Salewa Wildfire Pro Shoes

SALEWA WILDFIRE PRO SHOES 1

The Salewa Wildfire Pro shoe is designed as an approach shoe, although it can be used for many other purposes such as trail running, hiking, or scrambling. I found it to be a shoe that was well-suited for variable terrain such as rocky trails, scree and talus fields, and light climbing.

The manufacturer lists the weight at 440 grams, but that is for each shoe. They are fairly lightweight at just over 33 ounces (920 grams) for the pair when I weighed them. When travelling along trails, they feel light on your feet.

For my taste, the selection of colors available is a bit loud. The women’s is bright yellow and bright, light blue; and the men’s is red, green, yellow and blue, all on one shoe – which seems too much. Others may like the visibility and uniqueness of these choices, but I am just a bit more conservative in my color palette choices.

SALEWA WILDFIRE PRO SHOES 2

The soles of these shoes are made of a Vibram material, which I have always trusted. The small, round cleats combined with the chevron shaped treads provide great grip on every surface I went over with the exception of steep, grassy side slopes and hardened, icy snowfields. The low-profile lugs provide the added benefit of decreasing the impact on heavily used trails compared with large, deep ones.

One of the features I particularly like is the lacing pattern and loops for the laces. I was able to tighten one area of the laces and keep others a bit looser. The overlapping tongue was comfortable with one exception: where the outside edge of the tongue attaches, there is a mesh which can bunch up. This caused a pressure point to develop on the top of my foot. Eventually, I found that pulling it to the top of the tongue removed the pressure.

SALEWA WILDFIRE PRO SHOES 3

Before I took these shoes out in the backcountry, I wore them around town with a 30-pound pack on to see how comfortable they were and had no problems with them. However, on a seven-day, off-trail pack trip recently, I developed a hot spot on the back of one heel on the first day in under five miles. I treated it appropriately, but over the next few days a serious blister developed. The cause of the problem was the area of the shoe where the outer shell rounds over and is stitched to the inside of the heel area. The transition area from the outer shell to the inner material is hard and caused my blistering. The manufacturer could overcome this problem by inserting some sort of tapered transition from the one material to the other. Now if your feet are hard as rock or calloused, you may not have any issue at all. If not, you may want to spend some serious time breaking in these shoes.

SALEWA WILDFIRE PRO SHOES 4

SALEWA WILDFIRE PRO SHOES 5

I loved the hard toe of the shoe. Occasionally we all stub a toe on a rock or root while hiking or scrambling. These solid, tough toes have already saved me from having to abandon a scramble due to a toe injury. Both the toes and edges of the shoes are also awesome for gripping on scree fields or loose rock.

Some of the shoes and boots I own have the tendency to roll over on steep sidehills. These shoes held snug and tight around my feet even on the steepest slopes.

The manufacturer provides a “Multi-fit Footbed,” which is a fancy name for an insole. This is a convertible insole which allows the user to adjust the insole to better fit their individual foot configurations. I found it to fit just fine as it came from the box. Some people may want to use a softer or harder insole to suit the type of terrain or shape of their foot, or to reconfigure the stock insole.

I found the sizing to be true to my normal shoes and boots. It doesn’t seem you will need to upsize or downsize them, except to fit to the thickness of socks you wear or if you need a bit of extra toe box room.

The Bottom Line: Overall, I liked the Salewa Wildfire Pro Shoes. The way they work on many varied types of terrain is well-suited to my type of backcountry adventure. They were comfortable with the exception of the blister issue. Over multi-day backpack trips, they held up well and performed as expected of a high-end shoe. I was particularly impressed with how “sticky” they were on many varied surfaces from rock to scree to loose dirt. They fit snug and breathed well, so my feet didn’t get too wet. They dry out fairly quickly when wet, which is very important in the Pacific Northwest with our ever changing weather.

 

Salewa Wildfire Pro Shoes

8.8

Durability

9.0/10

Comfort

8.9/10

Weight

8.5/10

Fit

9.5/10

Water Resistance

8.0/10

Pros

  • Great soles that are very sticky
  • Hard toes for scrambling and toe safety
  • Won’t roll over on cross slopes
  • Variable adjustable insoles
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • A bit pricey
  • Need break-in period
  • Colors are a bit bright
Loading Facebook Comments ...

Leave a Reply