SALOMON ELIOS MID GTX SHOES
BY ISTVAN HERNADI
April 26, 2009
ih42ca AT yahoo(dot)com
Kimberley, British Columbia, Canada
5' 8" (1.73 m)
160 lb (72.60 kg)
I am a long time outdoor activities enthusiast. I started hiking in the hills of Hungary at an early age. When I moved to Canada, I became fascinated by the Rocky Mountains in Alberta. Soon I joined the Alpine Club and became an avid climber, skier and backpacker.
My activities also included marathon running, biking, camping and alpine climbing. Now I live in Kimberley in the Purcell Mountains, with great places for bike riding, trail running and back-country skiing. My summers are spent in the Yukon where I pursue multi-day trips to the mountains and rivers.
|Salomon Elios Mid GTX|
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer's Website: www.salomonsports.com
MSRP: not available
Listed Weight: 16.2 oz (460 g)
Measured Weight: 16.4 oz (465 g) men's size 9 US
Other details: Salomon's website claims this to be an "ultimate mid-cut all-weather hiking shoe, combining waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX®, Extended Comfort Footwear, advanced traction, comfortable support and a fresh, rugged style."
Salomon has a men's sizing chart on its website.
The majority of my hiking and backpacking trips were taken in northwestern British Columbia, Canada. The terrain included hilly boreal forests, mountain trails and rocky open slopes covered in scree or boulders. Elevations ranged from 3,600 ft (1,100m) to 8,800 ft (2,680 m ) and temperatures ranged from 28 F (-2 C) to approximately 77 F (25 C) during the summer and fall months. I have used the shoes successfully for backpacking, day hiking, walking on local pathways and in combination with snowshoes. I have worn these shoes for about 75 days for an average of 4 - 6 hours each time.
|Salomon Elios Mid GTX shoes on snow|
On many hiking and running daytrips I usually cover about 10 miles (16 kilometers) on the trails in the Kimberley Nature Park in British Columbia. In June of 2008 I was hiking in the rainforests of the west coast near Prince Rupert and Alice Arm, British Columbia. I wore these shoes every day while hiking along old trails which are largely overgrown and usually quite wet. My feet stayed mostly dry unless I stepped into deep puddles or creeks. The fit was very comfortable resulting in no sore spots or blisters.
The shoes were also used to climb the mountains in the McBride area of British Columbia, with access to the alpine on steep rough trails, followed by travel over rocky slopes to reach the peaks. The scrambling here was not difficult, so heavy climbing boots were not needed. In September of 2008 I spent several weeks in the Spatsizi Wilderness Park of northern British Columbia where hiking routes follow muddy horse trails, animal tracks and often soggy tundra above treeline. I wore these shoes almost daily. I appreciated the support the shoes gave me, while keeping my feet comfortably dry. It was a pleasure to travel with light shoes, without feeling exhausted after some long days.
I found these to be excellent shoes for a variety of difficult conditions found in the mountains and tundra of the north. I enjoy lightweight hikes and overnight trips, while wearing comfortable shoes that allow me to travel fast. These mid-height shoes are a good compromise. While not as heavy as hiking boots, they allow me to cover rough terrain and scramble routes to moderate peaks.
The oil-treated Nubuck leather upper is quite durable; it stood up well against all the sharp rocks I encountered in the mountains. It needs to be cleaned and treated regularly with a wax-based compound to keep it from drying out. The inner GORE-TEX membrane and padding show no real signs of wear after months of usage, still retaining water resistance.
The insoles, which Salomon calls Ortholite, are constructed of a thin foam type of material. There is no rigid support with this foam to support the arch of the foot. I used custom insoles for all my hiking, as my feet need a firm arch support. In some light runners my firm arch supports tend to push the material outward weakening the shoe. These Elios shoes proved to have a better fit and a more sturdy construction, resisting any deformation and cracking of the leather.
The lacing system is the conventional method of tying the laces. The laces worked well; I was able to tighten them sufficiently as they get pulled around the upper clips. The laces did not need replacing after months of wearing these shoes.
THINGS I LIKE
I like the comfortable fit, the mid height that keeps out scree and supports my ankles, and the reasonable water resistance that helps keep my feet dry unless the water is above ankle height. The soles are thick and stiff enough to allow comfortable travel over uneven sharp rocky terrain without feeling every stone against the bottom of my feet. Yet the shoes are lightweight enough to run almost as well as in running shoes.
I like the mid-cut profile for additional ankle support and protection. I hike and run over some rough terrain and scree, where protection is important, and it is a nice feeling that small pieces of rock rarely enter my shoes, thanks to the height and snug fit.
I also like the protective toe cap; it helped keep my toes from getting bruised on the rocks. The shoes fit me well, as they are a narrow fit; some people with wide feet may have a problem fitting these.
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
The Contragrip soles are not quite grippy enough in wet weather, I find myself sliding around a bit on the wet rocks. Otherwise the soles worked well in most conditions of dirt, rocks and snow. Only the sticky mud of wet clay soils caused the treads to fill and make hiking difficult.
The shoes started to deteriorate after a summer of constant use. The upper leather tended to dry out from too much time spent in the dirt and mud, while the stitching began to show signs of wear from all the abrasion, causing some slight separation of the upper leather. Such issues have been common to all trail running shoes I have ever worn, so I was expecting some of these problems to occur. Generally though the shoes have stood up as well or better than most light trail shoes I have worn.
The shoes have mesh ventilation panels, but can get hot inside in warm weather. As temperatures in the alpine and up north are usually cool, this is not much of a problem for me.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
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