For a long time I thought about the purchase of new hiking boots. They should be comfortable and lightweight, yet sturdy and provide a good grip in moderate terrain. The most important decision criterion for me was good freedom of movement with the best possible support and stability for ankles and ligaments. Decades of intensive skateboard consumption and the consequences of it also take their toll on hiking.
After some research, my choice is on the Alp Flow Mid GTX from Salewa, now I have tested the boots in foggy, damp late autumn and in winter extensively.
Construction and processing
The manufacturer Salewa promises a light, medium-high hiking boot, thanks to GORE-TEX Surround technology waterproof and breathable, firm grip and precise fit through the 3F system, rounded off with a Vibram Hike Approach sole and the Alpine Fit 100% bubble free -Warranty. Striking in the unusual design are mainly the large, laterally extending vents, edged with a circumferential rubber protection, starting from the reinforced toe cap to the heel, above it, the rest of the shoe is made of fine nubuck leather.
The Vibram sole has a pronounced profile, the climbing shoe line starts far in the toe area and allows for individual adjustment.
The 3F system fixes the foot in the ankle and heel area, providing a tight fit between the top lacing system, reinforced rear heel, Vibram sole at the bottom, and the skeletal rubber surround over the vents to the reinforced toe cap, yet giving the shoe plenty of flexibility long and fatigue-free hiking.
Full of anticipation, I unpacked the shoe immediately after delivery and dressed, the shoe is neatly processed and sewn clean, I have noticed no defects or processing errors.
Fit and test
The shoe is very comfortable and can be adjusted by the lacing well on my narrow feet well. For a hiking shoe the Alp Flow GTX is very light, in size 41 it weighs about 556 grams. The Alp Flow GTX is pleasantly air-conditioned and prevents even on longer trips a sweat of the feet.
I was lucky and was able to test the shoes on a first hike in early November in heavy snowfall in the Alps, and despite the large ventilation openings, the feet remained warm and dry. On another tour in the Black Forest, I found the courage to test the GORE-TEX membrane in a stream bed with a few steps through ankle-deep water. In the right shoe, it was noticeably cooler, surprisingly, the socks remain dry.
The shoe provides a very good grip and guarantees a strong slope, away from the roads and also provides a stable stand even with lateral edge load on the slope - I have not kinked once. The Vibram sole grabs well on muddy ground, wet grass and foliage, is sure-footed on rocky terrain and the rolling behavior is still pleasantly soft for a hiking boot. Of course, on wet wood, the shoe offers little support and especially on snowy roots I slipped a few times. But there should be no rubber compound, which also attacks - without spikes - on damp wood.
The concept of the Alp Flow GTW works, the combination of stability and freedom of movement in combination with good breathability and the waterproof GORE-TEX membrane results in a light, comfortable all-rounder that will not disappoint you off the beaten path and in bad weather.
The shoe is extremely comfortable to wear, I did not have a single bladder over the entire trial period. The Alp Flow GTX convinced me in any case and I will certainly enjoy it for many years to come.