NOTE! This site uses cookies and similar technologies. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies from this website.
I understand
More Info

Salomon's OUTline shoe provides everyday outdoor comfort and performance in a great value package, read the full review below to find out more.

salomon outline gtx op
Best for...
Those with limited space in their shoe cabinet
Overall Score
Genuine outdoor versatility
Lack of grip on greasy rocks

This review was originally published in November 2018 and has been updated to reflect ongoing use.

There's been a steady rise in mountain lovers donning lightweight shoes for their outdoor adventures and one of the most popular pieces of footwear for thru hikers in the US isn't a sturdy walking boot but a trail running shoe. Lightness, cushioning and comfort on long hikes has won over many converts and I've shamelessly jumped on the bandwagon myself, leading to some of my most comfortable hiking days, even when carrying a heavy pack. If you have strong ankles and the going isn't too tough then there's little need for high-ankle boots, and despite the perceived benefits and security of a big, heavy, stiff sole, a trainer can often do the job just as well, altogether making for a compelling argument for pared down, lightweight walking shoes.

Salomon clearly want to take a ride on this bandwagon too and are using their vast experience in trail running and lightweight walking shoes to make the OUTline GTX. They claim 'sneaker-like comfort that's ready for the mountains' and that's exactly what you're buying when you invest in these. The OUTline's have the key elements of what you look for in your footwear when heading out into the hills - a Contagrip outsole with deep, well-spaced lugs, Gore-Tex waterproofing, and a protective midsole. But slip these on and they feel like a cross between a pair of trail runners and a more casual trainer, immediately comfortable rather than highly taught and technical. Salomon have opted for a traditional lacing system rather than the ubiquitous Speedlace, we love the efficiency and practicality of Speedlace but the more everyday lacing of the OUTline helps tone down the overall look for use off the mountain as well. And perhaps this is where the OUTline really excels, as an everyday outdoor shoe. Take the OUTline away from the trails and onto a bike, canal towpath or into the woods and they're just as relevant, making for a more versatile and therefore potentially better value buy.

On the trails the Ortholite insole and EVA midsole provide just the right amount of cushioning and the shank below gives enough protection from stones and rocks on all but the most gnarly terrain. Stability is as you would expect from a lightweight trainer inspired shoe, you'll either love or hate the way this feels in the mountains. We love the more natural movement through the environment and the reduction in fatigue versus a heavy boot, but if you're more used to rigid footwear then this can take some getting used to.

The mesh upper has a welded sensifit overlay which adds an element of durability to the material as well as working with the laces to form the shoe around the foot and hold it firmly in place, which it does well. A small protective toe bumper boosts durability at the vulnerable front of the shoe and the sensifit overlay runs high around the back of the heel which helps prevent scuffing.

Salomon's proprietary Contagrip sole has been tried and tested many times by the Active Traveller team and it always impresses on variable terrain, only really falling down (hopefully only figuratively!) on smooth, greasy rocks and tree roots, where the rubber isn't quite sticky or densely packed enough to provide a stable footing. What it is though is durable, we've now been wearing these shoes for a year with little noticeable wear to the tread, and rubber compounds are always a trade off between durability and stickiness anyway. Durability is also good across the rest of the shoe, it has stood the test of multiple outings without any problems so far.

As with many other Salomon shoes the midfoot is narrow and the toe box has a precise fit, so if you've got wide feet give this one a miss. Presuming the form fits though the OUTline shoes feel cosseting, like an extension of the foot rather than an uncomfortable appendage.

While not an out and out 'fast and light' shoe the OUTline certainly feels great to converts of lightweight outdoor footwear. Although not amazing at any one thing we love the versatility and perhaps more so than any other shoe we've recently tested these have been chucked on without prejudice for a vast array of outdoor uses, from taking the kids to the park, to cycling to work, to hiking in the Brecon Beacons, the only downside is that the pub and town worthy looks make us a little twitchy about getting them dirty.

Share on

All our reviews are independent and unbiased. We may earn a commission when you buy from links to Amazon and other affiliates on this page.