Top 9 Best Salewa Shoes

If you’re in the market for some new hiking boots for your next adventure, Salewa should be a good brand top of your list for consideration. They are a European manufacturer of men and women’s hiking boots and approach shoes that design products with all year round mountain terrain environment in mind. Amongst its large range of items, Salewa excels at designing boots and shoes specifically for pursuits such as scrambling and mountain training.

What are the Best Salewa Shoes?

If you’re uncertain of what Salewa shoe product is right for your intended purpose, we’ve compiled a list of the different Salewa hiking boots and approach shoes on the market and highlighted their strengths so that you can rest knowing that you will make the correct purchase! Most of the best salewa shoe models we options included come in male or female editions unless stated otherwise.

1. Salewa Wildfire GTX Approach Shoe – Men’s

PROS

POMOCA Speed MTN sole (excellent grip and traction),

Rubber toe with a stiff edge for climbing or scrambling,

Waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX lining

CONS

Narrow fit – best to try before you buy

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POMOCA Speed MTN sole (excellent grip and traction), Rubber toe with a stiff edge for climbing or scrambling, Waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX lining

The Salewa Wildfire GTX Approach Shoe is an excellent product for technical approaches – it will keep you safe and comfortable off-trail as you approach your climb. The rubber edge is similar to that of a climbing shoe, so you can rely on the Wildfire for scrambles or even easier climbing pitches. This is largely due to the high tech POMOCO Speed MTN sole – which offers outstanding grip and traction even on wet and slippery rock. The lacing system also mirrors that of a climbing shoe – the laces extend far down onto the toe, which means they can be tightened to fit snuggly to your foot. The only downside is that this shoe is pretty narrow, and there is no option for a wider fit. We recommend you try these on before you buy.

2. Salewa Wildfire Approach Shoe – Men’s

PROS

Ortholite sole (breathable and quick-wicking material),

Breathable mesh lining,

Lightweight and flexible,

POMOCA Speed MTN sole

CONS

Not waterproof

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Ortholite sole (breathable and quick-wicking material), Breathable mesh lining, Lightweight and flexible, POMOCA Speed MTN sole

This is a slightly more budget-conscious version of the Wildfire GTX approach shoe. While it’s a little cheaper, it still has plenty of excellent features, and still ranks as an excellent technical approach shoe. The main difference from the Wildfire GTX is that it is not waterproof. This means it is more of a summer hiking/approach shoe. As such, the Wildfire is super breathable – the mesh outer and Ortholite sole are both specially designed to be quick-drying and to wick sweat and moisture away quickly. The sole is super comfortable and flexible and the Salewa 3F technology means ankle support is maximized. On balance, this is a great summer approach shoe that, while not waterproof, will serve you well in many mountain terranes.

3. Salewa Unisex Wildfire Pro Approach Shoe

PROS

Unisex shoe,

Vibram Tech Approach outsole with Megagrip technology,

Salewa 3F ankle and heel support technology,

Multi-Fit Footbed technology (interchangeable insole)

CONS

Heavy for a walking/approach shoe

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Unisex shoe, Vibram Tech Approach outsole with Megagrip technology, Salewa 3F ankle and heel support technology, Multi-Fit Footbed technology (interchangeable insole)

This is the ‘Pro’ version of the wildfire approach/hiking shoe. It is a bit more expensive than the Wildfire GTX shoe but is even more well equipped. The MegaGrip technology of the Vibram outsole means this shoe has a truly unparalleled grip that offers security scrambling on wet rock. The grip is so good we would even consider wearing this shoe on easier climbing pitches, graded scrambles, or ridgelines. Similar to the other Wildfire approach shoes, it has Salewa 3F ankle support technology, which works wonders in preventing ankle injuries. It’s a fully waterproof shoe that doesn’t compromise on breathability. One drawback is that it is heavier than the other Wildfire shoes. Also, being a unisex shoe, women may find the fit a little broad.

