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Salewa Mountain Trainer GTX Review

Overview

The Salewa Mountain Trainer GTX is a low cut alpine approach shoe with a suede upper and Gore Tex waterproof lining. It’s a heavier approach shoe when compared to something like the Five Ten Guide but the support the shoe offers makes up for the weight difference.

I’ve been wearing the shoes for almost a year now and definitely put them to the test. They’ve been to Eldorado Canyon and Boulder Canyon several times a week. Several multi day adventures in Rocky Mountain National Park, Lumpy Ridge and surrounding areas. The most recent test was a trip to the Colorado National Monument, so they’ve seen all types of terrain and weather conditions. I climb all year in all conditions, snow, ice, rain and high river crossings are a common occurrence in the Colorado foothills. The Gore Tex lining makes for a very versatile shoe.

Comfort

This shoe shines in rocky / rough terrain. It’s a little stiff if you’re just walking along a carriage road like in the Gunks. The extra support really helps with foot fatigue after a long day in climbing shoes up on Mickey Mouse wall outside Eldorado.

Adjust-ability – Fit Customization – Lace system

The shoe has a more narrow fit than most American manufacturers so it’s a win for a person with narrow feet. The Salewa brand is my go to shoe, every style fits perfect right out of the box. The lacing is very versatile and can accommodate all situations. The shoe comes with variable insoles and they actually work.

Climbing Ability

The Salewa Mountain Trainer GTX has a rigid design so the shoe edges well but I find it’s easier to just smear up almost everything. The rubber is super sticky yet more durable than other lightweight approach shoes. The wrap around rand on the nose really helps with crack climbing and saves the feet from pain and fatigue. The supportive mid-sole makes aid climbing a breeze.

Traction

I recently spent a week climbing at the Colorado National Monument. There’s a lot of un-climbed cracks out there but established access is limited. These things ate up the loose, steep and rocky terrain. They are less sensitive than it’s lightweight counterparts but if you are looking for a durable traction machine these shoes are your best choice.

Temperature Control

The leather upper was a concern when it came to temperature control in the summer but it proved just the opposite. The Gore Tex lining really makes a difference when it comes to temperature control. My feet run hot but not in these shoes and in the cold temps my feet were warm. I never had a pair of shoes that keep my feet comfortable all year.

Durability

My son and I climb on average 3 times a week so these shoes have some serious use. The soles are in great shape as well as the rest of the shoe. I tend to wear the heel cup first but not in these bad boys. The interior is in great shape and the original laces are going strong. Overall the most durable shoes I’ve owned.

Best application

If you’re carrying a load, approaching in the steep stuff and encounter all types of conditions these shoes can’t be beat. They can be a bit overkill for a day at the Gunks but I wore running shoes most of the time when I climbed there.

Value

The suggest retail for the Salewa Mountain Trainer GTX is $199.00 on Amazon so they are not the most budget oriented shoe but the value can’t be beat. My son has a lightweight pair of approach shoes and he’ll need a new pair in the spring. I can easily get another full season if not longer out of mine.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a bomber set of shoes the Salewa Mountain Trainer GTX shoes can’t be beat. You can kick steps in snow and steep loose terrain. Stand in aiders all day and stay cool in summer and warm in winter. It’s a winner winner chicken dinner.