Salewa Men’s Alp Trainer 2 Mid GTX Review

The Salewa Alp Trainer 2 ticks a lot of the right boxes in terms of look and comfort and we think it could be the only boot a lot of hikers will ever need.

Salewa Men's Alp Trainer 2 Mid Gtx - Raw Green/pale Frog - 14

Great news! These boots are also available in a women’s-fit version.

Pros / Reasons to Buy

  • Excellent comfort straight out of the box
  • Great combo of breathability and water resistance

Cons / Reasons to Avoid

  • Can be a bit pricey
  • May be a little tight for those with very wide feet

These boots offer a fantastic combo of relatively light weight, durable build and a great balance of breathability and water resistance. Coupled with this, we found them to be exceptionally comfortable straight out of the box.

These are classed as three-season boots, but we think that they’ll be suitable as year-round footwear for many who don’t live or hike in places where it gets very cold. It really seems that Salewa are ticking all the right boxes with the Alp Trainer 2 Mid and we feel that these could be the only boots that many hikers need.

Editor’s note: This article is part of our guide to the best hiking boots, be sure to check out the rest of this guide for our top buying tips:

Compare to Similar Products: 

Salewa Men's Alp Trainer 2 Mid GTX Boots
Hoka Trail Code GTX
Keen Targhee III Waterproof Mid
Asolo Fugitive GTX
Scarpa Rush TRK GTX
Altra Lone Peak ALL-WTHR Mid 2
Oboz Bridger Mid B-Dry
Skechers Relment-Pelmo
Teva Grandview GORE-TEX
Timberland White Ledge Mid Waterproof
Salewa Men's Alp Trainer 2 Mid Gtx - Raw Green/pale Frog - 14
Hoka Men's Trail Code GTX Lightweight Hiking Shoes (Castlerock/Persimmon Orange, us_Footwear_Size_System, Adult, Men, Numeric, Medium, Numeric_8)
KEEN Men's Targhee 3 Mid Height Waterproof Hiking Boots, Black Olive/Golden Brown, 7 US
Asolo Fugitive GTX Hiking Boot - Men's Wool/Black 8.5
SCARPA Men's Rush Trk GTX Waterproof Gore-Tex Hiking and Backpacking Boots - Dark Anthracite/Black - 8.5
ALTRA Women's AL0A7R7J Lone Peak All-WTHR Mid 2 Trail Running Shoe, Black - 5.5 M US
Oboz Men's Bridger BDRY Hiking Boot,Sudan,7 M US
Skechers Men Relaxed Fit¿: Relment - Pelmo Chukka Boot, Khaki Suede, 6.5 US
Teva Men's Grandview GTX Hiking Boot, Chocolate Chip, 7
Timberland Men's White Ledge Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot, Wheat, 7
Buying Options
Our Ratings
Best Overall Men's
Most Stylish
Best for Long Distance Trails
Most Breathable
Best for Winter/Cold Weather
Best Lightweight
Best for Backpacking
Pros
Excellent comfort. Great combo of breathability and water-resistance.
Excellent Grip. Excellent water resistance
Excellent comfort. Great durability
Tough and durable. Great water resistance.
Excellent durability (including ability to be resoled). Excellent ankle support
Very light. Extremely comfortable
Tough build. Great fit and comfort
Very comfortable. Reasonably priced.
Comfortable. Looks good
Often very inexpensive. Offered in a wide range of sizes.
Cons
Can be pricey. May be a little tight if you have very wide feet
The styling is not to everybody's taste. Some durability concerns
The loos are a little dated. Are relatively expensive outside of the USA
Some may find the upper too flexible. Can be expensive.
Can be pricey. A little heavy
Long term durability concerns. Not well suited to more technical terrain
A little heavy. Not the most breathable
Not suited to technical hiking. Styling is a little dull.
Some durability concerns. Not suited for more extreme trails
Low water resistance. Less ankle support than others.
Traction
Excellent
Excellent
Very Good
Excellent
Excellent
Very Good
Very Good
Very Good
Very Good
Good
Breathability
Excellent
Good
Very Good
Good
Low
Excellent
Low
Low
Good
Low
Ankle Support
Excellent
Good
Excellent
Very good
Excellent
Good
Very Good
Good
Good
Average
Arch support
Regular to good
Regular
Regular
Minimal
Minimal
Regular
Good
Good
Regular
Regular
Fit
Fits true to size available in a single width
Fits true to size. Available in a single width
Fit true to size. Available in normal and wide fit and with a wide range of sizes
Fits true to size. Available in standard and wide fit.
Fits true to size. Available in a single width.
Fits true to size. Available in a single width
Fit is true ot size. Available ins standard and wide versions.
Available in a wide range of sizes with several width options. sizing may run large.
Fits true to size. Available in a single width
Runs small. Available in regular and wide fit.
Materials
Suede leather upper and synthetic
Full synthetic
Leather upper and synthetic
Suede leather and synthetic
Suede leather upper with synthetics
Full synthetic
Leather upper with synthetics
Suede leather upper with synthetics
Leather and synthetic upper
Leather and synthetic upper
Appearance
Modern hiking boot
Modern sports shoe inspired hiking boot
The design is a little dated
The design is a little dated
Modern hiking boot
Modern sports shoe
The design is a little dated
Regular hiking boot
Retro inspired modern hiking trainer
Traditional hiking boot
Durability
Excellent
Good
Excellent
Excellent
Excellent
Good
Excellent
Very Good
Good
Good
Water Resistance
Gore Tex membrane
Gore Tex Membrane
Keen.Dry' breathable waterproof membrane
Gore Tex Membrane
Gore Tex Membrane
In-house waterproof membrane
B-Dry Membrane
Water-resistant treatment and possibly a water-resistant membrane
Gore Tex membrane and water resistant treatment
Water resistant treatment and sealed seems
Weight (pair)
1.04kg/2lb 05oz
868g/1lb 14.6oz
970g/2lb 2oz
1.39kg/3lb 1oz
1.19kg/2lb 10oz
856g/1lb 14oz
1.08kg/2lb 06oz
964g/2lb 02oz
Insoles
Modular insole system to fine-tune fit
Padded removable insole
Padded removable insole
Padded removable insole
Padded removable insole
Padded removable insole
Shaped 'O-FIT' insole
Air Cooled Memory Foam Insole
Padded removable insole
Padded removable insole
Break-in Period
Minimal
Minimal
Very minimal
Minimal
Short break in required
Very minimal
Minimal
Minimal
Minimal
Minimal
Lacing system
Regular laces
Regular laces
Regular laces
Regular laces
Regular laces
Regular laces
Regular laces
Regular laces
Regular laces
Regular laces
Toe Protection
Reinforced rubber rand on toe
Reinforced toe section
Leather reinforced with rubber toecap
Reinforced toe section with rubber rand
Reinforced rubber toe cap
Rubber reinforced toe
Reinforced rubber toe cap
Rubber rand at toe
Reinforced rand and rubber toe cap
Sole extended up to form a small toe cap