4. Salewa Wildfire Edge Approach Shoe – Men’s

PROS

Switchfit lace system with climbing or walking mode,

Toebox can be tightened or loosened for climbing or walking mode,

The outer shoe has Exa Shell technology,

POMOCA Speed MTN sole

CONS

Breathability is sacrificed

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Switchfit lace system with climbing or walking mode, Toebox can be tightened or loosened for climbing or walking mode, The outer shoe has Exa Shell technology, POMOCA Speed MTN sole

Salewa designed this shoe with mountain guides and top climbers in mind, reportedly working closely alongside such athletes in the process of creating this shoe. As such, this is the most high-tech and expensive of the Salewa Wildfire approach shoe range. This is a truly modern approach shoe, that can be adapted from a hiking mode to a climbing mode. This technology is supported by a modern and innovative lacing system and a specialized toebox. When in climbing mode your toes will feel compressed, similar to wearing a climbing shoe. This offers sensitivity and confidence in trusting small edges. Walking mode relieves the tension on the toes and maximizes comfort by creating a space in the toe box area. This shoe also has an Edging Plate under the toes for directional stiffness, which also lends itself very well to climbing confidence. The Wildfire Edge has all the features that make the rest of the range great as well – 3F ankle support technology, interchangeable insoles, and a POMOCA Speed MTN sole. The only area where this shoe falls short is breathability.

5. Salewa Alpenviolet GTX Hiking Shoe – Women’s

PROS

Versatile and modern hiking shoe,

POMOCA outsole with excellent traction,

Specially designed for women,

Equipped with an anti-debris stretch gaiter

CONS

The insole is not removable

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Versatile and modern hiking shoe, POMOCA outsole with excellent traction, Specially designed for women, Equipped with an anti-debris stretch gaiter

The Salewa Alpenvioet GTX Hiking Shoe is specially designed for women. The company reportedly studied female biomechanics to create this product- and state that it is ergonomically perfected for a female foot and ankle. It’s a bold claim, but these shoes ARE wonderfully comfortable and lightweight, so Salewa is doing something right! The stretch gaiter is an excellent feature that stops water or debris from entering the shoe. The POMOCA outsole is another great feature and ensures these shoes are great on all terranes. Since these are low-rise, ankle support is limited, so the roughest terranes might be a no go. We were a little disappointed that the insole wasn’t removable – but the Alpenviolet was a comfortable shoe anyway, so we still rate it highly.

6. Salewa Ultra Flex Mid GTX Hiking Shoe – Men’s

PROS

Lightweight – great for speed hiking,

Specially designed for maximum ankle flexibility,

MICHELIN technical performance outsole

CONS

Some design issues with the lacing system

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Lightweight – great for speed hiking, Specially designed for maximum ankle flexibility, MICHELIN technical performance outsole

The Salewa Ultra-flex Mid GTX hiking shoe is a great choice for a speed hiker, and we think it could also double up as a running shoe that gives lots of support. As is suggested by the name these mid-rise shoes are super flexible and are designed to maximize ankle mobility – this protects against injury when moving fast over rough terrain. The special MICHELIN outsole is also designed with safety in mind – it’s extra grippy and provides excellent traction on all terranes. One flaw that we hope Salewa will take note of is the lacing system – the laces are threaded through fabric rather than reinforced eyelets. These seem like they might be quite easy to pull loose, which would compromise the ability of the shoes to be laced up.

7. Salewa Women’s Mountain Trainer Mid GTX

PROS

Suede upper boot is robust yet flexible,

Fully waterproof (GORE-TEX technology),

Lightweight and breathable,

Very aesthetically pleasing boot!

CONS

Stiff sole compromises comfort

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Suede upper boot is robust yet flexible, Fully waterproof (GORE-TEX technology), Lightweight and breathable, Very aesthetically pleasing boot!

