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Salewa Rapace GTX

rated 4 of 5 stars
photo: Salewa Rapace GTX mountaineering boot

A good all-rounder.


  • Lightweight
  • Semi-stiff midsole (good for rock terrain)
  • Better breathability than full grain leather
  • Semi-automatic crampon compatible
  • Rubber rand


  • Not insulated for winter use
  • Sole wore quicker than expected

I've used this pair for 2,5 years extensively in the Cretan mountains on mixed rocky terrain and also in snow ascents. Salewa describes this boot for mountaineering use and for via ferrata and is crampon compatible which is kinda odd because even though it has a heel welt for use with semi-automatic crampons the boot is not insulated so my feet freeze even with a good pair of winter Primaloft socks! And I'm not a guy who gets cold easily...

The color is "Night Black Kamille" and the weight is at around 660gr per boot (size 43EU) so pretty lightweight for a leather boot. My city-shoe size is 42EU and this pair is 43EU, so I'd say that it is almost true to size.

The upper consists of 1.8 mm nubuck leather with Gore-Tex membrane which is more breathable than my Zamberlan 1009 Vioz Top GT RR and full rubber rant for added protection.

You also get 2-stage; lacing system (like some climbing shoes) for a more custom fit.

MFF+ (multi-feet footbed) for a better fit depending on your foot anatomy.

footbed.jpg3F System for improved ankle support which is just coated steel wire that runs from the ankle to the lacing and from there the heel to improve rigidity without adding weight. Now I don't know if this is all marketing or if it really works but judging from the weight and performance I get in rocky terrain I'm sold.



The semi-stiff midsole consists of nylon and 27% fiberglass (according to Salewa).

The glue between the rubber rand and he leather holds well. A known weak spot in many boots I've seen.



Vibram WTC sole provide excellent traction in wet+dry rocky terrain and was also very good on firm snow but it wore off pretty quick in my opinion. Then again bare rocky terrain does that easily.


One last thing: No breaking-in required.


Overall I would suggest this boot as a good all-rounder and would definitely recommend it for 3-4 season use, but I wouldn't recommend it for temperatures bellow -5° Celsius except if you have a pair of very warm socks.

A favorite among many fellow hikers here in Crete.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 186€

I recently retired my 2011. Mainly worn in the Sierras on multi-day hikes and locally on the Sant Cruz mountains. Lasted 10 years! Loved those boots. I am female 5ft 6, about 128 lbs and my then-boyfriend bought these. I tried them on and they fit like a glove.

I am European so maybe it's the European last Salewa uses that fit my feet so well. I have never worn women's Salewas. Most manufacturers of women's shoes think we have feet like Barbie, so that's why I now only buy men's shoes.

The laces in my Salewa boots lasted 10 years. It was the soles that died. The sole came away from the boot at the front on both shoes. It may have been because I dried them in front of the radiator..or it may have been 10 years of carrying me across boulders and creeks and bridges and passes in the Sierras. I think I will frame them.


  • Longevity
  • Fit is superb
  • Such a good fit going downhill my toes are safe and blister-free
  • At elevation when feet swell having the tight fit is crucial to maintain healthy feet. It's great to be able to adjust the fit all the way from the ankle to the toes


  • Pricey—but at approx $258.95 dollars, that's $25.895 per year, not bad!! Great value really


10 years experience hiking in the Sierra. Tried Vasque, Oslo, Keen, Ahnu, etc...all crap in comparison.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $258.95

Lightweight, good fit, should be a sturdy backpacking boot that also climbs well.


  • Lacing to the toe offers a lot of flexbility in fit
  • Lightweight
  • Overall comfort
  • Compatible with heel clip crampons


  • Perhaps long term durability?
  • Full retail is a bit pricey

I just purchased these and have yet to put them through a full season. I was seeking a backpacking boot with a firm but not rigid sole that will walk and handle long approaches well, and that will also take crampons and climb and handle off trail work well.

I expect these to be a lighter and more comfortable alternative to a pair of old leather Garmonts that had fit the bill for many years, but that needed to be retired. This general boot style (lacing to the toe, rand, etc), Salewa uses on a number of their boots this spring. Maybe, if these fit, it's likely the other styles (e.g., hikers) based on the same platform may too...?

