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Can a hiking boot be "100 percent blister free," the claim Salewa makes for its Alpine Fit collection?
There's really one way to learn - lace on the Salewa Mountain Trainer – one of six shoes in the line - for a seven-mile up-and-down hike. Maybe wear some subpar socks for a true test. Oh, and make sure to splash through some water, to see if these boots keep feet dry as well as blister-free.
In several hikes and fun-filled afternoons tromping about in the fresh air, the Mountain Trainer boots hold up admirably, keeping feet warm and dry. After several hours of traveling over rocks and roots with a backpack, nobody's feet are exactly ready for a night of dancing in stiletto heels, but hikers wearing the Women's Mountain Trainer will be blister-free, without even a rub or sore spot, if these tests are sufficient proof.
The Salewa Mountain Trainer is an alpine approach shoe, meant for technical hiking, light trekking, approach and "via ferrata," a fancy Italian word for mountain climbing along routes equipped with cable safety systems. The shoes are cut below the ankle, providing support without being constricting.
The sturdy sole combines a microporous rubber midsole with an outer sole of Mulaz, a sticky material created by Vibram, a company specializing in high-performance rubber soles for outdoor adventure. Yet the shoes are lightweight, at just 430 grams for a U.K. size 5.
Thes Mountain Trainer, like others in Salewa's Alpine Fit collection, boast several features for comfort while exercising, including a three-way fit adjustment on the footbed, and technical lacing toward the front of the shoe.
The Gore-Tex membrane ensures that water beads right off, even after a serious river splash. The boots are also breathable, and keep feet a comfortable temperature in weather both warm and cold.
The Salewa Mountain Trainer are available in half sizes, and are attractive enough for everyday wear, with a brown suede upper and light blue stitching. They retail for $129.
Salewa was founded in 1935 in Munich, Germany, and now sells outdoor adventure supplies around the world, including clothes, footwear, climbing gear and tents.
Karen Nitkin likes to run, hike, bike, camp and swim. She spends as much time as possible on these activities, while juggling a writing career, family life, and doing errands like laundry and going to the grocery store.
Nitkin lives in Maryland, where the relatively mild climate allows her to run and bike year-round. She also spends at least a few weeks each year in New Hampshire, camping and hiking in the White Mountains. She has set a goal of hiking all 48 New Hampshire peaks that are above 4,000 feet. As of the fall of 2010, she is at number 20, following an epic rain-drenched four-peak overnight in the Pemigewasset wilderness over the summer.
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