• Salewa - Firetail 3 Approach Shoe - Men's - Black Olive/Papavero
  • Salewa - Firetail 3 Approach Shoe - Men's - Black Olive/Papavero
Salewa - Firetail 3 Approach Shoe - Men'sView Larger Image

Salewa Firetail 3 Approach Shoe - Men's

35% Off
$90.32 $138.95

Item #SFW0039


Tech Specs

Upper Material:
EXA Shell grid structure, breathable mesh
breathable mesh
climbing lace
Multi Fit Footbed+
Vibram Reptile
Claimed Weight:
12.7 oz
Recommended Use:
approach, climbing
Manufacturer Warranty:
2 years

Approach without caution.

The Salewa Men's Firetail 3 Approach Shoe helps you cross rough terrain in search of seldom-climbed crags. Unlike its Gore-Tex-equipped brother, this one doesn't use a waterproof membrane so it's more breathable and lighter, making it ideal for hot, dry environments such as the desert.

The EXA Shell grid structure wraps around your upper foot to provide a precise fit and perfect front-foot balance while also minimizing abrasion of the breathable mesh upper. The 3F System connects to the lacing to wrap around your heel and mid-foot as you tighten the laces in order to lock your heel down and reduce fatigue and friction.

Two interchangeable layers in the Multi Fit Footbed+ allow you to customize the fit to suit your foot shape and size. Cleansport NXT antimicrobial technology inhibits the growth of odor-causing microbes to limit foot funk. A wide climbing area behind the toes on the Vibram Reptile outsole helps you climb and scramble with confidence, and its Megagrip compound ensures dependable traction on wet and dry surfaces alike.

  • EXA Shell grid structure
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Multi Fit Footbed+
  • Cleansport NXT antimicrobial technology
  • Vibram Reptile outsole
  • Climbing lacing
  • Reviews
  • Q & A


    I love the fit of these shoes. After a few months of occasional wear the laces broke where it rubs against the lace used as an eyelet. I couldn't believe it. I reached out to Salewa and was told to go buy some at a running shoe store. Not the kind of customer service I expected. Salewa will not get my business again.

    Unanswered Question

    Where can I find replacement laces?

    The Worst!

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: Runs small
    • Size Bought: 44.5

    Do yourself a favor and buy something else. These shoes neither climb as well as Five Tennies or hike as well as La Sportiva Boulder Xs but my main problem with them is the durability of the lacing system.

    See those upper lace loops crafted from the same material as the laces? You wouldn't run your rope directly over a piece of webbing would you? No, 'cause you know you gunna die for sure. Well the fine folks at Salewa thought it would be a good idea to essentially do that. Took about five days of use before all those lace loops blew out from the laces running over them. Salewa's response? Wouldn't even respond to my email.

    I could tell you that they run about a half size small but I'd be doing ya'll a disservice by helping you buy these shoes. Seriously, buy something else.

    The Worst!

    dude they look shot

    firetail 3

    Gets the job done in style

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: 11.0

    Im new to Salewa, I was looking for an approach shoe that had style and function and landed here. These shoes are superb approach shoes that are comfortable, true to size and well constructed. Right out of the box, I knew they were what I was looking for....a quality shoe with a sticky sole and a unique construction.

    GREAT shoe!

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: True to size

    I've taken these out and about and they are great approach shoes. Great looking, but sticky and comfy for a full day of hiking / climbing. Breathability is not great, but really my only complaint.

    Great hiking and approach shoe

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: 8

    These are the best approach shoes I've had. they have a slightly more flexible sole than most so not as good for packing a real heavy load but much better for everyday wear.

    Thoroughly Impressed

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Size Bought: 11

    I bought these to replace my Evolv Cruzer Psyches. I was never really happy with them and they wore out after less than a full season. I have already used these on challenging approaches that require boulder hopping and scrambling as well as longer approaches on both hiker and climber trails. These have performed extremely well and inspire confidence when moving over rough terrain. I also used these on some moderate slab routes and couldn't believe how well they gripped. I didn't miss my climbing shoes at all and was really glad I was wearing them for the long slabby walk off. Just to see what they could do, I tested out their edging capabilities by playing around on some easy boulder problems at my local gym. The stiff sole and sticky rubber performed admirably well for edging. Granted there was no sensitivity, but they stuck to some small foot chips. These are really easy to take on and off which makes switching between climbing and belaying easy at the sport crag. And their stiff and rigid sole kept my foot protected from sharp rocks during approaches. Furthermore, I really like how well these fit my foot when I tighten them down to do some moderate climbing, I leave them a bit looser when just hiking. I did order these about a half size smaller than my street shoes so I could get a nice tight fit but that was intentional, they do seem to be sized to fit correctly. I would certainly recommend them and a friend of mine plans to wear a pair of these for 24HHH next year.

