Salomon Outpath GTX
· High Traction Contagrip®
· injected EVA
· molded shank
· GORE-TEX® Performance Comfort Footwear
· EVA shaped footbed
· Seamless Technology
· Asymmetrical lacing
· Precise forefoot fit
· Water Resistant textile
· Waterproof Synthetic
· Seamless sensifit™
My standby daily wear shoe since about 2010 or so, has been the Salomon XA PRO 3D. This was back when Grey Group Training was a thing and all the cool guys had Atom LT’s aka Smoking Jackets, XA Pro’s and if you were really cool, a BAC. Over the years, I’ve worn out a couple pair of the XA PRO 3D’s, and last fall was on my last saved pair.
Proof I've had a Salomon problem... a few pairs have been thrown away since they were worn out.
For running I had been using a couple shoes over the last few years, New Balance, Rebook Nano 3’s and recently, Saucony Peregrine 7’s. I try to use a toe first natural stride as opposed to a heel strike stride. This was easier with Nano’s than the New Balance, and the Saucony’s were comfortable to run in. During the winter or when traveling and not wanting to pack extra shoes, I would just run in my XA Pro’s. I noticed it took more effort to focus on stride in the XA Pro’s than with normal running shoe.
After living in the PNW for a year at that point, I realized shoes here for hiking and running 8 months of the year or so need to be waterproof (GTX). So my search for a replacement for the now worn out XA Pro’s and Peregrine 7’s. Its easy to just go with what you know, but at the same time as any gear nerd will tell you, new gear is exciting. I also knew from getting dirt covered socks, that the XA Pro’s in the non-GTX/breathable format allowed dirt to get on the whole sock, which sucks when off paved paths.
Summer 2017, Salomon announced the new Outpath GTX. It looked like the upper portion of the shoe was sealed better to keep out dirt so I figured I’d give it a shot. Right off the bat in comparison to the XA Pro’s, I noticed the Outpath is stiffer. After wearing them for non work use as well as running, Its only slightly less stiff. From reading reviews this is a common complaint and I should expect the shoe to remain this stiff for the rest of its serviceable life.
The Outpath laces up using the Salomon Speed Lace system, just like the XA Pro’s. These options are fast to put on. The downside to the Speed Lace’s are:
1. Can’t replace without a replacement kit vs normal shoes and a spool of Paracord.
2. The friction lock looses torsion abilities over time/wear.
3. Personalizing fit with how tight in a given place is difficult although it can be done.
The first couple times running in the Outpath’s, I went reduced distance as my feet adjusted to a different feel than they were used to. This was the same process I’ve done with my other running shoes, 1.5 miles, 2 miles, 3, and up to 4. I recently ran the farthest I’ve ran in way to long, 7.75 miles in these. Around mile 6.5 there was some pinching going on. The pinching was on the upper inner middle area of my foot. I stopped, loosened the laces, readjusted and finished without further pinching.
With a typical lace up shoe, I can generally feel that the shoe is properly laced without needing to take a few steps to check it out. The Outpath, not so. I tighten the Outpath up then walk around to ensure proper fit. I’m about 50/50 on having to readjust one of the shoes each time. After this its fine for an average run – 3-5 miles.
I’m still planning to get a non-GTX running shoe for summer and rare rainless day’s here in the PNW. In the meantime, the Outpath GTX are working double duty and I’m content to give them a 4/5 star rating. That would go up if the stiffness goes away so we will stay tuned.