The Salewa Alpenrose 2 Mid GTX boots come close to being the ultimate in mountain footwear. They are lightweight, breathable, durable, and have impressive traction. We found ourselves comfortably talus hopping and scrambling in these boots, almost as if they were an approach shoe instead of a hiking boot. That said, they unfortunately fell a bit short in terms of support. Under the forefoot specifically, these boots felt like they had hardly any padding or cushion. This started to be an issue on longer hiking days when our feet began hurting as the miles added up.Editor's Note: This product review was updated on March 23, 2022, with additional buying recommendations and help comparing products.
Salewa Alpenrose 2 Mid GTX Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Good traction, lightweight design, water resistant
Cons: Lack support, narrow toe box
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Salewa Alpenrose 2 Mid GTX
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|Pros||Good traction, lightweight design, water resistant||Lightweight, comfortable, breathable, great traction, reasonable price||Wide toe box, lightweight, padded ankle support, durable lacing system provides stability, lugs and outsole for excellent traction||Affordable, super comfortable out of the box, lightweight, superior traction, breathable||Well-padded ankle, comfortable, breathable, inexpensive|
|Cons||Lack support, narrow toe box||Not as supportive as a traditional leather hiking boot||More expensive price tag, 0mm drop heel takes some adjustment time||Lack some durability of boots with thicker material||Lacks support underfoot, lacing system is not very durable|
|Bottom Line||A lightweight and durable boot designed for above-treeline travel||A lightweight, breathable, waterproof, and supportive hiking boot that excelled in multiple testing metrics and offers maximum control when moving through technical terrain||These hiking boots have a similar design and feel to your favorite running shoe while also offering a durable outsole, grippy lugs, and a spacious toe box||A hiking boot with a minimalist design that saves on weight while delivering high performance and excellent traction||These boots are consistent and comfortable right out of the box, but they fall short in terms of durability and water resistance|
|Rating Categories||Salewa Alpenrose 2...||La Sportiva Ultra R...||Altra Lone Peak ALL...||Salomon OUTline Mid...||Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP|
|Water Resistance (15%)|
|Specs||Salewa Alpenrose 2...||La Sportiva Ultra R...||Altra Lone Peak ALL...||Salomon OUTline Mid...||Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP|
|Weight (per pair)||1.61 lbs (size 7.5)||1.68 lbs (size EU 40)||1.60 lbs (size 8.5)||1.53 lbs (size 8.5)||1.96 lbs (size 7.5)
2.15 lbs (size 8.5)
|Upper||Breathable mesh||AirMesh, microfiber, TPU||eVent fabric||Synthetic textile||Suede and mesh|
|Width Options||Regular||Regular, Wide||Regular||Regular||Regular, Wide|
|Water Resistant Membrane||Gore-Tex Extended Comfort||Gore-Tex||eVent||Gore-Tex||M Select DRY|
|Sole||Pomoca Speed Hiking||FriXion XF 2.0 Rubber||DuraTread Rubber||Nonmarking Contagrip rubber||Vibram TC5+|
Our Analysis and Test Results
This boot shines in its lightweight durability, traction, and water resistance.
The Alpenrose 2 Mid GTX is designed for lightweight mountain travel. These boots are very different from the extra-cushioned, modern shoes in this review and the extra-stiff traditional hiking boots we've tested. The Alpenrose is restrained in both cushion and stiffness, falling short in overall comfort.
That said, we preferred it over the previous version of this model. This is mostly due to the upper, which is made from a softer, more forgiving fabric that contoured better to our foot shape over time. Though not as narrow as the previous version, we still found the Alpenrose 2 to squeeze our foot a bit in the forefoot. If width is a concern, you may want to size up. From our experience, these boots run a little small.
In this metric, we assess the level of stability and comfort the boots' midsole and insole provide. We consider ankle support and padding, midsole construction, and arch support. After a long day on the trail, it's clear which boots excel in this metric and which ones fall short. Unfortunately, the Salewa Alpenrose fell into the latter category. The forefoot is extremely flexible, meaning that there's a lot of mobility when the foot flexes forward. This is a good thing in some situations, but in terms of underfoot support, it can lead to pain and discomfort over a long period. We also found that this flexion caused a pinch in the top of the boot, where the ankle and foot meet.
The midsole and outsole of the Alpenrose were surprisingly thin, which resulted in us feeling every root and rock on the trail as it impacted the ball of our foot. This does not bode well for long-distance support and comfort. The original Alpenrose was very stiff underfoot. The Alpenrose 2 runs in the opposite direction with too much flexibility underfoot.
The Pomoca S-Path outsole is designed with an aggressive lug pattern and impressively sticky rubber. We were impressed by the performance of the Alpenrose 2 when it came to off-trail travel and boulder hopping. These were some of the only boots that compared to an approach shoe on rocky terrain. The lugs and tread pattern provide traction on loose scree as well as granite slabs, where it really comes down to the friction provided by the sole's rubber compound.
Much like our experience with the traction of these boots, the materials used in their construction make them a high performer in this metric as well. The mesh upper and Gore-Tex extended comfort membrane keep feet dry, even in wet springtime conditions. Our biggest hang-up here was not with moisture protection but their ability to breathe in hot conditions. Perhaps it is due to their dark color, or maybe because the water-resistant barrier is so effective, but the Alpenrose 2 got very hot in warm conditions, and our feet got very sweaty. Overall, their design lacked the breathability of some of the other mesh or synthetic models we've reviewed.
For a fully waterproof and durable boot with a Gore-Tex membrane, the Alpenrose 2 is impressively lightweight (1.61 lbs, size 7.5 US). It seems like a bit of support and stability underfoot were compromised in exchange for a lightweight design. If weight is a concern, especially in wet environments, these boots are a great option. They are among the lightest boots in this review and yet they remain competitive in both the traction and water resistance metrics.
A reinforced lacing system and a durable, scratch-resistant upper make these boots a force when it comes to durability. Over the span of our testing period, we saw no evidence of wear on the upper nor on the soles of these shoes. Their lightweight construction is met with the use of substantial and user-approved materials, making the Alpenrose 2 a durable boot for rugged terrain.
Should You Buy the Salewa Alpenrose 2 Mid GTX?
With an impressive and thoughtful design, plus the use of trusted and high-performing materials, the Salewa Alpenrose 2 Mid GTX is a boot made for high performance in rugged terrain. If you're on a mission above treeline that may include some rock scrambling, these are a good option. That said, we were a bit disappointed by the lack of support underfoot and were not thrilled by the idea of wearing these boots for long days with heavy loads. While they excel in durability and traction, they fall short in comfort and support.
What Other Hiking Boots Should You Consider?
If you want everything the Alpenrose has to offer and more, let us point you towards the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid. It performs similarly in durability and weight metrics but we felt far more support and comfort from the X Ultra 4 (which is, incidentally, our favorite hiking boot).
— Jane Jackson
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