SALOMON OUTLINE HIKERS
TEST SERIES BY JERRY ADAMS
August 09, 2019
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6' 2" (1.88 m)
195 lb (88.50 kg)
I started hiking about 50 years ago. My first backpacking trip was about 45 years ago. I currently try to do one backpack trip of 1 to 5 nights every month (which can be tricky in the winter). Mostly I stay in the Western half of Oregon and Washington. In recent years I have shifted to lightweight - my pack weight without food and water is about 12 lb (6 kg). I make a lot of my own gear - silnylon tarp-tent, bivy, down bag, simple bag style pack.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Year of Manufacture: 2019
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.salomon.com/en-us
Listed Weight: 11.6 oz (330 g) (didn't specify which shoe size this was)
Measured Weight: 12.9 oz (366 g) (one shoe - size 12.5 US men's)
Available sizes: 4.5 to 15.5 men's, 5.5 to 16.5 women's
Available colors: black with either red, yellow, or gray accents, I tested red
The Salomon OUTline hikers are lightweight breathable hiking shoes.
The website says they have a slim, athletic style, sneaker like comfort, and outdoor readiness. It appears to me that means the intended use for this shoe is more for running, but it's also good for the outdoors.
The OUTlines have synthetic fabric uppers - very breathable. There is padding around the heel and tongue. A waterproof layer is applied to the outside along the bottom. This layer is also along the shoe lace holes for reinforcement - no metal grommets except for the top pair of lace holes. There's a little bit of leather on the inside of the tongue and wrapping around to the outside at the top. These shoes have no loop at the heel to help get on the shoes like many shoes I've worn. There's no slot on the tongue for the laces to go through to keep the tongue from shifting sideways like many shoes I've worn. My testing will determine if this is a problem.
The soles are made of a black rubber-like material. The lugs are about 3/8" (4 mm) deep. The material seems medium soft. The website says it "works equally well on both hard and smooth or soft and loose surfaces". My testing will verify if this is correct. The soles are about 3/4" (2 cm) thick at the ball of the foot, and 1.25" (3 cm) thick at the heel.
The laces are a flat synthetic woven material.
The insoles have a woven fabric on the top, and dense blue foam on the bottom. The heels are somewhat cupped. There is a fairly small amount of arch support.
The shoes are black with a red stripe at the bottom of the uppers/top of the sole. There's also a red stripe at the top of the tongues. There are several logos - "Salomon", "OUTline", and "contragrip".
There are two other color choices with yellow or gray stripes.
I usually wear mid-height Gore-Tex boots for hiking. I like the idea of a lighter-weight shoe like the OUTlines. During my testing I'll see if my feet are less tired from the lighter weight, but they're not too wet from not being water proof. I'll do a number of backpack trips in a variety of cold/warm, wet/dry, and rocky/muddy. I'll do a little bit of walking on snow although I don't think this is really the sweet spot for these shoes. I'll wear medium weight wool socks. I'm going to try at least once wearing lightweight socks and walking through streams to see how long it takes for them to dry out. I always wear lightweight gaiters to keep stuff out of my shoes.
On my last trip a got a tick so I treated the outside of the OUTlines with permethrin. It didn't have any negative effect on the shoes.
The shoes are made in Cambodia.
Left side of left shoe, left side of right shoe, and top of insole:
In the above picture, the lighter gray is the waterproof outer layer. The black is the breathable fabric.
Top of left shoe, bottom of right shoe, and bottom of insole:
I examined the OUTlines carefully and didn't notice any defects.
I tried them on and they felt comfortable - not too big or small. I got the 12.5 US men's size. This is like other shoes I've worn with the same size, so I would say that the sizing is fairly accurate. I have medium width feet. Salomon says the OUTlines are slim fit. I didn't notice that the OUTlines were narrower than normal.
They look like regular sneakers. Maybe a bit stylish although I'm not a good judge of that.
The Salomon OUTline hikers are lightweight shoes for hiking.
They are breathable and very lightweight.
I'm looking forward to testing them on several trips over the next four months.
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
April 26 to 30, 2019 - 3 day backpack and 3 day car camp on Metolius River in central Oregon. 30 miles (48 km). 1000 feet (300 m) elevation gain. Dry. Good trail. 20 to 65 F (-7 to 18 C).
June 8 to 13, 2019 - 4 day backpack and 2 day car camp on Mount Hood in north central Oregon. 36 miles (58 km). 6000 feet (1800 m) elevation gain. Dry. 45 to 80 F (7 to 27 C).
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I took the Salomon Outline Hikers on two trips. I did 7 nights of backpacking and 5 nights of car camping. I hiked 66 miles (106 km) and 7000 feet (2100 m) of elevation gain.
The Outlines were very comfortable. I never had a hint of a blister. I carried about 20 pounds (10 kg) in my backpack.
I mostly hiked on normal trails. I did a few miles (kms) off trail and a few miles (kms) on spring snow - mostly stayed on the surface without postholing into the snow.
The soles maintained traction on various surfaces - dirt, mud, snow.
The Outlines are the most breathable shoes/boots I've ever used. At the end of the day my socks were barely damp from sweat, better than other shoes/boots I've used. I wore mid weight merino wool socks.
