Fresh air, beautiful nature, plenty of exercise – sounds like bliss. However, this picturesque scene could all come crashing to a sorry end without the right equipment. How can you enjoy hiking or a simple trail walk when your clothes are not warm enough, or the jacket you are wearing doesn’t keep out the rain or, most importantly, you don’t have the right shoes? I can’t help you with the first two issues but with the shoes, I can.
This article is going to guide you through the Salomon Eskape GTX, a highly esteemed shoe in the world of hiking and trail walking. It is going to prove to you that this shoe is worthy of those 5-star reviews and is certainly one you should consider when making your purchase. This article is also going to warn you to act fast in making (the right) decision in purchasing the Salomon Escape GTX – rumor has it that the manufacturers have discontinued the line.
The Back Story
I have learned over time that the backstory of a brand can be the first indication as to whether their shoes will be any good. I mean, if Converse suddenly brought out a hiking shoe I would be somewhat skeptical considering the area is not their expertise. So, I checked out the Salomon story and it gave me a bit of ease.
Firstly, the brand began in the French Alps, certainly a good place for hiking, and was conceived by Francois Salomon and his son George who were ski enthusiasts. Over 60 years, their passion for mountain sports continued to develop until they found themselves innovators in footwear, apparel, and equipment for hiking, adventure racing, mountaineering and trail running. Yes, these guys know their stuff.
The Options Available in the Salomon Eskape GTX
Choices are a bit limited in comparison to other lines of shoes but what is on offer is good. When I say the choice is limited, what I mean was that my research only found one option online, the Salomon Men’s Eskape GTX Hiking Shoe. This shoe is marketed as preparing anybody for the hike – no matter how tricky the trail is. It is light in weight and has a GORE-TEX lining for breathability and protection against wet conditions. It also has Salomon’s own Contagrip Outsole for a great grip on rocky trails. In addition, energy is sent through the outsole to the midsole as a result of Advanced Chassis, and protection is provided via solid toe and heel caps.
Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be a version of the Salomon Eskape GTX available for women, which is certainly disappointing.
It’s All About the Technology!
The Salomon Eskape GTX is not just your ordinary pair of shoes. The manufacturers have included some really cool features which bring them a step above other brands. The GORE-TEX lining is an amazing addition to the shoe. GORE-TEX is an external brand which makes materials that are long-lasting and ideal for protection against harsh weather. The best thing about having a GORE-TEX lining in a shoe is the GORE-SEAM tape used in the material to keep out any potential leaks.
Then there is Salomon’s own Contagrip Outsole. They invented the outsole in order for their shoes to offer flawless performance no matter the weather or terrain. The soles are constructed using different materials in order to achieve the maximum durability. That means that areas that are prone to wearing out faster have harder wearing materials. The GTX line uses optimised rubber to provide the perfect balance between durability and traction in all trail conditions.
Other constructions you can expect from the hiking shoe are a die-cut EVA midsole whose main focus is to provide shock absorption and comfort. Also, there is the Advanced Chassis for added torsional strength.
Protection From the Wilderness
I’ve already mentioned some of the elements of protection in the Salomon Eskape GTX shoes, such as the hardened toe and heel and the DVA midsole, which provides shock absorption. However, there are some other protective features that make the shoes worth buying.
The textiles used in the shoes include an abrasion resistant lining, which basically speakers for itself but which also allows for breathability and quick drying. There is also a mudguard, a protective material fitted around the base of the shoe. Then we have Salomon’s own Contagrip Outsole, designed to provide optimal traction on all types of surfaces.
A High Level of Comfort From the Salomon Eskape GTX
Protection against the elements is important for hiking and walking – but so is the comfort. If you are going to walking at any level, over any terrain, and for any extended length of time, you won’t be able to do so effectively without a comfortable pair of shoes.
One really cool feature of the Salomon Eskape GTX is the gusseted tongue.This is a piece of material that connects the tongue to the shoe upper and stops any debris from entering and making your uncomfortable as you walk. The abrasion resistant lining I already mentioned in terms of protection but its breathability and quick drying technique also help create a comfortable wear by keeping the feet dry. Also assisting with keeping the feet dry is the GORE-TEX lining already mentioned earlier on in this article. And, if that is not enough to keep your feet dry, there is also the protective synthetic toe cap which helps in this area. Finally, Salomon has included die-cut EVA for step-in cushioning.
What Do The Reviews Say?
Now you have my take on the shoe, based on the research I have made online and the technology and materials used in marking the Salomon Eskape GTX. But what are the reviews saying? The seasoned wearers with experience not only in this particular line of shoe, but offerings from other brands as well report the same sentiment I have, very positive.
Wearers agree with the Salomon Eskape GTX’s good capacity for gripping onto different surfaces. That includes different mountain terrains but also sloping surfaces and wet floors, surfaces that the everyday worker deals with. People also (almost) unanimously agree that the shoes are comfortable. However, there are different opinions on how long it takes to break in the shoe. It is agreed that there is a certain stiffness to the shoe but this is overlooked as many realize that, in order to have durable materials, this is somewhat inevitable.
The majority of the reviews online praise how waterproof the Salomon Eskape GTX is. One review even reported the shoes rejecting up to 18 inches of rain! Quite a number of the reviews online are also after a 6-12 month wearing period, which means reports are not just on shoes only 2-3 wears out of the box. Naturally, there are some reports of shoes leaking after just a few wears but show me a shoe brand that doesn’t produce a couple of dud pairs from time to time.
Pros of the Salomon Eskape GTX
- The show is light in weight.
- The GORE-TEX lining is used in the shoes, improving them in terms of durability and protection in harsh weather conditions.
- Salomon’s own Contagrip Outsole offers maximum durability and an excellent grip when walking on uneven terrains.
- There is a die-cut EVA midsole whose main focus is to provide shock absorption and comfort.
- The Advanced Chassis provides added torsional strength.
- There is extra protection from the hardened toe and heel.
- The abrasion resistant lining provides greater breathability and quicker drying.
- Additional protection is provided via a mudguard.
- Several features providing comfort are included: gusseted tongue, abrasion resistant lining, GORE-TEX lining, die-cut EVA, synthetic toe cap.
Cons of the Salomon Eskape GTX
- In some searches, this shoe is appearing as “discontinued by the manufacturer”. Therefore, there probably is limited available stock left to buy.
- In current searches, only one choice of shoe, the hiking shoe, appears to be available in the line.
- As far as research shows, there isn’t currently a version of the shoe on the market for women.
The overall verdict is that the Salomon Eskape GTX is certainly worth your dollar as a walking, hiking or everyday shoe. One of the biggest reason for this is the numerous positive reviews on how comfortable the shoes are. Not surprising considering the addition of the GORE-TEX lining, die-cut EVA midsole, abrasion resistant lining, and gusseted tongue. Other positive reports focus on the durability of the shoe. Many happily brag about having the Salomon Eskape GTX for a year or more without them leaking or falling apart. Similarly, people, from seasoned hikers to everyday wearers looking a for a good shoe, are happy with the strong grip the Contagrip soles provide.
However, I have to admit that there was something about the Salomon Eskape GTX that didn’t get me as excited as other shoes. Perhaps this is because of the seeming lack of options there is within the line. Or the fact that I couldn’t seem to locate a female version of the shoe. The reasons why I haven’t been able to determine.
Nevertheless, I would recommend the Salomon Eskape GTX as a good option. The technology and price point is good and the numerous positive reviews online all can’t be wrong. So, stop your pondering and make the decision to grab yourself a pair – just in case they will be off the market forever.