Salomon XA PRO 3D v8 GORE-TEX
They’re back, new and updated, one of the most emblematic pair of shoes for trekking or hiking from Salomon. These are the XA Pro 3D v8 GTX that, in this very 2021 reach their eighth generation, hence their name “v8”. A model that in addition to incorporating all the brand’s own technology in terms of protection and cushioning, includes the GORE-TEX insulating membrane, which gives them a very special use and characteristics.
The Salomon XA Pro 3D v8 GTX is a shoe to take on all your mountain adventures. Whether for one-day trekking or for long treks of several days. Especially for those forays into the mountains where the weather is an uncertainty. And is that some shoes capable of adapting to any type of terrain and weather, are, in our opinion, a great choice when buying.
The XA Pro 3D v8 GTX are one of Salomon’s best selling shoes for trekking or even running. In our case we have tested them running in mountain areas subjecting them to cold days and wet places.
If something stands out in the Salomon XA Pro 3D v8 GTX it’s their upper. This area does not go unnoticed, both for its aesthetics, for its characteristic shape, and for its technical characteristics and performance. As it is already traditional in all the Salomon shoes, you will notice the raised protection of the toe area. High, raised protection, which leaves freedom for your toes and is also a good reinforcement that will protect us in the mountains from any rocks and hard terrain. This protection is welded to the upper fabric at the bottom, just above the midsole. This prioritises their durability.
The great thing about a shoe with GORE-TEX is that it doesn’t matter if it suddenly starts raining or you have to cross a watery pass, because the GTX membrane is 100% water repellent, preventing water from seeping into the shoe. This will keep your feet completely dry. But if you’re wondering about their breathability, we can only tell you that it’s an aspect you don’t need to worry about. They offer great sweat evacuation and transpiration, taking into account the type of footwear it is.
In this upper part of the shoes we have to highlight what Salomon calls SensiFit. Another of the hallmarks of this model. It is a system that wraps the foot, from the midsole to the upper. That is, right down to the laces. Thanks to the SensiFit we get a more secure, more comfortable and virtually custom fit. And their sides have reflective details that will increase our visibility in the dark. In case we arrive late at the refuge and it gets dark.
As for the laces, Salomon has the QuickLace system so well known by the brand’s fans. This is a solution that other brands have tried to imitate, but only the original from the French company offers the best features and performance. For those who don’t know it, the Quicklace is an asymmetrical and minimalist lacing system that will not loosen the shoe until we want to take it off.
The midsole of these Salomon XA Pro 3D v8 GTX is made with Energycell technology together with the well-known dual density EVA compound. These two technologies together ensure an excellent level of cushioning and, helped by the 3D Advanced Chassis we will have a boost in stability for more complicated terrains. This chassis is located between the mid-sole and outsole, reinforcing the protection and our safety as it reduces the chances that we can feel a stone, rock or branch on the sole of our feet.
The dual density EVA compound is in charge of increasing stability in all kinds of situations and of keeping our foot safe so as not to fail in our supports. A midsole built for excellent performance in steep terrain while hiking and a bit lacking in trail running, as it is not capable of absorbing impacts as well and does not offer the reactivity of other models for that purpose. Although if what you are looking for is to walk fast in the mountains without running, they can be useful.
The 3D Advanced Chassis, a piece located between the midsole and outsole, helps control movements. A low-profile chassis also offers added protection for a precise, stable and responsive ride. It goes from the central part of the sole, that is, from the plantar arch to the heel. A piece that traditionally provided a somewhat hard heel to this shoe, but has now been renovated to make it more comfortable than in previous versions. As a result: greater stability of our stride along the entire length and width of the sole without having to support the foot 100%.
To finish, helping the cushioning of the EVA midsole, we have the Ortholite insole. Although it is not their main field of action, an insole, no matter how small, always helps to soften the impact. And here it could not be less. With a thickness of about 3-4mm, it is not bad to offer a little more cushioning. It is easily removable, in case you want to put your own one in.
Along with the Gore-Tex membrane and its protection against humidity and cold, the sole is undoubtedly another of the strong points of these shoes. For this part, Salomon has relied on one of the best suppliers of high-performance footwear soles, Contagrip and in particular in its exclusive Premium Wet Traction system. This type of sole has areas with greater and lesser hardness to improve grip and durability on all types of terrain.
As for the cleats, we can see some very large, multidirectional and oriented lugs to favour traction. Lugs across and around the contour for greater stability and grip when the ground is sloped. A toe-cap to improve traction during the toe-off phase. And smaller heel lugs, opposite to those on the toe cap, which increase grip on descents.
In addition, the sole has flex grooves making it more comfortable to move forward and move with ease in order to prevent an excessively rigid sole.
On the move
What we liked most about these Salomon shoes is their ability to offer excellent comfort and performance in all types of situations. They are, in our opinion, the “all-terrain” shoes par excellence.
It is true that with them we have walked more than run, trying to be faithful to the main use for which they are intended (more trekking than running). We have already noticed that the outsole and midsole do not absorb as much as shoes originally designed for running in the mountains. If you run with them on you will notice a slower and rougher feel than with specific running models.
Their maximum performance, on the other hand, stands out when hiking at a good pace on steep terrain. In these circumstances the grip of the Contagrip sole is very good. With the ability to grip in any terrain and conditions that lend themselves to it. This provides great stability in the foot strike and an excellent feeling of support confidence.
The Salomon XA PRO 3D v8 GTX are one of the most complete trekking shoes on the market. For those looking for comfort and performance in their mountain hikes. A model that, in addition, thanks to the GORE-TEX you will be able to use in the worst weather conditions.
Traction on slippery rocks
Support for narrow feet
Model XA PRO 3D GTX
Upper: 3D Mesh and SensiFit
– Sole: Contagrip MA
Drop: 11mm -24,7mm in toe and 35,7mm in heel
Available sizes: 40 EU to 49+1/3 EU
Weight: 370g (in size 8,5US)
Colours available Black; Grey/Black/Yellow; Light Blue; Blue/White/Black
More information here