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Salomon Toundra Pro CSWP Review

A large, burly winter hiking boot capable of handling the coldest temperatures
Salomon Toundra Pro CSWP
Photo: Backcountry
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Price:  $200 List
Pros:  Warm, comfortable, waterproof
Cons:  Stitching durability, expensive, very large
Manufacturer:   Salomon
By Andy Wellman ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 26, 2019
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72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 14
  • Warmth - 25% 8
  • Water Resistance - 25% 8
  • Fit and Comfort - 25% 7
  • Ease of Use - 15% 5
  • Traction - 10% 7

Our Verdict

The Salomon Toundra Pro CSWP are a burly winter hiking boot touted as being suitable for cold conditions down to -40 degrees. We found them to be one of the warmest boots on our feet, due in large part to the use of the innovative Aerotherm Aerogel insulation, which is one of the single best insulating materials developed by man. We also found them to be completely waterproof and plenty comfortable for a long day of cold weather hiking or working. However, many online reviews complain about a breakdown in stitching on the front of the boot that leads to water leaks and, simply, a very penetrable boot. We did not experience these issues, but remain wary of their long-term durability.

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Star Rating
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Pros Warm, comfortable, waterproofSuper traction, very convenient, fully waterproof to 16 inchesWarm, completely waterproof, comfortable, good traction, supportiveConvenient slip on design, waterproof to 11.5 inches, more affordable than competitors, customizable fitWarm, comfortable, affordable, great traction
Cons Stitching durability, expensive, very largeSlightly sloppy fit, sorta heavy, fairly priceySizing runs a bit small, expensiveHandles let in water or debris, only come in single whole sizes, not as warm as some competitorsNot completely waterproof, more labor intensive to put on than others
Bottom Line A large, burly winter hiking boot capable of handling the coldest temperaturesAn unbeatable option for everyday use in seriously cold and snowy placesAn excellent and supportive combination of comfort, warmth, waterproofness, and tractionA very convenient and water proof winter boot that is great for chores and repeated daily useA casual boot for tromping around in the snow and rain at a budget friendly price
Rating Categories Salomon Toundra Pro... The Original Muck B... Oboz Bridger 10" In... Bogs Bozeman Tall Kamik NationPlus
Warmth (25%)
8.0
7.0
10.0
7.0
9.0
Water Resistance (25%)
8.0
10.0
9.0
9.0
4.0
Fit And Comfort (25%)
7.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
9.0
Ease Of Use (15%)
5.0
9.0
6.0
10.0
6.0
Traction (10%)
7.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
Specs Salomon Toundra Pro... The Original Muck B... Oboz Bridger 10" In... Bogs Bozeman Tall Kamik NationPlus
Maximum Puddle Depth Before Major Leaking 8 in 16 in 8.5 in 11.5 in 4.5 in
Appropriate Activity All activities, from chores to hiking Town, chores All activities, from chores to hiking Town, chores All activities, from chores to hiking
Width Options Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular and wide
Fit Details True to size Roomy Runs 1/2 size small True to size True to size
Measured Shaft Height (from bottom of sole to top of shaft) 10 in 16 in 10 in 13 in 11 in
Weight (per pair, size 11) 3.5 lbs 5.4 lbs 3.6 lbs 4.4 lbs 3.6 lbs
Lining/Insulation Faux fur lining, Areogels insulation 5 mm CR Flex-Foam Neoprene w/ Fleece Lining 400g 3M Thinsulate synthetic fibers 7mm Neo-Tech Neoprene Removable 200B 3M Thinsulate
Upper Material Leather 5 mm CR Flex-Foam Neoprene Waterproof nubuck leather Rubber Waterproof suede and ballistic nylon
Toe Box Rubber Spandura rubber Rubber Rubber Rubber
Outsole Ice Grip Rubber Vibram Arctic Grip Winterized Rubber BioGrip SNOWTREAD Synthetic Rubber
Company-claimed cold-weather rating -40 F Not listed Not listed -72 F -40 F
Animal products used? Yes, leather No Yes, leather No Yes
Sizes Available 7 - 13 7 - 15 8 - 14 7 - 14 7 - 14

Our Analysis and Test Results

The elephant in the room when it comes to these boots is the issues that multiple online customer reviewers have described about the seams that rest over the crease point on either side of the forefoot. As these reviews have described it, these seams come apart over time and from repetitive wear, some in as little as a week, and others have quoted a timeframe of an entire season. Regardless, these are expensive boots, and nobody wants to invest in a boot that is simply going to fall apart.

We will say that during our testing period, we noticed no issue with these boots at all, or the seams that others have mentioned as being suspect. Our seams, and boots, remained watertight to the end, quite literally, as we conducted our dedicated waterproofness test right before publishing this review and found them to be 100% waterproof while standing in a lake for over 10 minutes. What you read below, then, is simply our findings, not those of others who had issues. We also point out that the positive customer reviews online outweigh the ones who claimed to have a durability issue. Furthermore, as far as we can tell, Salomon has declared these issues to be production defects, and has covered complaints under their two-year warranty. There are numerous online reviews and comments saying that Salomon was good to work with during this process. With this in mind, we feel that if you are interested in these boots, there is little reason to be scared away, and virtually no risk in purchasing them considering their warranty.

Performance Comparison


The Toundra CSWP are designed for very cold temperatures and are...
The Toundra CSWP are designed for very cold temperatures and are made to be entirely waterproof. They are indeed very warm, water proof, and also quite large. The clunkiness took a little getting used to, but we found these are comfortable winter hiking boots.

Warmth


The insulation used inside these boots is Aerogel, an insulator invented by NASA and touted as one of the most effective ever made. The most remarkable property, especially when used in footwear, is that it doesn't compress, and even if it does, loses none of its insulating properties with compression.

