The Salomon XA Pro is a great shoe for lightweight…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $109
The Salomon XA Pro is a great shoe for lightweight hiking and backpacking. This shoe provides stability, durability, protection, and comfort.
I've gone through three pairs of these shoes, and most recently wore a pair that held up beautifully on a thru-hike of the John Muir Trial.
Upper: The majority of the upper on the XA Pro 3D remains unchanged from the 3D Ultra. This is not a lightweight shoe when compared to most trail runners, but compared to hiking shoes and boots, they’re pretty light.
The structure is made up of well constructed overlays that Salomon calls SensiFit. I absolutely love this, as it allows me to dial in my ideal fit of a snug heel and midfoot, with a little wiggle room for the toes. The rest of the upper is made from a light breathable mesh.
Having walked through days of mud and rain on Tour du Mont Blanc, I can tell you that these dry very quickly. The mesh has seemed a bit porous with the dusty trails here in the San Gabriels, but that’s the price you pay for breathability.
The rubber toe cap is quite burly for a trail runner, but fits in quite nicely for a pair of lightweight hikers. The is a mesh gusset cover over the tongue and does a good job of keeping out smaller pebbles that can find their way in to shoes.
The greatest improvement on this new model (compared to the last 3D Ultra) is the endofit liner. The endofit is a thin neoprene liner that’s incorporated with the tongue. This means the shoe only has one contact point on your foot from your ankle to your toes, and does a great job at reducing potential friction points. I’ve always been a huge fan of the Salmon kevlar quicklace system, and with these shoes its no different. I wish they would ditch the same-side lace anchor attachment, but that’s just me being picky.
Midsole: The midsole of the XA Pro 3D suits my preferences quite nicely. The heel drop is a little higher than I prefer, but the stability of the shoe more than makes up for it. Salomon employs the 3D chassis system on these, keeping the shoe torsionally rigid. This is something I pay no mind to when day hiking with only water and a light layer.
With a heavier pack, rockier trails, and day after day of 20+ miles, I need a little more structure to keep my feet and legs from fatiguing too quickly. The XA Pro 3D does this perfectly without feeling to stiff or constricting, with dynamic support in the heel and arch areas. Those that like a cushier ride may find these a bit firm, but I like the well balanced platform.
The 3D Chassis provides ridged rock protection from the heel to the midfoot, and a dual density EVA provides the push through protection in the oval shape on the forefoot not covered by the 3D Chassis. I wish they used something a little more robust as I can feel the rocks after about 20 miles on the trail, but it’s hardly something to complain about.
Outsole: The outsole is clearly made for durability. I’ve put close to 400 miles on my first pair and they show no very little signs of wear. This durability is great as most of my shoes blow out around 400 miles of wear, I’m thinking these should get closer to 600.
The downside of the harder rubber compound used for durability is that these shoes really lack for grip is certain conditions. I wear these in the Eastern Sierra, and they really struggle for purchase on the granite slabs. It’s an easy sacrifice for me to make though, as most of my weekly hiking doesn’t require sticky rubber.
In conclusion, this is another great shoe from Salomon. It’s a jack of all trades that doesn’t really specialize in anything, but can be used by just about anyone on any hike. As someone who has grown tired of lighter weight shoes blowing out and having outsoles disintegrate after 200 miles, I’ll take a little bit of extra weight for the added durability.
These are my now go-to hiking and backpacking shoes…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $130
These are my now go-to hiking and backpacking shoes that replaced my boots. It's also nice that they double as trail running shoes as needed. These are perfect for someone who wants to move fast on the trail but still wants the ankle support of a boot.
I'd definitely recommend these if you are looking for a light fast and grippy shoe for all kinds of terrain.
- Ankle support
- Light weight
- Super grippy
- Great colors
- Super comfortable
- Shoe lace system
- Rocks can get in, best to use some gaiters
Just took these shoes on a cross-country backpacking trip, everything from climbing up and down talus, hike on unkept trails, through meadows, up and down passes. They performed amazingly. The fit is true to size and feels great, tightening the laces with the awesome lacing system gets you an even more snug and comfortable overall fit.
This was the first time I used them so I broke them in on the trail, but they were great the entire time. I did get blisters, but that was not the shoes' fault. I had purchased some SuperFeet for my bad arches and the footbed from those didn't agree with my feet. I have since used the shoes with the regular insoles and it felt much better without the SuperFeet.
I would definitely recommend using a lightweight gaiter with these though. I did get dirt and small rocks inside, but it was super easy to take on and off to clean out. I also carried a spare pair of laces just in case they were to break, but I had no problems in that area at all.
These aren't waterproof and on my 4-day trip in the High Sierras we did get hit by a 7 hour storm, so my feet were pretty wet (there was no cover to hide under) just got downpoured on. The shoes dried out much faster then a pair of GTX shoes would have once the sun came out.
