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Salewa's Mountain Trainers are back for another year of mountain bashing, but can they impress again?

salewa mountain trainer mid
Best for...
Regular hikes in the more rugged UK hills and mountains.
Overall Score
Holds the feet firm
Questionable grip on wet rock

Salewa have been making the Mountain Trainer for a few years and they've been well received by our test team, in men's, women's, low and mid versions. They're aimed at the alpine hiking crowd so any terrain with a lot of ups and downs, loose rock and mildly scrambly faces are fair game. We took these out along a challenging route in the Brecon Beacons which ticks all of those boxes and they didn't disappoint.

Heading straight up the hill in fresh boots is never recommended but that's exactly what we did in the Mountain Trainers, and thankfully they took little to no breaking in - we found them comfortable from the first step. Lacing up and getting them snug is easy thanks to classic alpine lacing to the toe and Salewa's excellent 3F heel cradle system allowing you to get a precise fit all over the boot. This is good for those with strangely shaped feet, where a lesser boot might be difficult to tweak over and around your lumps, bumps and splays. We found the toe box spacious enough without being cavernous, which again gives you precision without loss of comfort. The mid-stiff upper gives compliance which aids fit and lets your foot pivot in all the normal places while still offering good, solid support. None of the stitching of various panels inside the boot lead to blisters or soreness hinting at a well-constructed and well thought out boot.

We found the mid sole and outer quite lively on the trail with plenty of energy to bounce around, cushioning is also great with a good balance between trail feel and protection for all parts of the foot. There's a fairly pronounced drop from the heel to the forefoot which gives an energetic feel.

We found the Vibram outsole great in dry conditions, but the rubber isn't so sticky on greasy rocks, we really struggled in the Mountain Trainer low over Tryfan North Ridge (grade 1 scramble) in spitting rain and we think the sole unit on the mid is the same. There's a solid 'via ferrata' zone across the instep if that's your bag, if not it adds a bit of traction in that area across normal mountain terrain.

The Mountain Trainer low took some getting used to and its natural home is most definitely in the more rugged of the UK's mountains, but once we hacked over some in them they quickly grew on us. The mid version has the same great all day walking comfort and ability over technical terrain just with a little more support, not forgetting the associated weight increase which in fairness doesn't feel like a lot on the foot.

Overall this is one of our favourite boots for mountainous hiking, just forget the lowland stuff as they're wasted on it.

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