There are all kinds of brands you can go with for sturdy and long-lasting hiking boots, and Salomon and Salewa are both trusted options for all hikers.
These two companies have excellent reputations for making sturdy, long-lasting hiking boots for difficult trails and creating products for all kinds of outdoor activities.
In this article, we compare Salomon vs Salewa in terms of their product quality and prices to give an accurate assessment of which you should go for.
Different hikers will have different needs based on their experience level and trail difficulty, and the two brands may not line up as evenly as you’d expect.
As with any hiking equipment, the best option is usually the product that fits your needs and budget best, but both Salewa and Salomon products may have different answers than what you might be asking of your hiking boots.
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A Short History of the Brand
Unlike many outdoor gear companies, Salomon has its roots in ski bindings rather than general hiking and sports equipment. The company first started in France in 1947, with its first major achievement being the invention of ski bindings that could replace leather straps for a more secure attachment.
From the success and fame of their bindings to their use in the 1966 Winter Olympics in Chile, they moved on in 1992 to make accessories for professional and casual summer sports. These included hiking shoes and boots and various other types of outdoor gear, all built with the same level of detail and security as their original winter sports gear.
(Unboxing a pair of Salomon hiking boots)
This tradition continues today with all sorts of ventures that range from technologically impressive products for various sports to even some fitness campaigns to encourage people to push themselves and explore athletic activities.
While their shoes are for serious hikers, they try to provide as much attention to more casual and inexperienced hikers, too.
Materials and Manufacture
Being such a large brand that covers a wide variety of outdoor equipment, it’s no surprise that Salomon boots use a wide variety of materials, and there isn’t too much consistency between each boot model.
Some like the XA Collider are built with fully textile coatings with full rubber soles, while others like the X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex have a blend of textile and synthetic materials for more lightweight hiking shoes. Both are fairly durable, but this can depend on whether the boots are for slow hiking, rough terrain, and trail running.
As with most footwear, though, the more textile-based you have, the more durable and protective it’s likely to be. That said, its synthetic materials are hardly quick to degrade, and Salomon boots blended with textile materials will usually make up the difference and improve the longevity quite a bit.
Among the technologies that Salomon uses in its footwear we can mention:
- Gore-Tex membrane for water-resistant and breathable boots;
- Contagrip® TD outer sole for traction in difficult terrain;
- OrthoLite® die cut insole technology for cushioning;
- SensiFit™, Advanced Chassis™, etc.
Let’s take a look at some popular products by Salomon.
Salomon Men’s X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Hiking Shoes
The X Ultra 3 Mid GTX shoes from Salomon are reliable in all the ways you need a hiking shoe, from a comfortable fit to rigidity that won’t decay over time. Some reviews warn that its waterproof qualities can be sometimes underperforming, but most trails in ideal weather will not often lead to this being a concern.
Thanks to the tight fit and design, these work well as work shoes if you also want something for everyday wear. However, buying these is especially worthwhile if you plan on going on dry hikes regularly.
Salomon Women’s Outward GTX Hiking Shoes
These Outward GTX shoes are similar to the men’s shoes mentioned earlier and are a great example of a slim backpacking and hiking boot with waterproof materials. Its solid structure keeps out water and keeps your feet safe.
The one warning from some online reviews is that these shoes tend to run a little big on the foot, but with proper and careful sizing, you should be able to find a pair that feels comfortable enough for you.
Nonetheless, you must always size hiking boots carefully, as the last thing you want is uncomfortable steps during long journeys on rugged terrain.
Salomon has a wide range of prices but thanks also to the brand’s premium status, their high-end hiking boots are quite expensive.
Depending on the material and size of your shoe, you can end up spending anywhere from around $125 to $200, meaning you’ll be putting quite a lot into these shoes, but as with any hiking boot, this investment will last you a long time.
Are Salomon Hiking Boots Worth the Price?
Salomon hiking boots are pricey, but this is to be expected as the majority of high-end outdoor brands are all competing at a high level using the latest technologies.
Overall, Salomon has the durability and quality that you’d expect for the prices they have to offer, and they definitely aren’t a waste of your money.
