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81 / 100 based on 8 expert reviews
If you don't plan on doing any exposed scrambling in your approach shoes, these are comfy for the long haul.
Salewa’s Wildfire is another technical approach shoe that fuses the best features of both climbing and hiking shoes.
[T]he Wildfire hits a great mix of weight and performance for long approaches and semi-technical terrain.
They performed better than any other approach shoes I have owned in the past.
Did they last? Yes, admirably.
-The Salewa Wildfire is engineered with components that help hikers navigate their way across rugged terrain. One of these components is the Pomoca Speed Mtn outsole which promises surefootedness on a variety of surfaces.
-It comes with two brand-exclusive technologies: EXA Shell and the 3F system. The former furnishes the shoe with cage-like overlays which give the user enhanced lateral support and stability. The latter, on the other hand, delivers extra heel and ankle support without sacrificing flexibility.
-The Wildfire is one of Salewa’s vegan approach shoes. Products considered vegan-friendly are completely free of any animal substance.
Salewa’s Wildfire is a low-cut approach shoe for men and women. Users can get a secure and personalized lockdown in it using the hiker’s Climbing lacing. The top-most eyelets of this closure system are directly linked to the 3F system, and pulling on them locks in the heel further. This type of lacing mechanism also allows for a dialed-in fit around the forefoot, thanks to its to-toe construction.
The Wildfire has its provision of traction sourced from its grippy Pomoca outsole. It is based on a type of rubber compound that gives it adequate slip and skid resistance on different types of terrain, be they wet or dry. Diamond-shaped protrusions (also known as lugs) are scattered all around it to help travelers gain a secure footing over loose soil. Its designers furnished its front end with a climbing zone, making it capable of taking on light ascents—especially where edging is concerned.
This approach shoe by Salewa uses a long-wearing midsole to grant wearers sufficient cushioning underfoot. It is engineered especially thick around the heel for increased shock absorption. Salewa engineers opted to pair it with a breathable footbed from Ortholite. This supplementary component provides not only additional comfort but also extra support.
Mesh is what makes up the majority of the Salewa Wildfire’s low-top upper. Its inner liner is also made of mesh, making the shoe highly breathable. Both of its sides are engineered with 3D-injected EXA Shell overlays for support and improved abrasion protection. The 3F system with which the gear is imbued puts a sturdy covering around the heel zone for extra security. The upper’s front end, on the other hand, comes with a protective cap to shield the toes from bumps and knocks during climbs.
Most of its lace holes are regular eyelets reinforced with hard-wearing overlays. The top-most pair of eyelets are plated for added durability. Set through them is a sturdy, flat synthetic lace.
Salewa has been putting out high-quality approach-centric shoes for years, and the Wildfire is a testament to that. The featured shoe is a promising product, indeed, yet it is not the only one that gives the brand a good name. Enter the Salewa Wildfire GTX. These two kicks have a number of similarities—overall design, sole technologies, and vegan-friendly construction—to name a few. That said, it is the things that set them apart that can help the wearer choose which to keep between the two. These distinctions will be touched on in the aspects listed below.
Weight difference. Those who prefer to be as nimble as possible on their approach journey might find the Wildfire as the more viable shoe. Yes, it is lighter than the Salewa Wildfire GTX by an average of 15 grams.
Asking price. On this front, the Salewa Wildfire takes the cake yet again. Indeed, this approach shoe is cheaper than the Wildfire GTX by approximately 40 U.S. dollars.
Waterproofing technology. Between the two Salewa approach shoes, only the Wildfire GTX has proper water protection. It is imbued with Gore-Tex’s Extended Comfort technology to fence out virtually all sorts of wet elements while keeping its interior adequately breathable.
The Wildfire is built with quality components, and as such, is designed to last. That said, its lifespan can be extended by doing the following:
- With a soft-bristled brush, scrape off any foreign substance off its surface.
- If the Wildfire gets wet, leave it to dry (preferably without its footbed and lace) in a breezy yet shaded location.
- When the shoe will not be used for a long time, store it somewhere cool and moisture-free. Do not leave it exposed to direct sunlight.