Walk into the Tahoe Mountain Sports shop here in North Lake Tahoe, and odds are at least one employee has Salomon shoes on his or her feet.
I became sold on the Salomon XA Pro series of trail runners (also in GORE-TEX waterproof) when I wore them on a 2-week thru-hike of the 165 mile Tahoe Rim Trail in 2007, where out of a group of 15 hikers, I was the only one without blisters. The airy mesh kept my feet drier (moist feet are more likely to blister) and the secure fit (Salomon calls it SensiFit) from the non-stretch zig-zag material on the sides, non-stretch kevlar quick-pull laces and the best heal cup I’ve ever sunk my foot into all worked together to keep hot-spots from forming.
Salomon noticed a lot of long-distance hikers, from the Appalachian Trail to the Pacific Crest Trail, had traded traditional, heavy boots for trail running shoes like the XA Pro, and decided to make a shoe just for them. Enter the Salomon Synapse.
Tahoe Mountain Sports’ Owner Dave has been wearing the Synapse for almost a year now, using it for everything from hiking to running, and he raves about them:
“I got one of the first pairs of Synapse shoes to hit the market at Outdoor Retailer last summer and they didn’t tell me much about them. Salomon said to run in them, hike in them, do whatever you want and tell us what you think. So, I did! I took them out on 5-10K runs, played 36 holes of disc golf in them and hiked a number of full day hikes. Immediately I noticed the slight cant of the shoe and I really mean that it likes to rock a bit, especially under the fore foot. I started to do both heel strike running and fore foot strikes and noticed little difference other than being comfortable in both positions. Then, when I hiked with them, I was pretty psyched that they were so light to begin with but also noticed that they were beefy enough where I wasn’t feeling every rock on the trail. They totally held up and were quite comfortable even on a full day hike. Then to the disc golf course, which, believe it or not, is the ultimate in wear and tear activities of your footwear because you are planting and dragging your foot, digging in your feet for additional grip and stability and tromping through the woods for hours. Where many shoes fail in this regard is in the toe. They simply start to peel apart or can’t handle the foot plants and start to get sore. These did none of that and worked great for all my rounds out on the course. I have had these shoes about 8 months now and have spent quite a bit of time on my feet with them. There is no deterioration of the materials or the sole, laces are still in perfect shape and overall, quality seems to be the usual Salomon attention to detail and craftsmanship. I think this shoe can handle all the abuse you want to throw at it and is incredibly versatile as a hiker, runner, disc golfer or all arounder of any sort! My recommendation: Get them!!” – Dave
And as far as long distance hikers are concerned, Jennifer Pharr Davis broke the speed record hiking the 2,181 mile Appalachian Trail (46 days, 11 hours, and 20 minutes) using these shoes!
Here’s a video with our Salomon rep explaining what sets the Synapse apart:
We’re also really excited about the Salomon XR Mission Running Shoe:
Salomon set out to create a shoe that can go from your front door and down the road to the trail and over the dirt, roots and rocks without missing a step.
After a few generations of the XA Pros, I’m really impressed with the the way the XR Mission grabs a hold of the back half of my foot, locking my heal in place, while leaving the toe box roomy – super comfortable.
Here’s another video explaining the features of the XR Mission:
Beyond the light trail runners and hiking shoes, Salomon also makes great hiking boots like the Salomon Discovery GTX. Former store manager Kevin hiked the 200+ mile John Muir Trail in Salomon Hiking Boots last summer. So whether you’re looking for a shoe to go on a quick run after work or a hiking shoe or boot to take you down a 2,000 mile trail, check out Salomon Footwear at Tahoe Mountain Sports.