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98 / 100 based on 5 expert reviews
If climbing performance is high on the list of approach shoe qualifications, the Wildfire Edge is a great choice.
[T]his is one of the best approach shoes I’ve tested. Nice work Salewa!
The Wildfire Edge stands out from other approach shoes.
The shoe strikes the perfect balance between walking comfort and climbing performance.
Overall, this sturdy shoe shines on rough trails and steeper, class 4 terrain, like you’ll find in the Tetons, Rocky Mountains, or the Cascades.
-The Wildfire Edge, the Salewa Wildfire’s leather sibling, is a technical approach shoe designed for those who need enhanced precision in their step. It is included in Salewa’s 100% blister-free selection of shoes. It comes engineered with the Switchfit System—a brand-owned technology that, by configuring the lace a certain way, “switches” the shoe to either climbing mode or hiking mode.
-It is imbued with EXA Shell and the 3F system. These two Salewa-exclusive technologies work together to give the foot extra support while allowing the wearer to pull off maneuvers with as much flexibility as possible.
The Salewa Wildfire Edge is a low-cut approach shoe for men and women. Its climbing lacing delivers a personalized and secure lockdown. It works in tandem with the 3F system to lock the heel in place as well as give it additional support. Its to-toe construction allows users to have a more dialed-in fit around the toe box.
Doubling down on fit personalization is the Wildfire Edge’s default insole, called Multi Fit Footbed Plus (MFF+). This is made possible by the footbed’s interchangeable layers which are capable of adapting to the contours of the user’s foot. Its layers can be configured to give the shoe’s interior either a narrow or medium fit.
What supplies hikers with sufficient surface grip in the Salewa Wildfire Edge is the Pomoca Speed Mtn outsole. This component, which is made entirely of butilic compound (rubber), is capable of producing enough friction on both wet and dry surfaces. Its diamond-shaped protrusions or lugs bolster its ability to provide surefootedness over loose- or soft-soiled terrain.
Salewa shoemakers built it with a climbing zone (the outsole’s smoothed-out front edge) to help wearers perform edging maneuvers in safety. Its presence allows approach hikers to mount on ledge-like projections without requiring them to slip into their rock climbing shoes.
The Salewa Wildfire Edge protects and cushions the foot with its stout heel midsole. It proactively absorbs shock thanks to its thick yet cushy construction. It transitions to the shoe’s Edging Plate—a flexible yet sturdy component that promises adequate support in edging situations.
Right on top of the heavy-duty midsole and the Edging Plate is the removable MFF+ insert. This footbed comes in two parts: A padded top layer and a brace-like bottom layer. They attach to each other with the use of hook-and-loop (Velcro) patches.
Suede leather, with a thickness of 1.6 mm, is what makes up the majority of the Wildfire Edge’s low-top upper. Its interior is lined with breathable mesh. It is equipped with 3D-injected EXA Shell overlays for abrasion protection. Salewa designers armed it with an anti-rock heel cup for improved rearfoot support, and a hard-wearing toe cap for added defense against bumpy hazards.
It has a pull loop at the heel to help wearers slip in and out of the shoe with relative ease. Its lockdown system is comprised of combination eyelets and a synthetic lace.
The Wildfire Edge is part of Salewa’s roster of quality approach-centric kicks. That said, the shoe shares the limelight with another gear from the same brand—the Wildfire GTX. Gain knowledge of their key differences in the following list.
Footbed technology. The Salewa Wildfire Edge, as previously discussed (see Midsole section), has a semi-modular footbed, called MFF+. The Wildfire GTX, on the other hand, has its supply of underfoot comfort sourced from its Ortholite footbed. Both components are removable.
Waterproofing. Between the two competing approach shoes, only the Wildfire GTX is watertight. Yes, it comes with a waterproof yet breathable liner from Gore-Tex, called Extended Comfort.
Weight. Hikers might find the Wildfire GTX as the more favorable shoe on this front. Indeed, it is lighter than the Salewa Wildfire Edge by roughly 30 grams.
Vegan construction. In this round, the Salewa Wildfire GTX bags the crown by being a vegan-friendly approach shoe. It is made of a set of materials devoid of any animal substance.