Goodbye Salomon, Hello Brasher!

Salomon Mission GTX

Salomon Mission GTX

I’ve had a real love-hate relationship with Salomon over the last few years – we’re talking boots here. I also have Salomon trail shoes and I love them unequivocally! But the boots I’ve had from Salomon have been a different matter.

I love their weight and their comfort. They are wonderfully light on my feet, typically weighing about 650g per boot, for a size 11. Which is much less than the approx 900g for my full leather Scarpa Zero G10 boots. The difference is noticeable, especially after a long day and weight is ever a factor in my purchasing decisions. The second thing I love about them is their comfort. They are fantastic, straight out of the box and I’ve never needed to break them in, I’ve always felt really happy inside them and blisters are a rare occurrence, unless my feet become wet…. wherein lies the rub (if you’ll excuse the pun).

The thing I hate about Salomon boots is their waterproofness, or more accurately, their lack of it. They leak like a government department, normally within a couple of months of buying them I know my feet are going to be wet and my toes swimming on anything like a wet walk. Even wet grass will soak them quickly and before you know it, I’m wet.

Salomon Comet 3D GTX

Salomon Comet 3D GTX

I first got Salomons for my Pennine Way in 2010. They were the Salomon Mission GTX and I loved them, for the first three months, then they started leaking. After about 12 months I used the excellent 2 year Salomon warranty to return them for another pair, which also leaked after about 3 months. Just before the warranty expired I returned them too and I was told that the Mission GTX had been discontinued so I was given a store credit, which I used against a pair of Salomon Comet 3D GTX. I was hoping that the new model would have better water protection – I was wrong! Three months later they started leaking, so they were returned last winter for a replacement pair of the same brand, under the new warranty which started when I bought the new boots with the store credit. These lasted three months as well before letting in water and have just now been returned to Salomon, who have given me a store credit again.

I’m no fool – despite four years, four sets of boot, for one initial outlay of £95 I’m not going back to Salomon. They are too frustrating! I know I’ve had my money’s worth – more than in fact and I will miss them, but I want dry feet!

Brasher Supalite II GTX

Brasher Supalite II GTX

I decided to go for full leather boots again. Last weekend I walked on Kinder, using my old Scarpa Zero G10 boots – heavy, clunky, I felt like Herman Munster clomping about in them, but they are full leather and I’ve kept them waxed over the years I’ve had them. Despite wading through streams and ankle deep mud they kept my feet dry. I was amazed actually and I want that comfortable feeling at the end of a walk back.

I spoke to a couple of friends and came up with a recommendation for Brasher – they have a Supalite II GTX boot which is exactly what it sounds like, a really lightweight, full leather boot.

I found them in Go Outdoors and bought them using their Price Guarantee system, against a pair of the same boots I’d found on Gaynors.co.uk for £99, and GO gave me £10 off that price, so I saved over £40 on the GO price of £135.

They feel wonderfully comfortable and once they’re waxed I’m hoping they’ll perform like my Scarpas, but feel like my Salomons. I will let you know how things go over the next few weeks.

All these boots were purchased by me, they were not provided by any third party – well I say all….. the first set of Salomon’s were purchased, the rest were warranty returns 🙂

lonewalker

Fell-walker, trig-pointer, peak-bagger, Wainwright-er & Pennine Way author, with a passion for long paths, malt whisky, fast cars & Man City

You may also like...

15 Responses

  1. bradfordclarke says:

    I’m having similar issues with a pair of Salomon X Ultra Mid GTX boots. Lightweight, fantastic fit, I can hike in the all day long, but they leak like a sieve.
    I was out hiking Saturday in low, wet grass. It didn’t take long before I could feel the water squishing between my toes.
    This pair is being returned. The X Ultra Mid GTX boots are no longer made, so I assume I’ll get a pair of X Ultra Mid 2 GTX boots in exchange.
    My hiking pal had on a pair of Merrell boots and he had no issues at all.

    • lonewalker says:

      Hope the returns process worked as well for you as it did for me – despite the title of that post, I’m back to wearing Salomons again. The Brashers really didn’t work out at all and despite wet feet, I’m still happier in the Salomons!

      • bradfordclarke says:

        Return process went well.

        They were sent back to Salomon, who confirmed they were definitely leaking.
        Credit note for the original purchase price.
        Now to find another pair of lightweight waterproof hiking boots at that retailer.

      • Sad to report that just over a year after receiving a pair of X Ultra Mid 2 GTX boots as a warranty replacement, those boots have started to leak. Came home last weekend from a wet hike and my feet were wet again.
        Not sure what to do in this case. I love the fit of the boots, but they only last about a year before the Goretex gives up.
        Glad Salomon has a 2 year warranty.

        • lonewalker says:

          Keep sending them back! Although I have to admit I’ve pretty much given up on boots now, and switched to trail shoes, which aren’t expected to keep your feet dry 🙂

  2. JohnBoy says:

    I’ve been having similar problems recently trying to find the right boot after the sad demise of my trusty pair, and the usual problem of the model no longer being produced. I have a slightly pronounced but narrow heel which only seems to fit Salomon, Meindl, Lowa, KSB etc.

