REVIEW: SALOMON OUTLINE GX – A STUNNING SUV IN THE TRAFFIC JAMB OF TRAIL RUNNERS

REVIEW: SALOMON OUTLINE GX – A STUNNING SUV IN THE TRAFFIC JAMB OF TRAIL RUNNERS

Salomon was founded in France as a manufacturer of ski equipment following WWII. They produce quality equipment for hiking, climbing and skiing. Salomon has over 60 models in their line of trail and hiking shoes. The OUTline GTX, a new ‘everyday shoe’, draws from this experience and selects elements and features of their race-tested versions.

Salomon states that the sleek OUTline GTX is ideally suited for connecting with friends, having a lot of fun outside and discovering new places. It’s lightweight and flexible like a running shoe but has enough grip to protect you on any trail.

Salomon shoes can be worn for running, walking, and hiking.

SALOMON OUTLINE GTX Key Features

Discrete Appearance This shoe’s standout feature is its subtle Appearance. These shoes have a slim profile and a low-cut heel cuff. They are more like running shoes than trail runners.

A thin-walled upper is used to achieve the compact size. The heel cuff is lightly padded. The reinforcing information is printed onto the exterior mesh tops instead of stitched to panels or support straps. This flush treatment increases strength and stiffness while reducing weight and bulk. The logo treatment is simple and understated to match the pared-down exterior.

The colour I have is “Black/Phantom/Magnet”, which is subtle enough to escape attention when worn in the office.

Lightweight: These shoes are 30% lighter than my favourite outdoor shoes, the Merrell Moabs. They weigh 630g for size 42/3. They are 1/3 the weight of my Asolo leather bushwalking boots. The OUTline is similar in weight to running shoes.

Flat Laces Conventional: Many Salomon trail runners wear Quicklace speed lacing systems, including a Kevlar loop and a plastic toggle cam lock. This is all until you need to snap a toggle. These laces can be repaired more easily and complement the muted look of the shoe.

GTX is an abbreviation of Gore-Tex. The OUTline is made up of a Gore-Tex membrane sandwiched in between the outer and sock liner. Goretex in shoes is a double-edged weapon, so don’t be too excited. Although the membrane is very resistant to inbound water, it also prevents socks and shoes from drying out after they have been wet. A waterproof membrane has the disadvantage of being slower drying and less ventilation.

Ventilation makes your feet feel drier, cooler and less swelling. Open weave mesh uppers are a common feature in shoes with good ventilation. This open weave can allow dust, grit, and sand into the shoe and can cause abrasive issues on the feet. The OUTline GTX’s Gore-Tex membrane effectively blocks water, dust, grit, and other debris from getting into the shoe.

Lugged sole: With its sharply cornered lugs, the lugged outsole looks like a mud-terrain tyre. They are 4mm deep and spaced widely approximately. 25mm centres in the forefoot.

Salomon’s brand rubber compound is “Contagrip”. There are many variations available to suit different wear and friction requirements. High Traction Contagrip is the compound used in OUTline. Although grippy, it’s softer and less durable than Salomon High Abrasion Contagrip.

Is it a real trail runner?

Although it lacks the flared soles, angular heel Cuffs, speed lacing system, dynamic logos and speed lacing closure, the OUTline GTX is a true trail runner. Trail runners are designed to prevent excessive foot rotation. OUTline GTX has the required sole stiffness. The outsole is strong enough to withstand bush trails and has a rubber bumper to protect your toes. It is not as stiff as my Salomon XT Wings but firm as my XA Pro 3D.

WHAT ABOUT REAL-WORLD PERFORMANCE?

These shoes are smaller than other Salomon shoes, but they fit perfectly.

These shoes are great for running, walking and cycling. I could slip the narrow toe box into my bicycle toe clips to get to my weekly park run. The running performance is consistent with trail shoe expectations. My feet were protected from dirt and grit by the Gore-Tex membrane.

My socks were dry when I walked through the wet grass. Because the tongue is covered with bellows, waterproofing extends to the second top lacing eye loop. The maximum depth that can be safely waded in water is approximately 100mm.

Because of the aggressive lugs, the mud performance is exceptional. It was difficult to believe such a small contact area could be made on slippery surfaces. The boat ramp and polished wet rocks could grip the shoes with no additional caution. The 100% synthetic materials used in the uppers are easy to clean and dry quickly. This starkly contrasts with Merrell Moabs or any other shoe that uses leather.

OrthoLite is a worldwide supplier of major footwear brands. It is made of open-cell polyurethane and some recycled rubber. OrthoLite insoles can be machine washed, even though the bottom retains dirt and sand in its open cells. OrthoLite insoles are breathable and have a fabric-topped foam insole. They also retain long-term cushioning, as we know from other OrthoLite insoles.

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