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Mountain Kicks 2015: Salomon X-ALP MTN GTX

Salomon X-ALP MTN GTX shoe review

Light Alpinism

Most of us reserve our traditional hiking boots for high elevation backpacking in marginal weather. The X-ALP MTN GTX, though, is no conventional clunker. Take a few strides on even ground, and you instantly feel the smooth, rolling heel-to-toe motion. But in variable terrain—boulder fields or steep scrambles—the sole stiffens for confident lateral moves. Credit the “carbon edging chassis” featured throughout the X-ALP line. Milled cutouts in a thin carbon sheet underfoot allow fore and aft flex, but supply torsional rigidity. Two layers of EVA foam pad each step; Cordura and leather uppers shield from abrasive forces, and burly rubber caps the heel, toe, and mudguard. “Very light with tons of support,” said a tester who took them on a 10-mile loop over Boulder’s 8,459-foot Bear Peak. “Huge energy savings when you need high-wattage weather and trail protection.” Swami gripe: Requires break-in time. Swami like: Traditional Gore-Tex waterproofing shuts out water and snow. Plus the X-ALP is crampon compatible. 21.5 oz; $250; salomon.com

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Back to the 2015 Trail Test. From the Early Summer 2015 issue. 

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