The Salewa Mountain trainer mid GTX is a great summer hiking boot that is suitable for scrambling and walking alike. The suede upper boot provides lots of support for the ankle without losing flexibility or inhibiting the natural movement of the ankle. This suede upper is also treated with GORE-TEX technology so the boots are fully waterproof. The inside of the boots is kitted out with GORE-TEX performance lining which means the boots are breathable and your feet won’t overheat or sweat. We also think these boots look great! There are a variety of colour schemes available – the Magnet Viridian Green is our favorite. The only draw we could find to these boots is the stiff sole that makes these boots so good for scrambling can slightly compromise comfort for long-distance walks. We would suggest a good set of insoles for these boots – make sure you account for that when you’re trying them on!

8. Salewa Women’s Alp Trainer Mid GTX Alpine Trekking Boot

PROS

Vibram Hike Approach sole for maximum comfort,

Specialized ankle support (Salewa 3F technology),

Climbing style lacing ensures a great fit,

Waterproof yet breathable (GORE-TEX)

CONS

Unusual fit – try on and consider sizing up

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Vibram Hike Approach sole for maximum comfort, Specialized ankle support (Salewa 3F technology), Climbing style lacing ensures a great fit, Waterproof yet breathable (GORE-TEX)

The Women’s Alp Trainer Mid GTX Alpine trekking boot is a specialized trekking boot that is designed with long days of walking in mind. It is a slightly more pricey boot but has lots of excellent features to make it worth the money. The Vibram sole lends itself to excellent traction and grip, while Salewa’s 3F ankle support technology offers stability and flexibility that protect against ankle injuries. This product has climbing style lacing – the lacing extends down onto the toe which means that the fit is more customizable. One drawback was that we found the fit a little hard to get used to – the boot was quite narrow and tight around the toe. Sizing up might be a good option – make sure you try these on before you buy!

9. Salewa Raven 3 GTX Boot – Women’s

PROS

Abrasion-resistant fabric on the upper boot,

GORE-TEX Performance Comfort lining,

Vibram WrapThread Combi (WTC) sole,

Fully waterproof and suitable for winter conditions

CONS

Stiff soled and heavy-duty

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Abrasion-resistant fabric on the upper boot, GORE-TEX Performance Comfort lining, Vibram WrapThread Combi (WTC) sole, Fully waterproof and suitable for winter conditions

The Salewa Raven 3 GTX is an expensive boot, but you are unlikely to be disappointed. The Raven is highly specialized and has been designed with challenging winter conditions in mind. The insole is made of stiff nylon loaded carbon fiberglass which is specially designed for crampon compatibility, while the rubber climbing zone at the toe aims to maximize the ability for precise footwork. The boot is lined with GORE-TEX performance comfort lining which maximizes breathability while also being an excellent insulator. The midsole is also equipped with Bilight technology for shock absorption. This is a truly futuristic winter climbing boot that will set you back a fair bit, but we think it’s well worth it. This is not a boot for summer conditions – it’s too bulky and stiff-soled for long-distance treks.

What You Should Know Before Buying Salewa Shoe

Key Features and Material

Salewa hiking boots and approach shoes often utilize high-quality materials and technologies you might have heard of – such as GORE-TEX and Vibram. GORE-TEX provides waterproof but breathable outer membranes. Vibram soles on the other hand are commonly found in rock climbing and canyoneering shoes and provide outstanding grip, traction, and comfort). Salewa products also commonly come with a 100% blister-free guarantee, which is a bold claim for a footwear brand!

Best Salewa Shoes - multiple grey approach shoes for sale

Usage Purposes and Sports

Salewa design footwear for a range of sports including mountaineering, trekking, speed hiking, and technical approaches. While primarily designing footwear for mountain environments, their footwear also tends to be pretty aesthetically pleasing, so we wouldn’t rule out wearing a pair around the city! Salewa does not produce specialised rock-climbing or canyoneering shoes unfortunately.

