Searching for that new pair of all-around trail runner/light hiking shoe? Look no further than the Salomon XA Pro’s.
The XA Pro’s have quickly become some of my favourite shoes in my closet. I initially bought these to be simply a light hiker and camp shoe but now use them for everything from trail running, casual wear, hiking and even pavement pounding running in the city.
The XA Pro’s are a Salomon staple in the trail running category available in a non Gore-tex and Gore-tex version in both men’s and women’s retailing at $170 for the non Gore-tex and $200 for the Gore-tex, waterproof. The lacing sports the classic quick lace system and a durable Contragrip outsole to provide good grip on most terrain. While I have been in an older version, Salomon just released an updated XA Pro V8 model this spring 2020 boasting the same classic fit with some added stability while cutting down on the weight by 20 grams.
Best Uses: From the trail to town
The best use of these shoes may depend on whether you are looking at the Gore-tex or non Gore-tex versions. Personally, I have been sporting the non Gore-tex so for the sake of this review I’ll be focusing more on those. While no shoe is going to fill every need, the XA Pro’s come close, their lightweight, comfort and classic design are a good fit for casual days walking around town and their durability, stability and grip offer great support for running and light hiking in most terrain. While the non Gore-tex offer great breathability for any high intensity activity they run the risk of easily wetting through in wet or slushy conditions. For those willing to sacrifice some breathability the Gore-tex versions offer a great option for those looking for added weather protection for any winter running or use in wet conditions. As comfortable as they may be on the trail I would not however, recommend them for larger multi day hiking while carrying heavier weight as they may not provide the support needed while carrying excess weight you may have with a pack.
Material and fit:
The XA Pro’s offer great comfort and stability by blending a soft comfortable mesh upper with a strong durable contragrip outsole and 3D chassis for support. Durability wise, the greatest concern comes from the upper mesh and quicklace system that can be a pain to replace. I’ve had no issues with either, but durability is always a concern for any lightweight shoe meant for hard terrain. The quicklace system itself was an area of concern for me initially but has proven to be quite simple and convenient, providing a snug fit with no pressure areas despite the lack of adjustability to how you lace them and an easy stow away for excess lace on the tongue. I would classify the fit as an average width with ample width in the toe box which is slightly atypical from Salomon shoes which typically fit slightly narrower than most brands. Take this fit information with a grain of salt however, because every person’s foot is different, and nothing beats trying them on yourself to get an idea of the fit.
If you’re like myself and your budget doesn’t have space for a light hiker, trail runner and regular runner then The XA Pro is the shoe for you. They have been one of my favourite pairs of shoes to date with their simple, comfortable and versatile design and I highly recommend to anyone who is looking for a shoe that is lightweight, comfortable and ready for almost anything you can throw at it.