Salomen X Alp MTN GTX Forces Boots
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- Last updated: 24/01/2021
In the spotlight here are the new Salomon X Alp MTN GTX Forces boots. The company has a top reputation for producing serious kit, fit for purpose. My boots came in black, but they’re also available in slate black, which apparently is more of a browny colour. Nonreflective materials keep everything discrete, and the finish and feel shout quality.
Billed as ‘the lightest mountain-ready boot on the market’, there’s no doubt that they feel just the right balance of strength and weight. The upper section is constructed from quality full-grain Nubuck leather, making it durable yet flexible, and the level of padding and reinforcement puts comfort and support well up the list.
Waterproofing is a vital ingredient and the X Alp has a high top construction with full GORE-TEX bootie and two layers of high performance compressed EVA foam, to ensure protection from cold temperatures, weather, and rugged environments. There’s a soft, breathable lining for extreme comfort, and everything feels snug. In short, the X Alp’s credentials are pretty impressive. Salomon specifies the waterproof material as ‘unaffected by water even when under pressure’, so moisture ingress should be prevented when the going gets rough.
Protection wise, it’s reassuring to know there’s a reinforced toecap, with stiff rubber inside. Salomon’s ‘SensiFit’ system cradles the foot from the midsole to the lacing system, providing secure and snug support all around the foot. The tech spec lists a ‘durable, cushioned pad across the medial side of the instep for protection and increased wear’, so there’s plenty of research incorporated into the overall design. The insole is ‘OrthoLite’ which is designed to match the contours of the foot, to provide superior cushioning, as well as breathability and durability, and there’s no doubt that everything feels supremely comfortable and cossetting.
These boots also incorporate an ‘energy cell’, designed to offer a unique chassis construction, with an area in the forefoot delivering energy transmission while climbing or walking. The ‘Anti-debris’mesh and textile lining is used to prevent debris from being trapped between the foot and the base.
Talking of which, look to the base and the wrap-around rubberized surface is a good start. As for the ‘Contagrip’grip pattern, it’s constructed from an especially durable compound for maximum adhesion and long term wear, that’s equally at home on both hard and loose surfaces. Pull-on loops at the rear make getting the boots off and on, fairly easy, although, with sealed tongue, full-length laces, and ankle-length, they are properly snug, without being restrictive. Salomon also points out that these boots are compatible with some crampons, so several bases covered.
Not the cheapest boot on the market, but the Salomon name does bring confidence, and technical know-how to the table. After giving them several significant field trials, I’m definitely converted. An easy recommendation if you take your sport seriously.