Comfortable, reliable and trendy.
Although a completely unknown brand to me, I used a pair of these for my Triund and Ilaqa Trek in the Himalayas. Being trail runners and not trekking boots, they are light enough to not weigh you down but heavy enough to stabilise you on tricky paths.
The first thing I noticed when I ran through my city with these was the fact that they weren’t waterproof at all. You could stand in them in a one inch pool of water without worrying about it. But run through the same pool and you realise the mistake.
Having said that, the show is not designed to be water proof. Nevertheless, it dries very quickly. During my trek, I managed to wet the shoes in the incessant rain on the way up. It didn’t feel particularly wet inside but at low temperatures, it can be a serious concern. They dried so rapidly that by the time I had my dinner in camp, I could wear them again and feel just as comfortable as I did in the morning. The drainage on these beauts is magical.
These shoes come with Salomon’s patented Quicklace. Even though the laces are just about a millimeter in diameter and feel flimsy, they are definitely not going to give away that easily.
It will take you at least a couple of tries to get the feel of how the lock system works. But once you do, you’ll never trade these for normal laces ever again. They fit your feet just right and there is no question of them coming undone when you have one hand on a rock you’re trying to climb past. It nicely complements the fact that you simply cannot bend down and tie your laces when you’re carrying a 12 kg rucksack on your back.
The pitfall is that, if the lace gets cut or if the clasp breaks, you won’t be able to get it fixed by a regular cobbler.
The X-Scream comes with the unique Contagrip sole that offers great flexibility while not compromising on the durability of the lugs. The combination of flexibility and durability is hard to come by in the world of outdoors shoes.
The lugs are designed very smartly – with the ones at the front facing backwards and the ones at the rear facing forwards. This combination offers your great grip whether you are climbing up or climbing down.
During my trek, in the very wet conditions, the shoes were darlings. I can remember them losing grip on some rocks but the instances were rare and I was able to stabilise very quickly when the lugs eventually caught the crevices.
The rocks I traversed were rather hard and sharp. The trail was full of jagged and pointy slate. Except for two or three lugs, they look as good as new and aren’t worn out.
I must admit that the cushions are a bit hard but you could always go for an extra insole or wear two pairs of socks (something you’d do anyway if it was cold). I guess Salomon has deliberately used harder insoles that don’t absorb water much. If the insoles were foamy, the shoe would become a bucket of water in no time in the Indian monsoon.
With large mesh surfaces, your feet will feel as fresh as walking bare foot. It doesn’t get hot or clammy even when the outside temperature hangs in the high 30s (Delhi! *sigh*).
Verdict: The shoes are a great buy, available online for less than 5000 INR. They offer great grip and comfort at a very low cost. While the lack of waterproofing is a drawback, it does make up for it with it’s rapid drying.