Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Extremely comfortable, easy to adjust laces, the lightest hiking shoe we reviewed, more versatile than other hiking shoes
Cons: Not as tough traction as other hiking shoes, the uppers are less supportive than other hiking shoes, difficult to tighten laces enough for long hikes
Best Uses: Day hikes, climbing approaches, long around town walks, as a comfortable everyday shoe
The Salomon X-Overs are so comfortable that once we tried them on, they became our go-to shoes for everything. Even with a whole pile of top-of-the-line hiking shoes to choose from, when given the option, we reached for these puppies. We decided to honor them with our Top Pick Award simply because they are wonderful to wear and they are the lightest hiking shoes we reviewed (1.47 lbs per pair). The padded upper cushions your foot and feels like wearing a slipper. The speed-lace is easy to use and makes the shoe quick to put on and take off. The X-Over is one of the most versatile hiking shoes we examined, blurring the line between hiking shoe, approach shoe, and town shoe. The downside is that the upper, though pillowy and breathable, is not very supportive. The laces are also hard to crank down tight enough to hold your foot snugly, making these not the best choice for hiking long distances or carrying heavy weight. If you need something more supportive, go with the Merrell Siren Sport, which weighs about the same as the X-Over, or the Adidas Outdoor Terrex Fast X Mid Gore-Tex - Women's, which snugly cradles the foot and has a higher cut for ankle protection. For an equally versatile yet waterproof shoe, the Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra are an outstanding choice.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
Surprisingly, the Salomon X-Over is tied with the Merrell Siren Sport - Women's for being the lightest hiking shoe we reviewed, weighing 1.47 lbs per pair. (Actually, the X-Over weighed in at 0.04 ounces less than the Sirens.) For an unassuming hiking shoe, that looks suspiciously like a climbing approach shoe, it is an unlikely champion for lightweight hiking. One of the main reasons to select a hiking shoe over a hiking boot is the reduced weight, which results in less energy expended by the hiker. If going lighter is your goal, the Salomon X-Overs are an excellent choice.
By far the most comfortable shoes in this review, the X-Over became out go to shoe for everything: hiking, going to the grocery store, approaching climbs. Heck, we even wore them to a three-day music festival because they were comfortable to stand in all day long. The plush, padded upper coupled with an easy to use speed-lace and a sole that is sticky but not too bulky makes this shoe versatile and heavenly to wear. The only downside is that for hiking, it is difficult to pull the lace tight enough to support your foot, which is not as comfortable for long distances.
The cushy, flexible upper of these shoes is very comfortable, however it is not stiff enough to provide a great deal of support. By contrast, the Siren Sports, which weigh almost the same, have a very stiff and supportive upper, and would make a great alternative choice for someone wanting a more protective shoe. They do have the same 3D chassis system found in the Salomon XA Pro 3D, which adds stability to the shoe, but we find the upper of the other model to be overall more supportive than this model.
The lugs on the sole of the X-Over are somewhat small and uniform, especially in comparison to a traction heavy-hitter like the Patagonia Drifer A/C - Women's. The sole performs like a sticky rubber sole on a climbing approach shoe: it gives you decent traction on the trail, and extra friction is scrambling over boulders and rocks. This allows for the shoe to perform well in multiple scenarios. If you prefer a hiking shoe with deeper lugs and tougher traction, check out some of the other hiking shoes like the Drifter or the Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 GTX - Women's, which would be more grabby.
Similar to an approach shoe, or Keen shoes, the X-Over has sole rubber that reaches up over the toe. This protects your toes from stubbing against rocks, and also protects the shoe from wear in a high use area.
Water Resistance / Breathability
The light, padded upper provides comfort and plenty of breathablility. The X-Overs do not have a waterproof membrane, which makes them quick to dry and pleasant to wear in hot conditions.
Best Application / Versatility
Since the upper is not very supportive, the X-Over is not the ideal shoe for backpacking with weight or for long distance hiking. Other than that, this shoe works for just about anything from moderate hikes to walking the dog.
For $130, the X-Overs are fairly average in price for a technical shoe. They aren't the best deal out there, but they won't break the bank either.
— McKenzie Long
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Most recent review: November 12, 2012
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