Shoe Review: Salomon S/LAB XA ALPINE 2
So there I was, Seven Lakes Station, a local beer gem in the town of Sloatsburg, NY. We were having an MPF RNR team gathering which Salomon was also attending with some goodies to show us. and there they were, the S/LAB XA Alpines, beautiful, sleek, sexy, ready to be put through just about anything.
At first I thought it may have been the beer goggles that made these boot-sneaker-shoe things look so cool. but it wasn’t, I found myself wanting them even in my soberness.
Fast forward a little. With a trip to the Adirondacks approaching I realized i didn’t have any footwear for any kind of snow conditions. I bit the bullet and with the help of Ben Drew at Run On Hudson Valley, the best store in the area for all your running needs, I was able to order a pair and have them super fast before the weekend adventures.
Now onto the reason why you’re reading this in the first place, how do they perform? Fit? blah blah blah. The quick answer is they’re just like Frosted Flakes...more than good, they’re grrreeeat!
Fit: True to size, like a glove just the way I like them. They offer the comfort of a trail sneaker with the protection of a lightweight hiking shoe with a gaiter. Maybe because that's exactly what they are!
Performance: Keeping in mind that these are water resistant and not anymore insulated then a trail sneaker, I got them for light duty snow venturing. While in the Adirondacks, I wore them while snowshoeing up Giant Mountain and then the following day at the 10k Snowshoe Championships. Both days they performed exactly the way I had hoped they would. Kept my feet dry and feeling agile. Since then, I’ve had a few opportunities to run in the snow in them and really test their grip and flexibility. Again, they didn’t disappoint. It's nice to have the feel of lets say a Sense Ultra while keeping your feet dry. Salomon really knows what they’re doing with the grip on the SLab models. Wet or dry, I’ve been able to run freely without having to worry about slipping.
Conclusion: This is a badass trail sneaker-shoe-boot-gaiter-thing. I highly recommend them to anyone who doesn’t let extra fun weather or trail conditions hold them back. Your feet will remain dry without having to sacrifice agility, flexibility, comfort or having to bring extra gear.