Made with Aerotherm Aerogel, a non-compressible and super insulative...
Made with Aerotherm Aerogel, a non-compressible and super insulative fabric, these boots are rated to -40F, and our testing certainly revealed them to be among the warmest that we have worn.

In our comparative testing we found them to be one of the best for warmth. When submerging them in an ice bath and measuring the internal temperature every three minutes with a laser thermometer, we measured 18.3 degrees of temperature loss in 12 minutes, with a final temperature of 44.7 degrees. This wasn't the best performance for this test, but it was pretty good. However, in our second comparative test, where we tested warmth with our foot inside the boot, we anecdotally felt that this was perhaps the warmest feeling boot, with plenty of room inside for wiggling our toes around to stay warm. We have no reason to suppose that these boots wouldn't meet the -40F temperature rating that Salomon has given them.

Water Resistance


To test water resistance, we waited until the end of our testing period, after the boots had been used many times and hiked around in plenty, then stood in an icy lake for over 10 minutes with water up to a depth of five inches. We found these boots easily withstood this test, with literally not a drop of water on the inside. At least for us, fears that the front seams would delaminate or come apart and allow water to enter were unfounded. Combined with a high stack height and gusseted tongue that makes the lowest possible water entrance point at eight inches, these are easily some of the most waterproof boots that you can find, a solid choice for tromping through slush or in wet climates.

Testing these boots against water by standing in roughly five inches...
Testing these boots against water by standing in roughly five inches of water for over ten minutes, we found they performed excellent, with absolutely no leaks. This paired with their eight inch flood height makes them a great choice for wet adventures.

This seam that runs down from the bottom laces is sewn together, and...
This seam that runs down from the bottom laces is sewn together, and replicated on the other side of the boot. This is the seam that online reviews claim comes apart after awhile, causing leaking into the inner of the boot. As you can see, during our test period we experienced no such problems, and even if we had, Salomon will happily warrantee the product within two years.

Fit and Comfort


We found the fit of this boot to be accurate to size, so no need to think about sizing up or down. Whether we were wearing a thin or thick sock, we felt that our foot had plenty of room to wiggle about to stay warm, while we were also impressed with how it felt cradled and secure. The inside of the boot is lined with a smooth and tough synthetic fabric, while the top three inches of the cuff are lined with soft and fleecy faux fur, a nice touch if you aren't wearing high socks. Although these boots have a high cuff that comes up well above the ankle and to maybe halfway up the shin, we find it to be very flexible, not impeding mobility at all, especially compared to some far stiffer high cuffed boots we compared it against. While they are really large and even a bit clunky due to their over-size, our pair only weighed 3.5 lbs, a good bit less than many others, so they aren't too fatiguing to walk around in all day.

The top few inches of the inner of this boot are lined with this...
The top few inches of the inner of this boot are lined with this super soft faux fur, which is particularly comfortable if you happen to not be wearing a high topped sock.

Ease of Use


The Toundra Pro is by no means a difficult boot to use, but compared to the competition, it is among the most complex to completely lace up. The tall stack is tightened down by three hooks on each side, so after pulling the laces tight over the top of the foot, you must cross and hook them three times before tying them at the top. As we said, this isn't too challenging really, but also means that they aren't super convenient compared to slip-on models, or even those lace-up boots that simply need to be pulled tight once and tied. We liked the adjustability for fine-tuning the perfect fit when going for a hike, but would prefer a much quicker boot for using multiple times a day for going outside in the snow.

To lace up these boots you pull the laces tight over the top of the...
To lace up these boots you pull the laces tight over the top of the foot, and then must loop the laces through hooks on each side, crossing in between, three times. While we wouldn't call this hard, it is by no means the most convenient method of those we tested.

Traction


The outsole of this boot uses Salomon's Contagrip rubber, fine-tuned for winter to be stickier and give good grip in very cold conditions. We found that it grips well on smooth surfaces, but the lug pattern was not as effective as some more aggressively lugged outsoles on snow. The sole features many large lugs that have sharp, square cut edges for biting in well, and large flat tops to provide plenty of surface area with the ground. That said, there is not a ton of negative space between lugs, which helps an outsole bite more effectively into soft surfaces like snow.

The traction on this boot is somewhat reminiscent of a car tire...
The traction on this boot is somewhat reminiscent of a car tire, with closely spaced flat lugs that provide plenty of surface area for optimal grip. With so little space in between the lugs, however, we felt that there were better options if you simply want to walk through soft snow.

Value


Using the high end insulating Aerotherm Aerogel technology and coming from Salomon, a company not generally associated with producing the most affordable products, it should come as no surprise that these boots rank up there among the most expensive that we tested. We think they provide good value, however, as long as they hold up as intended. If they don't, you may have to deal with a minor hassle of filling a warranty claim, but Salomon stands behind their products, so there is little risk.

Tromping through the snow in the Toundra Pro, a boot that offers a...
Tromping through the snow in the Toundra Pro, a boot that offers a lot of warmth and water proofing, but perhaps not the most in durability.

Conclusion


The Salomon Toundra Pro CSWP is a large, burly, and very warm boot that is also surprisingly light and comfortable. Salomon uses innovative Aerogel technology for their insulation, and they are rated to -40F. While they're fit for all uses, they will serve best as a winter hiking or snowshoeing boot, and are also a great choice for snowmobiling.

Searching for snow during the early season in the Oregon Cascades...
Searching for snow during the early season in the Oregon Cascades, tromping through what we could find in the comfortable and warm Toundro Pro. The large volcanoes of South and North Sister loom in the background.

Andy Wellman

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