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.
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!
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 🙂