When you think of Salomon, what’s the first thing that pops into your head?
They’re well known for their trail running shoes, trusted by off road and ultra runners the world over. Or if you’ve ever spent any time on – or just off – the ski slopes, you’ll know the name from there.
The new S-LAB X Alp range takes Salomon’s trail running and free-skiing expertise and mixes it up with advice from some outstanding alpine athletes. The result is a new take on the style of lightweight mountaineering pioneered by the likes of Kilian Jornet.
Everything in the range is designed with light and fast movement in mind.
For us the stand out piece is undoubtedly the innovative S-LAB X Alp Carbon GTX boot. Or is it a shoe? This is up for discussion, as the gaitered, Gore-Tex lined S-LAB X Alp Carbon treads a delicate line between supportive walking shoe and summer alpine/UK hillwalking boot.
Salomon say that the S-LAB X Alp Carbon will take you from the bottom of the mountain to the top – and back again.
After a test in Chamonix last October, Outside’s footwear buyer Jez Portman wholeheartedly agreed, remarking on the “incredible combination of comfort, grip, dexterity, speed, low weight and protection.”
They are extremely light (1kg a pair in size 8.5) and comfortable; they flex like a walking shoe from toe to heel but employ a clever carbon edging chassis, sandwiched between two EVA midsole layers, to add lateral rigidity.
This not only means they’re effective when edging on snow, ice and rock, but they will also take a flexible crampon such as the Grivel G10 Lux or the Monte Rosa, so you really can wear them to reach the summit.
The entire Salomon X Alp range is designed for people who want to cover the ground quickly – from the small, lightweight bag to the flexible shoes and the venting anorak, each piece contributes a little more to your ability to move freely in the mountains.
The X Alp range will be available exclusively from Outside until March 2015 and will include a few slightly more conventional footwear pieces as well as clothing and the X Alp 20 rucksack.
See this product at the Outside Ltd shop