    Colorado Crushers

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: 12

    I had heard about Salewa quality so when I saw these shoes on sale, I bought them. My wife and I hike and scramble around the foothills and mountains of Colorado and there is no other shoe more capable than these. After our first hike, I went and bought my wife a pair as well. The weird thing about these shoes- we find ourselves talking about them... which is weird. My wife or I will most probably never buy another brand of hiking shoe. I've beat the hell out of these shoes, including hiking to the top of Loveland resort in the spring with a backpack water and all of my snowboard gear on it through rocky fields, streams and snow fields to the top of Torrey's and everywhere in between. It is worth noting that I "post holed" into hip deep snow with these shoes on a long hike and WALKED THEM DRY. I have never experienced hiking in a shoe (and a good pair of wool socks) that was completely submerged in water in wet and rugged conditions and walked them dry. I couldn't be more happy with these shoes.

    Good, but not what I expected

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: 10.5

    I chose the Salewa Firetail as my Rocky Mt shoes for Longs, Yale, and other mountains that have hike and significant scrambling. I like to get of trail to enjoy some extra scrambling and bouldering on the hikes.

    These shoes appeared to be good, and seemed to fit well. But I had to return them. The size was pretty true. But after about 8 or 9 days I could not get them to feel good on my feet during a hike. I tried many variations. The soles seemed hard (and loud) for an approach shoe. The traction was only slightly better, at best, than my Merrell Moab's.

    Best of everything

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: 42.5 european

    My Firetail 3 s are by far the best approach shoes I have had. I have owned several from FiveTen, Sportiva, Scarpa, but these are my favourites to be sure. These shoes are very durable and well made, the toe rand is more substantial and better bonded than other brands; the shoe is very light weight and importantly has a low bulk and no excessive use of padding; it has a very comfortable and uncomplicated footbed; the lacing system allows for. A very wide range of adjustability and finally they stick very well to slick rock and are nimble and precise. Salewa, please don't ever delete this model.

    Unanswered Question

    I have a question about durability. I briefly had an older version of Firetails and loved it - it was comfortable for hiking and even trail running and climbed great. But - one long climbing trip with lots of cracks and a scree descent, and the stitching on both sides of both shoes was trashed; I had to return them. So, how are these holding up? I'd love something that lasts more than a few trips.


    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: 11.5

    So I'll admit first off that I committed a rookie mistake with these shoes.... the first time I put them on was in the Lupine Meadows trailhead when I was about to start a 20 hour day climbing the Grand Teton with 5 of my buddies. I was worried I'd end the day with shredded, blistered, and broken feet.... but I didn't.

    With the Firetail 3, Salewa decided to open the toebox quite a bit, which lends to a more comfortable fit for more users. Hiking up dusty trails, loose talus, and wobbily boulder, I found the shoe to be grippy (both on rock AND dirt) and supportive, but all together not too much different from a hiking shoe. In the past I'd felt that most approach shoes were far too stiff and ungainly when actually hiking; these shoes felt to be a happy medium.

    After refilling water at the Lower Saddle we meandered over to the base of the Petzoldt ridge. I was leading the second party and watched the first leader pull through the moves. "You know what," I thought "I'm going to give this a shot in my approach shoes". It was cold and we had a long day; I really didn't want to fuss with climbing shoes. I started up the climb and within the first few moves I had to pull over an awkward bulge with "thin" feet; I was unsure if I could trust the shoes. I communicated to my partners that I may want to switch to climbing shoes, but I decided to calm down and give it a true effort. Stuck the feet and pulled the bulge, no problem. After that it was easy to trust the shoes, my buddy said I "became a different climber" I had every bit of confidence that the shoes would perform; all of Petzoldt and all of the Upper Exum were easily within the realm of the Firetail 3's.

    Throughout the day I encountered cracks, slab, vertical, overhanging (ever so slightly), and these shoes never let me down. I'm seriously impressed with how well they climb. When I felt I needed a little bit extra, the lacing pattern really allows you to snug the shoe down without choking off any parts of your feet.