I did a number of stream crossings. Once, I walked through a deep stream, the Muddy Fork of the Sandy River. There were two main branches about 1/4 mile (1/2 km) apart. I took off my socks and just walked through. Then I took my shoes off and squeezed water out of the insole and walked to the next branch and repeated. I walked another 1/4 mile (1/2 km), took shoes off, squeezed out water, and then put my socks back on. I hiked another 2 miles (4 km) and camped. My socks were mostly dry by bedtime.
I also crossed a couple streams with my socks on and accidentally got a little water on them. My socks got partially wet, but dried out during the rest of the day. When I've done this with waterproof breathable shoes/boots, it's taken a day or more for them to dry out in a similar situation.
I think this has changed my opinion about breathable shoes. I like them because they're lighter weight, and my feet stay drier if there's no rain or stream crossings, but with other breathable shoes I've used, if they get totally wet, they don't dry out enough during the day. The Outlines are better at drying out while hiking. I think if it's raining all day, then I'll go back to my mid height waterproof breathable boots.
I wore breathable gaiters with the Outlines:
I am very happy with the Salomon Outline Hikers.
They were very comfortable - no blisters or hot spots.
They were very breathable. I think in the future these will be my go to shoes for hiking if it's not raining.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
July 8, 2019 - 3 night backpack and 3 night car camp in the Wallowas in northeast Oregon. 40 miles (64 km), 7000 feet (2100 m) elevation gain. 39 to 80 F (4 to 27 C). Dry and sunny.
July 31, 2019 - 5 night car camp at Cape Disappointment in south Washington coast. 37 miles (60 km), no elevation gain. 55 to 70 F (13 to 21 C). Cloudy with a little rain.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
During the Field Report and Long Term Report periods I did 10 nights of backpacking, 13 nights of car camping, 143 miles (230 km), and 14,000 feet (4000 m) of elevation gain. The temperature ranged from 20 to 80 F (-7 to 27 C).
I did a broad range of hiking from paved trails to rugged off trail on loose rocks and boulders. I did a fair amount of hiking on snow. I walked through a lot of streams and mud. Some of the hiking was in cold weather, some hot. About the only thing I didn't test very well was hiking in the rain or through wet brush.
The shoes were very comfortable. On the Wallowas trip I got a little sore on the ball of one foot, but not bad enough to do anything about. I had walked 13 miles (21 km) one day and 14 miles (22 km) the next day on rough terrain which would have caused blisters if anything could. I could have put a bandage on it. I think this was precipitated by getting rocks or sand in my shoe, which is a problem with hiking shoes as opposed to mid height boots.
All of my hiking was wearing gaiters which helped keep out the dirt and gravel:
The cornice at Polaris Pass in the Wallowas. The Outlines negotiated all the snow fine:
Loose rock on the other side. The Outlines had enough traction to keep from slipping.
On several trips I walked through water. One day it was just one stream so I took my socks off before and did my best to remove water from the shoes after before putting my socks back on. My shoes dried out pretty good during the rest of the day. On another day I kept walking through streams so I gave up trying to dry out afterwords. My feet were just wet for the rest of the day. That night I put on dry socks and then used them the rest of the trip. The next day the shoes dried out pretty well. I think if I had been wearing waterproof mid-height boots my feet would have not gotten wet walking through those streams, but if they did get wet they wouldn't have dried out afterward so easily.
My conclusion after the end of my testing is that the Outlines are really good compared to other breathable shoes at not absorbing a lot of water and drying out when they do get wet. I really like the idea of just walking through streams without worrying about my feet getting wet. But, on most trips I think waterproof mid-height boots are better. The exception would be summer trips where they dry out quickly and there are a lot of stream crossings that would get my mid-height boots wet. If they're waterproof, then it takes forever to dry.
After my testing I examined the shoes carefully and didn't notice a lot of wear. The stitches are all fine. The sole and edge of the shoes are scuffed up a little. My shoes were a bit dirty, but I just hosed them off and wiped at them with my hands and they came out pretty clean.
The one thing I didn't like is that over the course of the day, the tongues shifted to the outside. Some tongues have slits that the shoelaces can go through that keep the tongue centered. Mostly though, this is just aesthetic. I didn't notice any pain or anything.
I really like the Salomon Outline Hikers.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.
They are very lightweight.
They are very breathable and non-absorbent.
My main complaint is that my feet get wet even when walking through very shallow water. On the other hand, they are really convenient to just walk through streams without worrying about getting wet which the Outlines do well because they're so breathable and non-absorbant. I can just put on dry socks before going to bed.
A minor gripe is that the tongues shift sideways.
I don't think the Outlines would be good for rainy weather and wet brush, but I didn't get a chance to test this well.
I think in the future, mostly, I'll use the Outlines for casual street use. They look pretty good to me. I don't do that much hiking in the conditions they're so good at - hot, not rainy, no shallow streams, deep streams that I would have to wade through getting over the tops of mid-height boots.
Thanks to Salomon and BackpackGearTest.org for letting me test these.
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Read more gear reviews by jerry adams