I like my Salomon XA PRO 3D ULTRA 2 GTX shoes. I bought them back in the fall because I figured I’d need something to keep my feet dry when the ground inexplicably is covered in wetness all winter. Why not just wear your Gore Tex LL Bean Duck Boots, you ask? Good question. No good answer though. I had convinced myself that I would want some shoes that I could run in while it was wet out, but I still haven’t worn them for that. They do offer better support and better traction than the Bean Boots though. And they don’t hurt my left big toe.
These shoes are great. I really enjoy wearing them. They’ve become my “cold weather Chacos” in that I’ve worn them every day since I got them. I’m contemplating getting rid of all the other shoes I own and only wearing these and my Chacos. They’re just really great for this lifestyle that I have found myself in. Even better than Chacos, they protect my feet from the gutter sludge that inhabits the areas just off the sidewalk, so when I’m engaged in a really great conversation when stepping into the street (or playing 2048 on my phone) and I step into the gutter, my feet aren’t covered in a mixture of spent cooking oil, human and dog urine/fecal matter, water, gasoline and any other substance that you don’t want on your feet. It isn’t listed on the official product description, but that’s probably the best part of these shoes.
A lot of my time involves walking, and these shoes do that really well. Even after hours of walking tons of different types of pavement and stairs, they don’t hurt my feet, ankles, or knees.
Spending most of my time on an Asian college campus, it’s not rare that I end up in an impromptu Basketball, Soccer, or Frisbee game, and although they weren’t designed specifically for it, these shoes are more than suitable for cutting and jumping.
They’re also really comfortable on your feet. When laced up, they feel like some sort of waterproof, protective sock that has a supportive rubber soul. The laces aren’t really laces, either, they’re like this cinch string that’s in a loop and you just pull it tight and then slide the thing down, locking it into place, and then you can tuck the long part into this special pouch on the tongue. So like a very versatile, capable pair of velcro shoes you don’t even have to worry about tying them. 3rd grade Fraser rejoices.
I definitely don’t go on the kinds of adventures that Salomon designs their products for, but when I cinch that lace thing down while waiting on the elevator to reach the 26th floor, I feel like I could go run up a glacier. And that’s stuff that I like.