More pros than cons
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
- Fit: True to size
I was able to use my other gatored Salomon shoes while In Chamonix and in the rest of the Alps. They were fabulous. I also had a chance to see the custom built sock shoes Salomon was going to be offering from certain European Salomon stores at the little vendors village that was put up after the UTMB. They blew my mind with how light they were. I live in the States, so those were never an option for me.
When I saw these and already being a avid fan of Salomon gatored shoes, I had to give these a try.
What I like.. The gator, it makes getting into the shoe a little bit more of a hassle, but the debris protection is so worth it. I love how lightweight they are and they are the closest thing I have seen to those custom Salomon shoes I saw. I love the Contagrip soles on all my Salomon shoes, so these I know I can trust these while out on the trail. Not having that trust as your brain gets used to what and where you can place your foot is super important, so you don't have to worry about your foot placement constantly. I have used other shoes and ended up on the ground as my foot has gone out from under me. I love the consistency of the Contagrip soles and that trust is super important to me.
The only negatives I can think of and they aren't really negatives, knowing they are a race shoe. They don't give any firmness from what you feel underfoot, you feel everything. I first got them and was standing outside, It was almost a weird feeling, I could tell there was small rocks on the ground, something that in any of my other shoes I don't think I would have noticed. I don't think it is a bad thing, it is just a weird sensation having a shoe that allows you to feel certain things underfoot that you normally don't experience. I also had the same break in that I experienced in one other pair of shoes from Salomon, a linear tightness from the bottom of the laces, running left and right on my right foot, with a negligible amount of the same pressure on my left foot. I know feet are different, but I know that these shoes were problem. They are already getting better after a few uses, but I can still feel the difference.
Overall, I got them for going back to Chamonix and the Alps. Packing for a month and a half trip was time consuming and daunting in what to bring and what to leave home, packing for mountaineering, along with runs, hikes and scrambles, then having to haul that gear around if you do any traveling between locations, or to other parts of Europe, or even hauling everything back home. I have no problem trying to come up with the lightest gear I can, so I can enjoy myself once I get there. And don't worry.. You will fit right in. The amount of cool gear you see people wearing and using is insane.
These shoes fit my mindset in what I am trying to accomplish with my gear. Go light, go light, go light.