Salewa Snow Trainer puts cotton-Kevlar in sole

We've all heard the admonition that "cotton kills." So, what's Salewa doing putting cotton in a snowshoe mountaineering boot?

Salewa's patented Vibram Icefriction outsole

Relax. The small amount of cotton in Salewa's forthcoming Snow Trainer Insulated GTX boot is in the bottom of its Icefriction outsole. Woven with Kevlar and embedded in circular patterns, the cotton-Kevlar combo is underfoot to provide grip on snow and ice, according to Salewa.

Made by Vibram exclusively for Salewa, the patented, micro-porous Icefriction sole also has aluminum flakes, which the company claims retain heat to help melt ice and snow underfoot.

Designed for snowshoeing and winter trekking, the Snow Trainer Insulated GTX has a full suede upper with integrated gaiter and a Gore-Tex Insulated Comfort lining. It's snowshoe compatible with a crampon attachment shelf at the heel to make stepping in easy.

Founded in 1935 in Munich, Salewa is part of one of the largest outdoor companies in Europe. Its parent company Oberalp also owns Dynafit, Silvretta, Pomoca, and Wild Country. In Europe, Salewa sells a full line of outdoor clothing, sleeping bags, tents, packs, climbing equipment, snowshoes, and more.

Salewa is less well known in North America, where it only started selling footwear in 2010. North American backcountry enthusiasts now can check out Salewa's mountaineering, hiking, and approach footwear, including the Snow Trainer for snowshoeing and cold hikes next winter.

You'll have to go abroad for matching Salewa mountaineering snowshoes, poles, and full Salewa kit though.

Snow Trainer Insulated GTX

  • Available: Fall, for winter 2012-13
  • MSRP: $279


Have you used Salewa footwear, apparel, or gear? Tell us about it below, or share a gear review.

Filed under: Gear News, Outdoor Retailer

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280 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts
March 19, 2012 at 11:50 p.m. (EDT)

this is maybe trying a little too hard ?????????

171 reviewer rep
223 forum posts
March 23, 2012 at 1:32 a.m. (EDT)

I think I've seen this sole on some Lowa footwear. An old model of Nabucco. The one on there website seems to use something similar, Exclusive sole???

Alicia MacLeay (Alicia)
848 reviewer rep
3,902 forum posts
March 23, 2012 at 6:36 a.m. (EDT)

Louis-Alexis, Salewa's literature calls it:

a new Vibram sole, exclusively designed for SALEWA, that delivers unbeatable traction.

Lowa's description of its Nabucco GTX Mid says:

LOWA’s exclusive new G3 sole unit with supination/pronation support and PU midsole provides maximum grip on snow and ice.

I looked in their 2011 catalog to learn that you're right (good catch!). The G3 sole is quite similar. Both soles use textiles in a similar fashion, though Lowa doesn't say which textiles:

Laboratory tests, carried out in line with EN standards, have shown that combining different types of rubber with textile materials can increase grip on different terrain underfoot by up to 32%. The stud arrangement follows the natural line of the ergonomic foot motion. A minimum of one stud is in contact at all times during the roll-off motion.

Salewa's is a Vibram sole and includes aluminum flakes, as a differentiation point.

But, you're right that Lowa had the concept beforehand. Thanks for sharing that.

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