Analysis and Test Results

We were very impressed by these boots. Whilst these have the look of a mountaineering boot, it’s important to note that they are not as rigid as B-rated boots. However, that extra flexibility coupled with their rugged build makes them a great choice for general hiking, trail walking and even some more technical mountain hiking.

We were particularly impressed by their out of the box comfort – which is even more impressive given how durably built these boots are. Unless you regularly hike in extreme conditions – either very hot or very cold – or like to tackle much more technical mountaineering trails, then we believe that these could be the only pair of hiking footwear you need.

Performance Comparison

Salewa Mens Alp Trainer 2 GTX

Traction

The Salewa Alp Trainer 2 Mid GTX comes with a Vibram sole made from slightly soft rubber to help improve gripiness. Whilst the thread pattern is not as deep or ‘aggressive’ as some competitors, the sole none the less gives exceptional grip over a range of different surfaces and only lost its grip on wet slick rock, muddy and icy surfaces – conditions that would thwart the grip on any boot.

An added bonus of the shallower thread pattern is that the gaps between the lugs fill up with mud and debris less than a deeper thread would – on a wet day hiking through fields, accumulated debris can make a noticeable difference to the weight of your boots, so that’s another positive point for these Salewa boots.

traction Salewa Mens Alp Trainer 2 GTX

Breathability

Whilst most of the upper section of these boots is made from thick suede leather, there are regularly spaced ventilation holes in the sides and the tongue and some other small areas of the upper are made of breathable mesh. The result is that these boots offer a good level of ventilation and our reviewer never experienced excessively sweaty feet whilst wearing these boots – even on warmer days.

