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Salomon S-Lab XA Alpine

rated 4.0 of 5 stars
photo: Salomon S-Lab XA Alpine trail running shoe

Hyper specific shoe for fast scrambles and technical running.


  • Gaiter for keeping snow out
  • Edging sole
  • Lightweight (for an approach shoe)


  • Wide forefoot makes edging tricky

Overall these are a pretty hyper specific shoe. If you're looking for a lightweight approach shoe that has superior weather resistance that you can run in for sky running, or fast and light scrambles this is the shoe. For everyday use it's not much good, but nor is that what it was designed for.

I've used this in summer, hiking, fastpacking, and scrambling a variety of trails and running in light snow. I've taken them on glaciers and used Grivel G10s and Petzl Leopards.

My one gripe is that the toe has a really wide fit, the widest I've experienced in Salomon. This is odd as it makes edging more awkward. The sole is really well designed, but it's tricky as there is more space then I'm used to. I wouldn't trust this in the same way I trust some of my approach shoes. The heels and midfoot are the same tightness as other shoes I've tried.

The shoe is a little heavy for a runner in my preference, but it moves well, and is easy to find your rhythm with. I have found myself using it on hikes as well. The comfort is really good for me, though I generally fit Salomons well.

The gaiter works okay, though these offer better water resistance than nearly every other trail runner. It's a very warm shoe, warm enough to handle long walks in snow, and it doesn't really breath that well, though no worse than a normal membrane. Once the upper section of the gaiter wets out it does get more wet.

Still, running through snow, and wet it works quite well, and takes me a fair distance. The gaiter does add a good deal of durability to the upper. The outsole seems pretty scratched up already on the exposed EVA foam. 

They are really hard to put on, but then it has a gaiter, so what do you expect. It doesn't bother me any.

Source: bought via a "pro deal"

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