When running and racing on trails, I normally wear Salomon Sense or Salomon Ultra shoes.
But for hiking and backpacking, I currently have to look elsewhere. For two years my go-to has been the La Sportiva Bushido (my review; and my preview of the Bushido II), which is perfectly suited for high routes: they’re securely fitting, durable, grippy, protective, moderately stiff, lightweight, and low to the ground.
Will the new Salomon X Alpine Pro be another option for this niche application?
The X Alpine Pro is best considered a toned-down variant of the S/Lab XA Alpine (or a beefed-up variant of the X Elevate). Salomon carried over the outsole, narrow fit, and midsole construction; removed the integrated water- and debris-resistant gaiter; and reinforced the now-exposed mesh upper.
The X Alpine Pro weighs 10.4 oz (295 g, for men’s 9; 9.5 oz, 270 g for women’s 7), and will retail for $160. It will be available in August 2019.
A Salomon rep described the X Alpine Pro to me as “the perfect 14’ers shoe.” It’s light and nimble enough to comfortably run the lower sections. But it’s sturdy, grippy, and protective enough to scramble through the techy alpine bits up top.
The outsole is made of Salomon’s proven Premium Wet Traction Contagrip, which Salomon may rebrand simply as Contagrip . The lugs are 5 mm tall, and are larger than those on the Sense Pro 2, Sense Ultra, and S/Lab Ultra. In the interest of durability and grip, I’d love to see a few more lugs. The “climbing zone” lug across the toes should be excellent for talus-hopping and scrambling.
To increase lateral stability and control, Salomon stiffened the midsole, or perhaps just the heel. It’s branded as a Carbon Edging Chassis, but details on the exact construction were unclear. Stack height is 24/18 mm at heel/forefoot, for a drop of 6 mm.
The upper is reminiscent of other Salomon Sense shoes: breathable mesh with TPU film overlays, an elasticized mid-foot yoke (“Endofit”), and Quick Laces. The extra reinforcement is notable, however — the TPU film is thicker and more widespread. I hope it will be enough defense against brush and mineral-infused granite, we’ll see.
Questions about the X Alpine Pro? Leave a comment.
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