Original review dated: 28th November 2009
Another rush of blood to the head yesterday morning and I found myself £79.99 lighter in the bank balance, but very much in credit in the lightweight boot department. I’ve been shilly-shallying about new boots for a while and I’d sort of persuaded myself that I would see the winter out in my trusty Scarpa Zero10s and I would wait until the spring to get some new lightweight boots. But the fantastic offer price at Fifth Element was too good to pass up.
These are the Salomon 3D Fastpacker Mid GTX – the name probably weighs more than the boots do – they’re each about 490g – half the weight of my Scarpas.
I will use them at some point in the near future I hope, although I probably won’t be walking anywhere until 2010 now – my last walk today was excellent though – misty and cold on the tops, heather bashing for a while and then down into the valley as the sun came out and lit everything up.
Follow-up review dated: 20th March 2010
I’ve not been at all happy with the Fastpackers. Although I’ve probably only been able to use them on half a dozen walks so far, it’s clear that they are ever so slightly too small for me. Although I tried them on in Blacks, with walking socks and they seemed fine, once I get half way round a walk they start to pinch quite badly. This is particularly noticeable on descents and by the end of the walk my feet are feeling quite abused. They’ve not given me blisters yet, but I can imagine after several days of continuous use they would.
The Salomon fit seems to be half a size smaller than standard boots. My Scarpa boots are 10.5 and I can wear a normal sock and a thick Bridgedale inside them. I’ve had to puchase a silk-like liner sock and use standard gym shoe type socks for the Fastpackers.
Also, they really don’t shed the water the way they should do. The clue is in their name – GTX. They have a Gore Tex lining, but still my feet get wet after relatively light wetting – i.e. walking through wet grass or splashing through a shallow stream. I don’t know if this is just because Gore Tex isn’t up to the job or if there’s a flaw in the membrane on these boots. I’ve emailed Fifth Element and asked them what to do and they’ve asked me to return them.
To their credit and my eternal gratitude, I was offered a full refund rather than a replacement pair. Which makes replacing them much easier. I’m sticking with Salomon, but going for a different boot – the Mission GTX.