variety of trail conditions. The breathable nylon mesh upper offers good protection without inhibiting breathability too much.
The Sense Ride is a new trail shoe from Salomon that’s being marketed as a “quiver killer”. To put this claim to the test, I brought the Sense Ride along for a two week trip to Iceland as my only footwear option. I’ve also taken the Sense Ride out for a few hikes in my local mountains. I don’t think the Sense Ride will replace ALL of the shoes on my shoe rack anytime soon, but so far they’ve done a great job at tackling a wide range of trails and conditions.
The La Sportiva Bushido is an aggressively built shoe that’s equipped to handle the toughest of trails. The low-volume upper allows for very precise foot placement with zero slop or movement. The 6mm drop midsole is stable and handles very well with a heavy pack. The FriXion Red outsole provides phenomenal traction on a wide variety of surfaces, and although the outsole pattern isn’t the most aggressive, it provides more than adequate grip when things get sloppy.