For Spring 2015, Salomon has created the perfect shoe for those of us aspiring to be Kilian Jornet and knock off a speed ascent or two. A cross between a hiking and mountaineering boot, with an insulation temperature down to 20°F, the S-Lab X Alp Carbon GTX will quickly get you up (and back down) all but the highest and coldest of mountains.
The lightweight (500g or 17.64 ounces) S-Lab X Alp Carbon GTX is the most dynamic shoe in the new X Alp range from Salomon. Constructed using the patented Carbon Edging Chassis, the boot is extremely flexible for moving up and down hill quickly, while remaining laterally stable. Add to that crampon compatibility and its quite an amazing shoe compared to a typical mountaineering boot that is heavier and has very little flexibility in the sole. Sure—you may not be climbing waterfall ice in these boots but you also won’t have boot overkill for lower-angle pursuits.
Featuring an integrated zip gaiter, the upper uses a Gore-Tex liner to make the shoe fully waterproof. A 2.5mm protective rubber toe cap, 1.5mm protective rubber heel cap, and protective ankle pads protect your foot from rocks when climbing.
The Sensifit system works to cradle your foot for a precise and secure fit, while the Quicklace system on the gusseted tongue beneath the gaiter lets you dial in the security depending on terrain.
The non-marking, mountaineering, Contagrip outsole is built specifically for bomber grip while climbing. Two layers of compressed EVA in the midsole save your body from the constant pounding when cruising up and most importantly back down the mountain.
The Salomon S-Lab X Alp Carbon GTX will be available starting next spring and retail for $300. I can’t wait to test these out as I think they may be a game changer in the fast and light mountaineering boot category. The closest boot could be the Scarpa Rebel Ultra GTX, which weighs in at 730g for each boot—however, you can ice climb and tackle more vertical ascents in those boots.