Salomon 3D Fastpacker Mid GTX

When I heard about these I raised an eyebrow, sat forward in my high backed leather chair, poised, my interest piqued. After a moment I leapt to my feet, sending my clay pipe clattering terminally to the flagstone floor and rushed to the West Wing to use the telephone, silk dressing gown flapping around me like batman’s cape. I pulled the earpiece from its brass cradle, and shouted into the mouthpiece “Operator! Operator! My temperature is still high from this flu and I may be halucinating parts of this scenario, but nonetheless, give me Salomon,…quickly!!…”
Joyce took the soup ladle from my hand and pushed me back onto the couch, “Yes, yes, back to sleep…”.

However, they’re now here which is the important thing. They are very much like a grown up XA 3D Pro trail shoe, which for me is a good thing as those shoes fit my feet perfectly. The sole unit/chassis construction and the sole pattern obviously has the same DNA as the trail shoe, but they’re much beefed up. This more aggressive and deeper lugged sole is what I’d like to see on the Pros as well. It’s their only downfall, lack of grip in wet conditions. The sole has a mix of deeper lugs and flat surfaces to give you both grip in soft terrain and low rolling resistance. Well it would if it was a mountain bike tyre, but the principle is the same: “All round performance”.
The upper has some sensible randing and there’s not much stitching that looks as if it’ll take a beating. They’re Gore-Tex lined and the tongue is bellowed to the top, so with a wee gaiter on there you’re good for setting sail into the boggy slushy shite we’ll be getting soon enough.
The fit’s good, and they’re light enough at 480g for me not have an issue.

I’ve got high hopes for these given my familiarity with Salomon, so I’m likely to just take these out on a quick backpack fastpack as soon as I stop coughing.

More. Later.

32 thoughts on “Salomon 3D Fastpacker Mid GTX

  1. They look great. just got to hope the damn goretex liner stays waterproof longer than it did with the Salomon Elios Mids I got last autumn.

    Grrr, membrane liners failing, hrrrmmphhh!!
    As you can probably tell, it’s my pet hate at the moment ;)

  2. My pet hate is GTX liners, it seems we are approaching a time where you will not be able to buy shoes/boots without gtx.

    Hopefully at least one manufacturer will continue to make non gtx shoes.

  3. Gore Tex in your boot is market driven, simple as that. Folk buy it.
    In one way this is good because some of the manufacturers are trying to design the shoes to work better with the membrane. These Fastpackers are different in that the liner isn’t attached to the outer all the way round. I couldn’t pull it out completely like you can with some waterproof gloves, but it’s not a kick in the arse of it.
    So it’s a wee bit more like a sock than a normal lined boot. Time will tell, but it’s interesting for sure.

  4. A up first post on here.
    I am a fan of XAs and Speedcross so I ought to give these a go.
    I liked the Elios mid but the membrane failed on mine too.

  5. Hey sburt
    I tried on the Elios a while back and quite liked them, but these are closer in feel to the XA’s, down to the thin-sock-only fit.
    I’ll keep my thoughts positive until something breaks.

  6. All sounds good.
    Echo your thoughts on the XAs. Please Mr Salomon put some deeper studs on the XAs, as deep as the studs on Rocklite 315s would be the Ideal compromise for me.

  7. I really like the look of these but I can’t remember if I have Salomon shaped feet. I can confirm that there are no pairs to try on in Stirling.

  8. They are really similar in fit to the XA shoes (more easily findable?)if you fancy a mail order gamble.
    They look so good in that jet black I almost don’t want to get them dirty.

  9. I got to fondle a pair of Fastpackers (the boots!!) in Conwy Outdoors Shop this afternoon – nice looking and very light. I’m surprised you say that the sole has been beefed up and the lugs are deeper than on the XAs, since the lugs looked a bit on the shallow side to me…. the XAs must be lethal in the wet or mud!

  10. The XA’s are an enigma. The sole really has got no more than the merest hint of a pattern on it, but the grip is frighteningly good on most stuff. I usually know when it’s going to slip, and that’s bizarrely quite reasuring.
    My favourite shoe.

  11. Hello pete keeping my beady eyes on this one, how high up the ankles do they go…I have delicate ankles just like a balarina you see..

  12. I hear you, I’m like the Princess and the Pea. Every stitch out of place catches my attention…

    The ankle aren’t too high, just over the ankle bone, so enough to stop a ding from a rock, but not enough to restrict movement much.

    When I put them next to the MOntrail hardrock Mids that just arrived the Salomons look more like boots, the Montrails more like trainers with a hat on.
    It just got more complicated.

  13. I like the idea of these – the XAs are about the best fitting shoes I own, and significantly better than the other Salomons I own (Extends). So, for winter, this design and the deeper tread address the key issue.

    Apologies if I am asking almost the same question as posed above, but do the Fastpackers manage to retain the much more sculted fit of the XAs that really wraps neatly round the foot? And the thing I notice compared with other Salomon trail shoes is that the XAs have a more pronounced bulge on the outer side of the forefoot area that happens to give the space where my feet need it. Given that it seems tricky to find a pair to try on, I am considering a punt on an internet order, but it would be nice to know if the Fastpackers are XA (Pro 3D)-like in these respects. If so I can’t see the money remaining in my wallet for long…

  14. Aye and no. The shape is really, really, similar (including the way the ouside of the foot curves out a bit), but the all-round construction is stiffer.
    I think if the XA’s fit you these should, but feet are funny things and will not be typecast :o)

  15. Not the gtx mid XA I had hoped for. The heal cup is not right for me. If it was softer, more padded or just more XA like it would have worked.
    The search for the holy grail continues.
    Up in the lakes next week so any suggestions welcome. the shortlist so far is: Brasher Superlight leather or Montrail Hardrock.