Salewa Hiking Shoes VS Salewa Boots

How you intend to use your Salewa product will dictate whether you purchase a Salewa hiking boot or a Salewa approach shoe. Approach shoes are lighter, so are good for moving fast and light over all-terranes. Approach shoes tend to be designed for some scrambling as well (they are designed for the walk-in, or approach, to a climb!). They are less specialised for long-term comfort so would not be the best choice for a multi-day trek.

Salewa hiking boots also range from being lightweight to heavy-duty. A lightweight boot will offer more support than an approach shoe due to the higher cut which supports your ankle. Lightweight boots are more geared towards summer conditions in the mountains or multiday treks. While all will tend to waterproof, they may not have the B2 or B3 capabilities (crampon attachment points). Heavier boots are usually designed with crampon attachment points and will be extra sturdy to withstand winter conditions in the mountains. This sturdiness also means they will be heavy and perhaps stiff-soled, so not the best option for multi-day walks in summer conditions.

Precautions to note

Salewa is quite specific in how it develops products – it’s not a ‘one product fits all’ brand. Therefore it’s important to know specifically what mountain pursuit you’re buying a Salewa product for. Sizing can vary between brands, and hiking boots or approach shoes are one product you want to get the sizing right with! That 100% blister-free guarantee will be no use if the boot is pressing uncomfortably on the sides of your feet and squashing your toes. It’s also really important to break your Salewa boots or shoes in – just as it is for any other brand. This means planning and buying your shoes a few months before a trip and wearing them around the house or on shorter walks. This gives the material of the sole and upper a chance to soften and mold to fit your foot. You will also get a good indication of the fit and get the chance to make another purchase if issues arise.

We were hard-pressed to choose our favorite or best Salewa shoes product – the brand has so many high-quality options for approach shoes and boots. However, the Wildfire Edge approach shoe is notable for its high-tech lacing and toe box technology that allows it to be customized for both climbing and walking. You rarely come across an approach shoe that lends itself so well to climbing and scrambling.

Questions and Answers About Salewa Shoe

How to care for and clean Salewa shoes?

Like other footwear, Salewa approach shoes and hiking boots should be cared for appropriately. If your product is waterproof, it will need reproofing after it gets wet. Reproofers generally come as a spray that can be applied liberally. Make sure you clean your boots after use as well. If they are muddy, a good way to clean them is by letting the mud dry out and then brushing it off with a toothbrush (high tech!). Storing boots or shoes that are caked in mud, and failing to reproof them, is a surefire way to shorten their lifespan.

Are Salewa shoes suitable hiking boots for wide feet?

Some Salewa products are designed to suit wide feet. These products are more spacious in the ‘toe box’ which is the space around the ball of the foot – Salewa Mountain Trainers are more spacious in this area. Other than these specific products, Salewa does not have a ‘wide fit’ sizing scale. It’s a good idea to try the products before you purchase them.

What is the difference between Salewa approach shoes compared to the other Salewa shoes?

Approach shoes are specifically designed for the ‘approach’, which is a climbing and mountaineering term for the ground that needs to be covered before arriving at the base of a climb, or for walking out once the climbing has been completed. This means they are designed to be lightweight – they are often needed to be carried up the climb after being worn on the approach (they will often even have a loop on the heel for clipping to your harness). Since the ‘approach’ can often be offroad, approach shoes will have grippy soles and be flexible and supportive (i.e. good scrambling shoes).

Is Salewa a good shoe for mountain training and running?

Salewa design footwear for mountaineering, trekking, speed hiking, and technical approaches. While not specifically designed for running – some speed hiking shoes could do the job as a running shoe. Many of the lightweight speed hiking shoes are suitable for mountain training.

Where are Salewa shoes made?

The majority of Salewa’s footwear manufacturing takes place in Italy. However, it is a popular brand worldwide and is stocked in stores globally.

Where is Salewa based?

Salewa is a German brand and its headquarters are in Munich, Germany.

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