The Salewa Wildfire GTX is an extremely technical approach shoe that weighs in at 1004g (pair, size 46) while boasting an excellent set of features. The upper is made of a more hard-wearing mesh than most shoes, and it’s also protected by an external rubber cage that should increase durability further. You also get a rubber rand that encloses the shoe and toe area. The lacing extends further towards the toe than in general-purpose shoes for a more precise fit when scrambling or climbing. The profile of the toe is also better suited to climbing and offers a more precise foot placement than most approach or general-purpose shoes. This dedication to more technical climbing performance continues with the outsole, which has a smooth area under the toe for precision when climbing. But you also get a set of studs on the sole and a slight heel breast for a good grip when approaching the crags over softer ground. The outsole is made from ‘sticky rubber’, which offers better grip on rock but is less durable than standard rubber. On the foot the Salewa Wildfire GTX’s toe fit was exceptionally precise, which made climbing much easier, and as there is great cushioning in the heel you can walk easily on paths. But if you want a shoe primarily for general walking then the more durable sole rubber and more relaxed fit of other models is an advantage.
Upper material Ballistic mesh, external rubber SD cage
Waterproof lining Gore-Tex
Sole unit Vibram Tech Alpine Approach EVO
Men’s sizes 6-13
Women’s sizes 3-9
Weight 1004g (pair, size 11)
The Salewa Wildfire GTX is the ultimate shoe for scrambling, climbing and via ferrata, but if you move away from that terrain more general-purpose shoes have advantages in terms of comfort.
Review by Graham Thompson
Published in Trail magazine May 2014