The grip on these shoes is insane! We had to descend a super sketchy talus mountain side while it was raining and thundering. If the rock has any kind of texture even when it's wet these don't slip. My friend who had waterproof boots was slipping all over the place! If the rock is smooth and wet there really isn't any shoe that will help you in a situation like that, just gotta be cautious.
On regular dry vs wet ground I felt absolutely no difference in traction, gripped perfectly. My feet were also the perfect temp, never overheated at all. I look forward to using these more and more when I go out hiking.
Planning to hike the AT for two months this fall.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $75 on sale for 50% off
Planning to hike the AT for two months this fall. Needed a lightweight and breathable shoe that is waterproof. This shoe fits those requirements. Love the comfort while hiking.
- Breathable and waterproof
- Easy to lace
- Runs small
Purchased these for fall hiking on the AT. They are waterproof and breathable. I'll be on the trail in September and needed a shoe that can help manage the heat my feet will generate.
Easy to lace and lightweight. Runs small. I ordered one size larger and they fit perfectly.
Shoe has held up well, however one of the shoelaces…
Price Paid: $99
Shoe has held up well, however one of the shoelaces broke. Not sure how you replace the factory shoelace as Asymmetrical lacing has multiple loops that are "factory" tied off.
I used a conventional replacement shoelace that was larger in diameter than original shoelace. After repeated attempts (30 mins.) I finally replaced shoe, however I was only able to use the upper eyeholes as the asymetrical eyeholes will not work with a traditional shoelace.
I have had knee problems ever since I was a teenager--"overuse,"…
Price Paid: not sure
I have had knee problems ever since I was a teenager--"overuse," they used to say. I walk primarily on the outside of my feet and then roll inward; there's a term for it, but I can never remember what it is. Doctors have always told me to wear Asics 2100s, which I was doing, but the knee pain never went away, and I always had to limit my endurance running, which made me unhappy.
A year and a half ago I purchased these trail runners at Appalachian Outdoors in State College, PA, because they were on sale and I thought I would try a different type of running shoe. The salesperson said these shoes are many endurance runners' favorites, and I thought--what do I have to lose?
Well, I'm on my third pair now (the XA Pro 3D Ultra), and I couldn't be happier! Ever since I started running in these shoes, my knee pain has almost completely gone away. It's unbelievable to me. I thought I would have to give up running someday soon (and I'm only 29), but now I am running more than I was in the past.
I want to kiss the person who designed these trail runners! I have no idea how these shoes caused my knee pain to disappear, but I don't care. I will be a Salomon XA Pro 3D customer for life!
I've owned a few pairs of these now, and can honestly…
Use: day bushwalking, trail running
Break-in Period: 0 days
Price Paid: $150
I've owned a few pairs of these now, and can honestly say they are the best fit of a trail shoe i have had.
They are comfortable, the soles have great traction, great stability, i liked the lacing system...though have seen a few broken ones through work, and i think its not awesome for people with narrow feet as you end up with a lot of dangling cord hanging around.
the reason i give them 4 stars is the durability.
the last pair i had lasted less that 6 months, only used hiking and trail running. the soles wore out so fast! the inside at the heel also wore out quickly, but it is a common problem with my heel shape and would happen to any shoe.
a shame they wore out so quick, i was reluctant to buy another pair as they are so pricey in australia. the first pair i owned seemed to have last much longer (18 months? i think)
bottom line: very comfy and stable. not very long lasting.
This is my first pair of Salomon shoes. They are exactly…
Use: everyday use
Break-in Period: none that i know or feel of
Weight: light (12-14 ounces)
Price Paid: $70
This is my first pair of Salomon shoes. They are exactly what I expected. My father got a pair about 3-4 years ago and i have worn them a couple times and i was hooked ever since.
A lot of people complain about how the laces are a pain, but i think that these laces, with the zip-tie like function, is the way laces were meant to be. whats easier? taking a minute to tie both laces, or simply give the cord a good pull and fasten the lock and be on your way?
and the comfort of these shoes are unmatched. when you put them on for the first time you freeze for a second and think, hey these aren't too hard or too soft and they aren't tight either. after wearing them for a while, i don't think that there is a break-in period for these shoes.
the main thing that caught my eye other then the 30% off sales tag, was the great look of these shoes. the shoes aren't very heavy at all. the one flaw in the shoe is that they aren't gore-tex or waterproofed in the mesh area near the middle of the foot.
overall these shoes might be the best pair i have owned in a long time or ever.
The shoe itself overall is great for the price, but…
The shoe itself overall is great for the price, but I'm just not that fond of the lacing systems. Same problem I had with the XA Comps, after a while the lacing systems just seem to unravel. That steers me away from non-conventional lacing. Shoelaces are still the number one for me. Bought and returned to REI, no hassle, no problem.