However, it’s worth bearing in mind that these boots are intended for mountain hiking and the breathability is paired with decent insulation – so, if you hike in very warm places, like deserts in summer, then a more heavily ventilated shoe would likely make more sense. Your choice of hiking socks can make a big difference in terms of how sweaty your feet feel after an intensive hike and we’d always recommend socks made from a naturally moisture wicking material like Merino wool. 

Ankle Support

The Salewa Alp Trainer 2 Mid GTX is, as the name suggests, a mid-high hiking boot, meaning that they feature a cuff that extends to just above ankle height. The cuff is semi-rigid, heavily padded and, unlike some other boots we’ve assessed, offers consistent support around the ankle.

Whilst the boots do not offer as much ankle support as more rigid B-rated mountaineering boots, they strike up a great balance between support and mobility – and in this sense, they are better suited for walking and less technical hiking.

These boots also feature Salewa’s 3F system – which is a heel cup formed by steel cables that tensions as the laces are adjusted. This system further contributes to the sense of ankle support in these boots. It’s worth noting that Salewa also offers the Alp Trainer 2 as a shoe.

Arch Support

These boots arrive with a set of Salewa’s Multi Fit Footbed insoles – we’ll cover these in more detail in the ’Insole’ section below, but, basically, they allow you to fine-tune the fit of your boots and they do add extra arch support. If you feel like you’d benefit from just a little more arch support, then experimenting with the various components of this system could be the answer.

Of course, if you need more arch – support – and this can make a massive difference to comfort for some hikers – then the supplied insoles can easily be switched out for something more supportive.

See the Salewa Mens Alp Trainer 2 Mid GTX in more detail: 

 

Fit

The Salewa Alp Trainer 2 is available in a range of sizes from US 7/UK 6/EU 39 to US 14/UK 13/EU 48.5. They are offered in a single width and those with very wide feet may find them a little constrictive. It’s worth noting that the shoes come with Salewa’s Multi Fit Footbed insoles – essentially this is a modular system that allows you to adjust the internal volume and fit of the boots and is a great option to have available, especially if you have narrower feet.

These boots also come with Salewa’s 3F system – this is a system of steel cables that forms a cradle for the heel that tensions as you tighten the laces. Our reviewer thought this was a bit of a gimmick when they first encountered this system, but after some time with the boots, it became clear that they do contribute positively to the fit and comfort of these boots.

Materials

The exterior of the upper section of the Salewa Alp Trainer 2 is made largely from thick suede leather – Salewa claim it’s between 1.4mm and 1.6mm thick. The rest of the boot is synthetic with parts of the upper section – especially the tongue – being made from breathable mesh. These boots also feature a Gore Tex membrane which allows them to be water resistant whilst still maintaining breathability.

materials Salewa Mens Alp Trainer 2

Appearance

In common with the rest of Salewa’s range, the Alp Trainer 2 has a thoroughly modern and high-tech look the borrows heavily from the design language of technical mountaineering boots. These are certainly not traditional hiking boots! The styling is still fairly restrained, and these boots are not as in your face as the offerings from some other brands. The boots are available in a range of color ways – all fairly neutral.

The dark blue with fluorescent orange detailing combo that we assessed is probably the most striking of these colorways. Whilst looks alone should never be a primary factor when choosing hiking boots, we have to say we liked the look of these!

Durability

Salewa speak proudly of the brand’s Alpine heritage and it’s plain to see that the Alp Trainer 2 is built to withstand hiking in this environment. The boots make use of rugged and durable material in their construction: the thick suede leather that makes up most of the upper is a well-proven material that will easily handle the kind scrapes and abrasions these boots will likely encounter on rocky, technical terrain and a substantial rubber rand around the toe and chunky sole further adds to the boot’s durability.

Long-term durability is something that can really only be assessed over a period of years and as such, it’s difficult for us to comment on it decisively. However, these boots do feel tough and exceptionally well made and coupled with our reviewer’s previous experience with Salewa footwear, we expect that these boots could well provide many long years of service.

Sustainability

In common with most outdoors brands, Salewa are committed to improving the sustainability of their manufacturing and products. Data on the sustainability of individual products is not published, but the brand has a number of initiatives including actively aiming to reduce the use of fibers that release microplastics and eliminating the use of PFA (‘forever chemicals’) treatments from their range.

