Salomon XA Pro 3D XCR shoes

Xapro3dSuffering from more than the normal share of “let’s give every feature on the shoe a fancy buzzword and then put it all in the name” -itis, the Salomon XA Pro 3D XCR is nonetheless a great light hiker. Some people use it to run too, but there’s no way to force them to get help until they hurt someone.

As a light hiker they are indeed light at 30oz. They are waterproof as advertised, have a comfortable and secure footbed and the grip on the sole is excellent on dirt, mud and wet rock. The toe is armored too, a feature some shoes in this class give up.

The big thing for me is the Quickfit Kevlar lacing system. It’s more convenient than normal laces: just give it a yank, snug the coin-sized keeper up and tuck it into the elastic mesh pouch at the top of the tongue. I could definitely feel the narrow laces through the tongue when I really tightened them up for downhills, and though it wasn’t exactly painful it may put some people off. I also had an annoying squeak develop in one shoe, so every other step on a hard surface drove me crazy. Other than that the XA is a high-performing and very comfortable shoe.

Six-month update: I had to return the first pair because the squeaking got bad enough to provoke comments from total strangers. The lace on the second pair broke within days, so back they went. The guy at the return counter at REI said they get a lot of these returned, although there are replacement laces available. People seem to either love them or hate them, depending on whether they get a good pair or bad pair, or their tolerance for going through a pair every season.

$125.00 at REI




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