Recommended Price: £135
Weight: 365g per shoe (men’s size 11)
If you think all trail shoes look pretty similar, check out the appearance of th Salomon Outpath GTX. Though not quite as strange looking as their space-age boot version cousins (the Outpath Pro), these are still pretty unusual shoes. The quick laces are in two parts, ending in loops on the lower shoe, whilst the striking one-piece ‘seamless sensifit’ uppers (also available in grey if you are feeling less brave) are made of a thin but surprisingly rigid synthetic material that sheds water well but has a tendency to crease and fold.
Although these are extremely lightweight shoes, the contagrip soles do still offer a fair amount of rigidity, with a protective toe rand and heel cup; they are not quite so minimal as alternatives such as many shoes by inov8. Though the tread is quite shallow, I’ve found grip to be excellent. The pair I’ve been testing have GoreTex performance comfort membrane linings and, combined with the way the uppers shed water, they have kept my feet dry very well, but obviously in wet conditions water is going to get in via the top on low cut shoes like these. We’ve been blessed with more than our usual Scottish share of warm weather so far this summer but my feet haven’t overheated wearing the Outpaths; however if you are planning to wear these extensively in warmer conditions it’s worth noting they are also available without the linings at around £25 less.
Due to the very light weight these are extremely comfortable shoes for those who wish to travel fast and far on the trails, yet they still manage offer a fair amount of underfoot support for the rougher ground. It’s worth noting that the footbeds are glued in – not a concern for most people, but if you wear orthotics or prefer a custom footbed then these shoes are not for you. There is always going to be some trade-off for acheiving such a light shoe, and in this case the way in which the upper material forms creases when the shoes bend is forming a point of weakness that will eventually cause these shoes to wear out.
The Outpaths are also available for women, both in the blue and in an even more striking orange and purple combination!
Likes: extremely light, comfort, grip
Dislikes: not as durable as heavier shoes