Salomon Wings Sky GTX
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $120-130
Light weight, good support. Haven't got a lot of miles on them yet but seem to be holding up well for such light weight.
- Light weight
- Don't know yet
I've been a fan of Salomon's trail shoes for years. I've probably had 4 pairs so far and have always found them to fit me well.
My hiking and packing aren't all that extreme, and while I visit the big mountain areas as often as I can (about once a year), most of my outdoor time is spent either in the SW desert or East Texas pine/hardwood forests. I have owned big and tough boots from Lowa and Asolo which performed great when in the Tetons or the Sangre De Cristo wilderness of the rockies, but were just overkill for the majority of my hiking and packing.
So far I've used these Salomons for about 10 days in the Abojo Range of SE Utah, a short day hike in Canyonlands N.P., and some day hiking here in East Texas. Pack weight hasn't exceeded 30 pounds on any of these trips.
I can report that at the pack weight I've used them with, these boots gave me all the support I've needed. On the rocks of Canyonlands the sole was sticky enough I never felt close to out of control, and in the Abajos both above and below timberline I was never really concious of my boots of my feet. That is a good thing, a very good thing.
Haven't had them out in the west Texas desert yet, so I don't know how they'll do protecting me from all the pokey and pointing things out there. I'm not to optimistic, but we'll find out next month. I'm also wondering if they are going to be to warm for the desert environment. Until now I've made a point of staying away from Gore-tex footware for this reason. Again, we'll see.
Nor have I done any stream crossings or had them in a deluge yet, so can't really comment on the effectiveness of the Gore-tex lining's waterproof-ness. For walking through brush and tall grass AFTER a rain, they had kept my feet dry.
They are not showing any sign of wear at all at this point, but I don't have a great deal of mileage on them.
Price Paid: 180$ Can
One of my friends once laughed at me while on a day hike because I had brought big hiking boots. He kept telling me "Louis-Alexis you're not a really fast hiker to begin with. Why do you wear those boots and such a flimsy back pack, you don't need that much support."
He went right on and skipped away with grace while I tried to chug rocks at him while swearing insidely how right he was. That's when I started to think things trough.
While hiking with running shoes is no doubt very comfortable and light you sometimes need more support. When you have to go for a few days on your own the weight adds up the thoughts of a sprained ankle or worst a broken one will convince anybody to go with a tried tested stiff leather boot. So how does one find an in between? That's how I discovered the Wings.
I had tried other mid running hiker/boot but didn't find one that kept the feel of a trail running shoe. Needless to say the Wings did. I'm a pretty big guy and support is important, I found that the ankle support was good but the stiffness was lacking while going up hill. Since I have a little bit or a flat feet problem the underfoot arch support was very much appreciated. Beware if you have true flat foot, it might not be good for you. Test it first.
With loads of over 30lbs the shoe performed well in all aspects that I desired. They were light, waterproof, dried quickly, supported my ankles and my arches, and felt like a trail running shoe. I tried them on variety of surface from concrete to well traveled hiking trails and again the grip was just perfect. On more technical terrain though I would advise caution if using with a heavy load out. By technical I mean scrambling and other dificult terrain.
When I encountered those kind of terrain I missed my old stiff boot for two main reasons.
The first: on a steep climb or down climb with a 45lb climbing/camping kit I sometimes lost foot. Bigger crampons underneath would've probably solved that.
Secondly: On lateral support (ankle) when overly solicatated (think a one foot stand to reach higher ledges) I could've used more stiffness, for me that was their limit. Then again that is not what the shoe is made for.
All in all no regret buying it, if light and fast is what you're looking for and want more support than just a shoe try em. You might love em.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: good support
Super light weight and carries 40# in Sierras easy. Best part no blisters.
- a little warm, not too bad
Tried many top rated boots. Many great qualities. The boots could be more durable but accept that for less weight.