First Thoughts On The Salewa Alp Trainer 2
The Alp Trainer 2 is a lightweight, agile and comfortable boot that represents an excellent choice for alpine hiking-related activities. With a name like “Alp”, a boot has to live up to some high expectations. We had actually planned a trip to the Alps, but ….. covid….. Instead, we went on an excursion that is kind of the next best thing. We took a hiking and backpacking trip to Ouray (and Telluride) to climb The Wilson’s, a group of mountains that top out over 14,000 feet.
“Ouray is known as the Switzerland of Colorado and once you see it you will be like “Yep, totally get that” due to the sheer magnitude of the mountains.”
I figured that would only be a natural proving ground for these Salewa Alp Trainer 2’s. The boots certainly look the part with an aggressive bottom, lacing that runs closer to the front of the shoe, and plenty of ankle support and padding.
Technical Details And Features:
- Flex Collar
- Cleansport NXT ®
- MFF+ Footbed
- Climbing Lacing
- 3F System
The Alp Trainer 2 is a progressive mid-cut hiking boot made with high-quality suede, stretch fabric upper and a waterproof, breathable GORE-TEX® Extended Comfort lining. This hiking boot is meant for a wide variety of terrain and diverse conditions (I can certainly speak to that – see below). It’s a mid-cut hiking boot with large front rubber toe protection.
Salewa claims that this is designed for immediate comfort right out of the box. I think they are very comfortable, but I would still take a few moderate hikes to dial that fit in perfectly. The “Climbing Lace System” is spot on! Adjustments can be made pretty much right down to the toes. This is a super handy feature as you can tighten and loosen as needed which plays a big role in longer technical descents. Sliding in your boot is not a good thing, and the lacing system helps against that.
The improved Vibram® Alpine Hiking outsole, which is exclusive to SALEWA®, provides control in a wide range of mountain terrain. The outsole also excels in wet and muddy conditions thanks to its dedicated climbing, traction and braking zones and the aggressive lug pattern.
High Performance Testing At Altitude With Technical Terrain
I did not really get a chance to break these in much. A couple of walks around the neighborhood, and off to the mountains. Kids went to a sleep-away camp, and my wife and I went to Southwest Colorado for some serious camping, hiking, and backpacking. Our first real hike was an attempt up Wilson Peak which is one of Colorado’s famous 14-ers. Our fair state sports 58 peaks that are over 14,000 feet of elevation. This is one mountain that has some class 3 scrambling, so no time like the present to put these Salewa Alp 2 Trainers through the ringer.
Monsoon season soon turned our foggy wet hike into a white-out and snowstorm. Before we hit that, we had done plenty of hard hiking at a fairly decent grade. I had a little bit of heel lift/rubbing going on, and I blame that on the severity of the hike, and short breaking in period. That did go away after several more days of good hiking. The grip was good on sharp rocks. Even when they got slick and wet.
I was taking a lot of caution, but the Salewa – worked alongside really well. When the snow hit, we did continue on for a while thinking things would blow over soon. The waves of dark cloud continued, but by that time, we were post holing through a Northern exposure snowfield. My wife’s feet got wet, but I managed to make it through our entire hike without wet or cold feet. Now that is worth a lot to me, and I give a big kudos to the Alps. With some severe class 3 drop offs and technical terrain left, we made the call to head back. The mountain isn’t going anywhere, so we will be back. The downhill was solid and fast. This is where a couple of readjustments dialed in my lacing and tightness, so I never had any toe bumping that could occur with a continuous steep descent.
The next destination for our excursion was a backcountry trek into Chicago Basin. This is about a 6 mile hike with all of our gear to set up camp for an attempt at four 14-ers that surround the end of the basin. With a rather heavy pack (it had been forever since I was able to backpack), we made good time to beat the afternoon storms. The challenge was navigating the 200-300 trees that had blown over and littered the trail. Hence, the shoes got to see some heavy load action on all kinds of terrain. The next couple of days were spent going straight up basically to summit Winfield, Mt. Eolus, and Sunlight. Snow, scree, ice, bouldering, and vertical climbs through crags and over ridges really put a good beating on my Salewa’s.
The front rubber rand is sizeable to withstand rough and sharp rocks. I certainly pushed the Alp 2’s through some serious rock terrain and scree. The toes held up nicely. They came out of this excursion with minimal damage. I’ve got a small blemish from what I assume was a sharp rock, but they proved a very valuable companion for the week. I feel like these are now broken in properly, so I hope for a long life and many miles out of these.
Final Thoughts On The Salewa Alp Trainer 2
I have probably tested a dozen pairs of hiking boots over the years, and I would rank these as a solid 9 out of 10. Nothing is perfect, but these hit the mark for me. I like the comfort, the fit, the ruggedness, and versatility of the Alp Trainer 2. They worked well for the long distance hikes, and you can’t ask more than that. I’ll probably push them through some more snow adventures this upcoming winter, and hope to keep pushing the boundaries.
MSRP: $ 199.95
For more details and purchase, check the out HERE