    I tried a pair of Brasher a few years ago but had to say goodbye to them after they removed most of my heel and ate the back of my socks during the first walk. They fely great in the shop, but sadly proved to be really quite painful after a lengthy day in the hills. A real shame as they are a nice simple looking boot with few seems, I really wanted then to be comfortable.

    Strange thing was that I’ve been looking at the Salomon Comet as a possible next boot, but your’s and other experiences raise doubt about their ability to keep the water out. Being a Southern Dales person that’s something I couldn’t live with.

    The search goes on.

    • lonewalker says:

      Wow, that’s so similar to my experience last week with my Brashers!! They repeatedly ate my socks every hour or so and left me with incredible blisters on my heels, where the top of my heel was sitting in the heel cup. I’d been trying some new insoles, to alleviate the sole pain the boots had given me on the previous couple of walks and I put the sock and heel problem down to them, but maybe not. I can’t use the Brashers again now. I’m even considering going back to some new Comets – on the principle of better the devil you know. At least they were always comfortable and never gave me blisters!

  3. petehill7 says:

    I know the feeling re leaking Salomons (Quest 4D) but I’m committed to starting my long stroll in February using them now as I have yet to find any other boot even vaguely as comfortable and I don’t have much time to look further afield. I’ve returned two pairs to Go Outdoors due to leaks after about 400 miles of use. But I have three pairs worn-in for full day walks and ready to go (about 100 miles to get them absolutely perfect for 20+ miles/day). If I’d had more time and money I might have got Alt-Berg to make custom fit ones for me, they make superb boots. Good luck with the Brashers – I would love to hear how you get on with them just in case I need to abandon Salomon too.

    • lonewalker says:

      Good luck with your epic challenge Pete. I followed a couple of lads last year who started but had to quit early due to injuries and then there was the immense achievement of Christian Nock who I’m sure you must have followed too.

      I’ve only been out once in the Brashers, but they were great for that walk, so I’m looking forward to getting them properly dirty next weekend on the Pennine Way for a couple of days.

      I’ll be following keenly as you walk the coast, especially as I had to cancel my LEJOG this year, so itchy feet here at the moment!

  4. Robbie says:

    Lonewalker. I’ve had a pair of the Superlites in the past and although they were incredibly comfortable and waterproof, after long days on the hills and moors my feet were always very sore, I just don’t think they are built for endurance walks. More than happy to be proved wrong though. Looking at a pair of Altbergs myself although my Meindls have never let me down!

    • lonewalker says:

      I guess the lack of sole support is always going to be an issue with a lightweight shoe/boot as it’s one of the weight saving areas. Dry feet will help a lot I think, as I found my wet feet feeling very abused after a long day, despite a mostly comfortable fit. I also have Superfeet insoles which I’ll try and fit into the Brashers, which may also help.

      Perhaps you and Tim (below) should have a chat with Altberg and see if you can arrange a bulk discount 🙂

  5. Robin says:

    I’ll be interested to see a long–term review as there have been some adverse comments about the longevity of the Brashers. I’ve had four pairs of Salomon Fastpackers and none have leaked. However, they are fabric boots. I do wonder whether suede/fabric are more prone to leaks. I had a pair of Aku Icaro boots, suede/fabric, which were great but leaked within eighteen months. I’m not so keen on leather linings either, which tend to hold moisture and can cause blisters. Being quite thin and light, hopefully, the Brashers won’t suffer the same problem. Worth experimenting with two pairs of socks to combat blisters. Boots are not easy things to get right. Currently I’m using Ecco Biom Hike mids (leather) and Salomon X Ultra GTX mids (fabric), both of which I’m pleased with.

    • lonewalker says:

      I’m also concerned about longevity, as I am with all lightweight boots and shoes. I’ve had a torrid time with Inov-8 shoes lasting a couple of seasons only and even the Salomons weren’t in good shape after 12 months, irrespective of the leaks. But I do approx 650-700 miles a year in the boots, so they get used. I think of all my gear, boots are the item I’ve had the toughest time getting right. Hopefully these will tick the boxes.

      I liked the look of the Bioms you were using, the high rubber bumper (rand?) seems to help with longevity and waterproofness. My Scarpas have a slightly smaller bumper and it seems to be very effective.

      I’ve always used two socks and rarely suffer from blisters, except after long, wet walks as I did earlier this year on the SUW in the leaky Salomons. But you’re right, getting the mix right is important and I’ll have a learning curve with these, completely new to me boots.

      I will indeed be posting updates as I use them.

  6. Tim says:

    Hope you are happy with your new purchase. After suffering through wet feet over the last half of the SUW in April I bought a pair of Salomon Comet 3D GTX a few months ago. So far, so good. They feel great on the feet – but will not if they end up leaking like yours.

    I have had my eye on a pair of Alt-Berg Yan Tan boots but they seem rather pricey compared to the Brasher Supalite II GTX. Do let us know how they work out as I am not convinced my feet will remain dry much longer with the Salomon Comets….

    • lonewalker says:

      I’ll certainly keep you updated with how the Brashers go, probably get out in them this weekend, all being well.

      Altberg have a very good reputation and like any shoes, paying that little bit extra often pays dividends. They are hand made I think? Will probably last a lot longer than typical manufactured boots too.

Leave a Reply