Read also: Salomon vs Lowa Hiking Shoes: A Comparison
A Short History of the Brand
Salewa is an Italian brand that has a similar origin in terms of winter athletics, but they began much more focused on hiking and expeditions than Salomon.
The company started in Germany in 1935, focusing on ski poles and alpine hiking equipment made primarily from sturdy and flexible leather materials.
Don’t miss: 9 Italian Hiking Boots Brands: Our Top Picks
Their quality only improved over the decades as the brand continued to expand production on all sorts of high-end gear like crampons and a tubular ice screw, which helped them reach notoriety and establish industry standards with certain equipment.
Its modern success likely came in the 1990s when it released the Helium helmet, which was both the lightest and most durable on the market for quite some time.
In the past few decades, Salewa has expanded into hiking and trekking gear that is mainly for use on rocky terrain and winter trails. They have also since expanded from Germany into a global company with new divisions in North America, Korea, France, Spain, and Poland.
Materials and Manufacture
Much like Salomon, your material will vary massively between each Salewa boot you choose, but the unique traits and materials can vary much more when it comes to this brand.
As usual, certain hiker boots will have textiles and blends of synthetic materials, with heavier and sturdier boots usually being more based on textiles and Gore-Tex material.
However, this doesn’t capture the wide set of traits found across certain Salewa shoes. Some like the Mountain Trainer Lite use fully vegan materials for those wanting more ecologically sound products.
Others, like the Mountain Trainer Leather, use non-vegan full-grain leather for a remarkable amount of strength.
Regardless of your shoe needs, though, you can likely find one with whatever material you’re looking to get. Simply put, Salewa has a remarkable amount of range that you’ll be extremely satisfied with if you’re particular about your hiking boot materials.
By Salewa we have picked:
Salewa Men’s Mountain Trainer Mid GTX Hiking Boot
These Salewa Mountain Trainers are a remarkable product, built with high-quality leather for an extremely smooth and dense hiking boot. Its durability is almost unmatched, and while it does not fit the needs of those looking for very lightweight options, it’ll be what some hikers need out of their boots.
For those who care about appearances, this product has a more modern look than many hiking boots. Its slick appearance and smooth material may make it easier to scratch through damage but set them apart from more traditional brown boots without sacrificing durability.
Salewa Women’s Alp Trainer Mid GTX Trekking Boot
The Alp Trainer boot for women uses full suede material for the upper and is better for uphill and high-difficulty trails, many thanks to being built for mountain hiking instead of flatter trails.
Other unique features include a fuller lace that resembles the laces on climbing boots and ensures their tightness, and a GORE-TEX® Extended Comfort lining to help give a more comfortable interior feeling by providing water resistance and breathability.
It doesn’t seem too unique on the surface, but experienced hikers will see a ton of value in these boots as you can read from online reviews.
Just like Salomon, Salewa hiking boots are on the higher end of the price range.
They certainly have some less expensive options for trail runners and lighter boots, but if you want a specific type of material or style, you can end up anywhere from $150 to $250, but the quality is bound to be there and will help you justify this investment.
Are Salewa Hiking Boots Worth the Price?
The quality of Salewa shoes isn’t too far above Salomon, but Salewa’s options in terms of materials are large enough to make this price feel worthwhile.
The ability to have shoes that satisfy your personal needs and interests in hiking boots makes these far more personal than a simple upgrade or replacement.
3. Which Brand is Better?
(Woman wearing Salomon boots hiking on a mountain trail)
If you aren’t generally picky with your hiking shoe materials and have more general or non-specific needs as a hiker, then you certainly can’t go wrong with either of these brands.
They are both of high quality, use the latest technologies, and the prices are at quite similar levels. If searching for a standard level of hiking boots, you certainly won’t be wasting your money in purchasing from them.
Is one of them better than the other?
If you are interested in the strength and durability of the materials used in your hiking boot, then Salewa hiking boots are the stronger products in our opinion. Of course, this also depends on the models you’ll choose. Plus, we like Salewa’s designs more.
And that’s all for today’s comparison! Have you tried any of these brands? Which of them do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below.
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