These fit my foot... I tend to need at least a medium width boot, with a snug heel and roomy toebox. In these the footbed and insert option plus flexibility in lacing (from toe to top) allows lots of adjustability. I prefer to replace factory footbed inserts with Superfeet for the best the arch and heel support.

So far so good on fit. The footbed construction is firm but not rigid, and the vibram sole provides very good traction.

I will update this report after putting in some mileage and elevation.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $238 with discount

Great all-around lightweight boots for scrambly terrain. Great for summer outings.


  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Comfortable
  • Still fairly waterproof after three years of use


  • Might give blisters if used with crampons for too long
  • Not suitable for winter outings

I love these boots. I've used mine intensely for the last three years and they are still good as gold. They are extremely comfortable and very lightweight. They fit my feet (I've got wide and flat feet) perfectly and don't even notice them on my foot due to their light weight.

They are my preferred pair for summer outings in rocky terrain and scrambly adventures. The edges are perfect for scrambling and the soles are very grippy, which makes it a perfect pair of boots for hiking more technical routes out there. My pair is also fairly waterproof still. I use beeswax to keep them waterproofed.

The boot comes with a crampon fitting on the heel, which I have used with my Petzel Sarkens a couple of times. It was a good that it had that at the time, as I could use them with the crampons I own, but I wouldn't want to walk all day with more technical crampons on these, as just after a couple of hours they started giving me hot spots.

So it's good to have the option, but I'd recommend just using G10s with these, or more flexi crampons that don't rely on the heel hook if you are planning to be using crampons for hours on end. They are stiff enough for hiking in rocky ground and for the use of edges, but too soft for ice climbing or front pointing for too long. Definitely not designed for that, but you could get away with easier climbing. 

I am impressed at how long the sole has lasted me, taking into account I do hike in rocky terrain lots with them. And the leather is still great, as well as shoelaces, etc...

They are not the warmest, but incredibly enough I used these in rocky terrain in Antarctica on warmer days (-1°0 to -15°) and they kept my feet warm enough. I did have warm socks and they were dry, so it would be a different story for snowy conditions. 

I would highly recommend these boots for anyone looking for a pair of light summer weight boots though. 


Have had for three years
Intensive use
Used in Antarctica in summer

Source: bought it new

High end boots that are truly next level. Worth the price premium.


  • Well made
  • Durable
  • Waterproof
  • Good looking


  • Maybe not warm enough for serious mountaineering

Had these for five years now. They are my favorite boots. Quality is top notch. Super comfortable. Very stylish design. Love the way they lace up. You can lace them tight and the heel will be locked in, without being uncomfortable.  Sizing is just right.

I don't do any actually mountaineering in them but they are great for hiking.  The insole is good, but I replaced it with ones better suited to high arches. The ankle support is great.


Had them for 5 years and put some decent miles on them. Have worn many other hiking boots and brands over the years. I hike mostly in woody areas but also in some rocky hills.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $140

The 3F System for heel support causes excruciating pain to the Achilles tendon.


  • They are lightweight.


  • The 3F System is pure rubbish.

The 3F System for heel support is truly terrible. The pain in my Achilles tendon has yet to go away, fully 48 hours after only a moderate hike. I can't imagine wearing these all day, or multi-day; I think I'd be crippled.

I've been climbing since I was 12 (now in my 50s) and am anything but a newbie. I have never experienced pain like this at the base of my Achilles tendon. These are among the very worst things I've ever put on my feet.

Granted that other features are not bad, it remains that the 3F System is so terrible that it overrides those good features.


I have been climbing and mountaineering since I was 12 and am now in my 50s.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: Too bloody much

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Price MSRP: $299.95
Current Retail: $148.47-$299.95
Historic Range: $119.99-$299.95
Reviewers Paid: $140.00-$258.95
Drop 15 mm (heel stack height 31 mm / toe stack height 16 mm)
Fit Wide
Made in EU
Single shoe weight 740 g
Sole segment Mountaineering - Crampon compatible
Price MSRP: $299.95
Current Retail: $299.90-$299.95
Historic Range: $109.00-$299.95
Drop 15 mm (heel stack height 31 mm / toe stack height 16 mm)
Fit Wide
Made in EU
Single shoe weight 615 g
Sole segment Mountaineering - Crampon compatible
Product Details from Salewa »

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