    The downfall of most approach shoes is... on the way down. No traction, lots of slipping, and a sore lower body. Again, with the Firetails on it felt like any old hiking shoe. Only difference is the beefy rubber toecap... which I am extremely grateful for because I'm pretty sure I kicked every rock and tripped over every root on the way down.

    These are now my true *approach* shoes. Not light hikers or trail runners or whatever, these are for approach and easy alpine climbing. Any trip that features 5.6-5.8 alpine climbing, this will probably be the only shoe I wear. Long hikes on trail/talus/boulder that features scrambling, these are the shoes I will bring. I don't want to put unnecessary miles on them around town or when strictly trail hiking... because these shoes are *that* good.

    Size these at your true shoe size or maybe a half size down. I'm a 11.5/12 (depending on width) and I chose the 11.5. Definitely a bit snug for me but not too small.

    Reach out with any questions or comments, I'd love to help you reach your climbing goals.


    Hey Ben,
    How is the midsole for cushioning and also support? I have the Firetail EVO, and there is just enough cushion and the midsole is stiff. There is also a medial post in the midsole which helps with overpronation. How would the Firetail 3 compare?

    Comfortable and Sticky!

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: 43

    Been eyeing a new approach shoe and wanted to see what Salewa had to offer. I know they come from a footwear back round and knew they made really technical shoes. I had always assumed they were for narrow feet, key word assume.

    So these fit me perfect right out of the box. I do not think I have a narrow, or wide foot, working with a lot of fitters and reps they all unanimously say I have an average width male foot. I was expecting something really tight, particularly in the toe box. Not true though, they were fine. Messed with the lacing a bit to remove any heel slip. Also at times when things were looking a bit more technical I tightened up the toe box just a bit to ensure my foot did not slip in side.

    As far as durability goes, I only got to try them a handful of times but, I used them in the most formidable activity that generally ruins my gear, canyoneering. After I cleaned the mud off of them I didnt see anything wrong, not even a ton of scratches. I know it was only 2 days of outings but, I felt like it was at least some indicator of how they would hold up over time.

    As far as stickiness goes, they are awesome. Was able to chimney easily, and use the flat stiff rubber underneath the big toe to edge effectively on small nubbins. My normal approach shoe is the Scarpa Vitamin and I feel like these climb almost as well. I bet if I used both pairs equally over the next year you would find more wear on the Vitamins but, I know the Vitamins will jam in cracks better when climbing, just a tighter shoe. I would put the Firetail right behind the Vitamin in terms of climbing 5th class but, above it in terms of comfort on the trail. Depends on what you want to get out of the shoe, please reach out with any questions you may have regarding this.

    On the first day we were forced into a pot hole full of water. Obviously soaked the shoes. Didnt feel that much loss of grip which was surprising. I removed the insole to let them dry. By morning they were pretty much dry so was pleased with the time that took as I didnt need to put on a soaking wet shoe in the morning.

    Please note the wire that goes around the heel does not actually tighten but, when you tighten the laces it provides a more secure heel lock than other options without it.

    I am a 43 in running shoes, mountaineering boots, and the same goes for the Salewa Firetail.

    Overall I felt extremely stable, comfortable, and confident with the shoes ability to throw anything at it minus really heavy pack loads. Is a great shoe for those that find themselves in 4th and low 5th class climbing situations though.

    If you have any questions regarding this approach shoe or others please feel free to reach out directly.

    Bill Porreca

    Comfortable and Sticky!


    4 5 35 3 22
    4.5 5.5 36 3.5 22.5
    5 6 36.5 4 23
    5.5 6.5 37 4.5 23.5
    6 7 38 5 24
    6.5 7.5 38.5 5.5 24.5
    7 8 39 6 25
    7.5 8.5 40 6.5 25.5
    8 9 40.5 7 26
    8.5 9.5 41 7.5 26.5
    9 10 42 8 27
    9.5 10.5 42.5 8.5 27.5
    10 11 43 9 28
    10.5 11.5 44 9.5 28.5
    11   44.5 10 29
    11.5 45 10.5 29.5
    12 46 11 30
    12.5 46.5 11.5 30.5
    13 47 12 31
    13.5 48 12.5 31.5
    14 48.5 13 32
    14.5 49 13.5 32.5
    15 50 14 33