Water Resistance

The Salewa Alp Trainer 2 offers a very good level of water resistance. These boots feature a Gore Tex membrane that helps keep water out of the boots. The boots also feature gusseting on the tongue that extends up to near the top of the ankle cuff. Combined, this is not just enough to keep rain out, but will also help to keep your feet dry if you need to cross boggy ground or shallow streams. Of course, water can still get into the boots via the ankle cuff, so be careful not to go too deep into streams or puddles.

Weight

Salewa claim a weight of 1.04kg/2lb 05oz for a pair of the Alp Trainer 2 Mid boots – which is very respectable for a pair of modern mid-high hiking boots and certainly much better than a pair of old-style heavy-weight hiking boots. That Salewa have managed to hit this low weight point whilst still maintaining great durability and water-resistance is commendable.

If low weight is your only concern, remember you can get much lighter than these boots with some of the hiking shoes we’ve covered in our best hiking shoes round up, though you will, of course, trade off some stability and foot support. Those looking for a lighter alternative that doesn’t compromise too much on foot and ankle support may want to consider the Salomon X Ultra 4 as an alternative.

Insoles

Usually, there isn’t much to say about the insoles that come with hiking footwear. However, this is an area where Salewa distinguish themselves from their competitors. The Alp Trainer 2 is supplied with Salewa’s Multi Fit Footbed (MFF) insoles. Out of the box, the boots are fitted with a fairly regular shaped and cushioned insole.

Most buyers will probably be more than happy with these. However, the boots are also provided with two sets of accessory insole ‘cups’ that can go into the boot either individually or as a pair with the existing insole velcroing over the top. Those with narrow feet can use both inserts, or you can just use the one that surrounds the heel. This system allows the wearer to customize the fit of their boots and it’s great to see it included in the box.

Our reviewer has narrow feet and whilst he felt the boots fitted well straight form the box, adding in both of the MFF accessory inserts subtly improved the fit. Of course, if you need more arch support or footbed cushioning, then you can always still use third party replacement insoles too.

Break-in Period

This was one area where the Salewa Alp Trainer 2 really impressed. Or reviewer found these boots to be exceptionally comfortable straight out of the box and after a few hours of wearing them at home, was confident to wear them out on a longer hike. If you remember the protracted break-in period often needed with older-style hiking boots, this is nothing short of remarkable! All this said, we still believe that no footwear is completely without a break-in period, and we’d always advise wearing new boots out on a few shorter walks – or even just around your home for a while – to ensure they fit comfortably before taking them out on a long hike.

Lacing System

The Salewa Alp Trainer 2 uses regular laces. Whilst it might not seem like there’s much to write about laces, they are, in fact, a very versatile way to fine-tune the fit of your boots. The Alp Trainer 2 has laces eyelets that run down to very close to the toe of the boot (similar to climbing shoes) and allows even more adjustment than other brand’s boots. The 3F system – essentially a cradle that cups your heel – also relies on lace tension and is another way to fine tune the fit of these shoes.

There’s a lot of possibilities here and remember that you can adjust the fit and comfort of your boots even more by experimenting with different lacing patterns too.

lacing system Salewa Mens Alp Trainer 2

Toe Protection

The Salewa Alp Trainer 2 boots feature a thick rubber rand around the toe. The sole also extends up at the front to provide a very small toe cap. The toe protection is not what you’d get in a pair of heavier B-rated mountaineering boots, but it’s also much more substantial than what you’ll find in lightweight hiking shoes. The toe protection these boots offer won’t be enough to prevent every stubbed toe, but it’ll still do a good job of absorbing most of the bumps and knocks you can expect to experience on the trail.

toe protection salewa mens alp trainer

Conclusion

We were very impressed by the Salewa Alp Trainer 2 Mid GTX. They offer a great combination of comfort, grip, durability, breathability and water resistance that makes them hard to ignore. If you hike in very warm places or extreme cold/snowy conditions, you’ll likely want to supplement these with some more specialized footwear, but if you do most of your hiking in temperate conditions, these could well be the only pair of boots you need.

Disclaimer: This article contains Affiliate Links. You won’t pay any more for buying through these links, but we may receive a commission from any purchases made through them. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If you choose to support us by buying through our links, we thank you as it helps us to continue providing the resources we do to help you enjoy the outdoors more!