  16. Ach, that’s a bugger. I’ve had to adjust the tongue position a couple of times to get it to sit right, but otherwise they’re okay.
    Those Brashesr are properly light if it’s the one’s I think they are, and I’ve been using the Hardrock Mids and I love them.

    It’s all down to fit which is a bastard. I used to try to make boots fit with insoles, socks and wishful thinking and then endure the blisters. No more.

  17. The Brashers could be Ideal but vanity has prevented me from buying them, I don’t feel old enough to wear rambling styled footwear.

    On a plus note, after suffering with a pair of Inov8 Terrocs I took a chance on the 315 Roclites which are now my favourite running shoes.

  18. If I can wear those Hi-Tec brown-a-trons you’ll survive in the Brashers :o)

    The difference in fit between those two Inov8s is quite amazing, especially when you learn that they’re both based around the same blokes foot.

  19. Och, if my 14yr old laddie can wear Brashers, anybody can :o)

    Forgot to say, I’ve a pair of these Fastpackers in the hoose. Sizing isnae a kick up the arse off the Nike Tallac’s so it’s looking promising.

  20. I’ll need to get some proper miles on mine.
    Christ, I need to get some proper miles on my legs…

    I like this style of footwear, it’s the most middle of the road, innoffensive item possible. It’s not playing for any team, it’s standing on the sidelines waiting to see who wins.
    But, it also ticks more boxes that anything else for me and it’s proabably my “Chose one pair for life” footwear.

  21. Gtx mids are my dog walking & default footwear.

    Wearing running shoes for taking the hound out feels like I am frttering away the tread.

    My size 9 fastpakers are up for sale if anyone is interested.

  22. I know what you mean. Any length of tarmac tackled in most of my shoes and I start stopping and looking for tread wear.

    Anybody wants them size Salomon 9s, give me a shout through the contact box (middle column, near the top) and I’ll sort the email address swapping.

  23. Took the plunge and bought a pair of the Fastpackers, and I like them so far. A lot. They are a good fit (for me), really do carry a lot of the XA feel through to a ‘mid’, are well put together and nicely light. There isn’t too much padding (really just around the ankle). They looked to be less flexible that the XAs, but are flexible enough in use, and have deeper, but still not exessive tread – I must admit the odd extra mm or two would not go amiss. There seems to be a bit more cushioning than the old XAs as well, which I’m more than happy with.
    These should be my winter hill/mountain footwear this year now (unless it is really serious) – not had a chance to check out the waterproofing yet (too dry…) but I’ll be in Skye next week so that should be sorted, though I’ll take care not to try them out on the Black Cuillin (they’d be shredded). Yes, as for others the membrane durability will be the test. Last winter I used Keen Targhee lows with gaiters, and that worked just fine until the Event membrane failed.

  24. I’ll need to wear a set of Targhee Midss again and compare the grip to the Fastpackers, I think the Fastpackets might have the edge there?

    Here, I hope you get some decent weather for Skye! I’ll have my fingers crossed for you.

  25. Well, a week mostly on Skye and then a day in the Cairngorms gave a good chance for a more thorough test. Really good weather, even if a little wild at times. Six consecutive days and the Fastpackers have fared really well – wet underfoot throughout, a lot of boggy ground, some wet rock, some snow (Skye), a lot of snow (Cairngorms). They have kept out the water, though getting a little more damp inside on a day to day basis (I suspect just a bit of sweat – doesn’t matter how breathable when the outer is saturated constantly – and moisture eventually getting in through the cuff despite gaiters) – never had any opportunity to dry out at all. The day in the Cairngorms (Bynack More) was in some seriously deep snow, often plunging in to knee depth and provided a proper work out, followed by some spindrift on the summit ridge. I’m just glad no-one watched my crawling on hands and knees across the really deep drifts (the only way to avoid sinking in irretrievably!).
    I do think the Fastpackers represent the spirit of the XAs in mid form – for me they have proved comfortable over some rough terrain, they are light, fit neatly (finally getting used to a boot/mid again after shoes in recent times), and are very stable. To answer your question, the only potential criticism is about tread/grip. They work well on most terrain, but my impression is that they are not quite so good on wet rock, and I suspect the Targhees have the edge there. Of course its difficult to be sure. The sole is all of one compound, and I wondered if the XAs have two types of compound and actually grip wet rock a little better.

  26. That sounds like a brilliant trip you had there :o)

    Good info on the Fastpackers, I’m glad they’re working out.
    I think you’re right about the sole on the XAs, they seem to grip way beyond what the tread pattern suggests. I think it’s the different rubber compounds like you say, and the lack of large areas of pattern the same height, like the Fastpackers do have. That’ll make it a little harder to compress and mold to the terrain, that’s probably what we’re both finding on some surfaces.
    Funny, the Montrail Hardrock Mids have a sole pattern closer to the XAs with small blocks and shallower tread.
    The differences are probably all subtle ones though.

    Anyway, knee deep snow :o)

  27. Yes, the snow was wonderful. Being soft and deep down to quite low levels there were several miles of slow going (helped a bit by some earlier tracks) – easier going up on the top, with thinner cover and some rocks.
    Its been a while since I’ve experienced that much snow – lets hope there is more to come this winter.

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