Salomon XA Pro 3D Mid (GTX/Forces) – Comfort through every season

A pair of great shoes are one of the most important pieces of equipment a person needs. Whether you are an urban city-person, an active outdoorist or an operator even, you’ll definitely end up facing the many challenges the weather can throw at your footwear, pretty much no matter where you live on this planet.

Now, because we two live in the cold north ‘aka’ Finland, we get to enjoy all of the four seasons, with sometimes drastically changing weather conditions.

This pretty much requires one to have all kinds of footwear to match the weather conditions, but most of the time, you want to have something waterproofed for your feet.

First of all we have to set some things straight. We saw a need to rework our original review of these shoes after we both had gone through a pair in less than 2 years. This is our final verdict and review on the Salomon XA Pro 3D Mid shoes, as we are on the verge of getting ourselves new footwear for our future adventures.

MANUFACTURER

Salomon was born in 1947 in the heart of the French Alps and the birthplace of modern alpinism. Salomon’s commitment to innovative design and passion for mountain sports created a vast range of revolutionary new concepts in bindings, boots, skis and apparel for both alpine and nordic skiing and brought innovative solutions to footwear, apparel and equipment for snowboarding, adventure racing, mountaineering, hiking, trail running, and many other sports.

Salomon is headquartered in Annecy, France and is a part of a larger sporting goods company, Amer Sports. (Source: Amer Sports website)

The Salomon XA Pro 3D Mid (GTX/Forces)

– Mid height shank, which provides a bit more ankle support than your average runners. Provides nice protection from twigs, rocks or whatever you might hit your ankles to.

– 3D chassis inbuilt between the outsole layers stiffening the shoe overall.

– Non blackening outsole, which provides great traction on a multitude of surfaces (excluding bare ice). Sole also covers the toe cap, providing more security and comfort in rugged terrain.

– Quicklace™ – Minimalistic and strong lace for one-pull tightening. Easy-on, easy-off.

– Gore-Tex™ film to provide excellent waterproofing and breathability at the same time.

– Lightweight – Only approximately 450-500 grams per shoe.

The XA’s retail at $170 at Salomon’s own webstore, but the price may vary depending on retailer and country of sale.

The Salomon XA Pro line (all three shank heights) is also available as “Forces” models, which are designed for military and other tactical capability users groups.

The Forces line of XA shoes are available both non-waterproofed and as GTX(Gore-Tex) models and come in a variety of tactical colour options.

IN USE

Many times one wouldn’t believe that a shoe can fit so well right out of the box, as we found out with the Salomon’s. I think we dare say that these are the most comfortable shoes either of us have ever put on our feet. You just instantly feel like you could walk to the ends of the earth with these and your feet would be happy. And admittedly our feet have really enjoyed all the miles and adventures we have put our shoes through.

The form of the shoe is generous and accommodates even a wider foot inside very nicely. Some people really struggle finding a comfortably fitting and wide enough shoe and we recommend giving the Salomon XA line a try in such need.

The light weight of the shoe, 3D chassis, quicklace and the Ortholite insoles combined make these shoes extremely comfortable and supportive in active use, whether you’re just doing your daily commute or going for a hike. And to be precise, we pretty much fell in love with these shoes, which is no wonder. Ever since buying them, we have used them for pretty much every task imaginable in our very civilian lives. Daily commute, taking the dog out, hiking, range days, you name it.

We both wore our XA Pro Mid’s on our hike through the Seitseminen National Park

Many, if not all of the best moments and adventures so far we’ve had with this blog we’ve done with the Salomons in our feet. And every time we have made it back with our feet intact and without any noticeable chafing or blisters. To us two, a brand new shoe that doesn’t cause you blisters as you’re breaking them in is something to marvel.

Even so, the durability was a big question to us even before buying a pair and given the textile-rubber hybrid construction the doubt is justified. We had heard nothing but good things about the XA pro- line and it was all the rage at the time. Having great expectations and a good fit really had us rooting for these shoes. And for a while they seemed impervious to anything we put them through. Under the warm summer sun, in pouring rain and through slush and snowy trails, the shoe really worked like a charm. Unfortunately the charm can hold only for so long.

The Quicklace™ is a very nice and smoothly tightening lace, borderline genius even in it’s ease of use. Not that you would save tons of time with these daily, but I’ve personally noticed myself wishing that more shoes would have a similar lace. The Quicklace™ system is of course prone to wear in use and the slide-lock will lose its grip over time. And when it does, you do notice it and soon enough it becomes somewhat annoying as the lace won’t stay well tightened.

But luckily enough, Salomon has been farsighted, and designed their quicklace system so that anyone can buy a replacement kit and change a brand new lace themselves.

We’re wondering whether all our pairs of XA’s have been badly made or what, but all our pairs have suffered from similar issues and failures over time. Most important issue is the outer fabric and the seams connecting it to the rubber structure. In all of our shoes some part of the fabric or a seam has failed and created a see through tear into the shoe. And that effectively renders the the shoes water resistant capability down to zero.

All of the tears in our shoes have appeared onto or next to the seams, on the sides of the instep area. This begs the question whether the construction is flawed in design or have we just had the worst luck?

The problematic area of the shoe. You can see the tear right next to the seam. This occurred in all our shoes on varying sides of the sole.

CONCLUSION

Overall the Salomon XA Pro Mid GTX is a great shoe for all kinds of active use who like to keep their feet dry and warm. Being as lightweight, comfy and supportive, it’s no wonder why it is such a popular shoe and variations of the design really have taken the market by storm. Good shoes are expensive and worth their weight in gold, but the price should also warrant more durability in this case.

– Noble & Blue

Likes

Very lightweight

Gore-Tex film

Comfy as hell!

Quicklace™

Super warm

Dislikes

Quicklace™’s wear down

Durability

Breathability

Overall: 8/10

 

 

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