ProView- Salewa Dropline GTX
Anybody remember the first time they jumped on a trampoline as a kid? How they forgot about being tired, just enjoying the feeling of weightlessness and nothing else? Pure joy.
I haven’t been on a trampoline in years, and I’d forgotten how it felt until I went on a run in my new Salewa Droplines. These suckers are the albatrosses of running shoes; they want to run and never stop, as though it would require more effort to take a break than to continue flying down the trail. I’ve taken them up and down multiple 14,000-foot peaks in Colorado, both on and off a mountain bike. They’ve seen snow, rain, mud, scree, and rock, and still look like new. I’ve run ridgelines in Utah with minimal effort… and I’m not a runner, which is why I have the Droplines- let’s talk technology!
Salewa Dropline GTX
Product Description: Made specifically for dynamic mobility in rugged terrain, the Dropline has a lightweight air mesh construction and optimum impact cushioning to enable you to perform for longer. Utilizing advanced synthetic materials in the upper allows us to put more material into the midsole giving you softer landing comfort. In addition, this shoe benefits from a fast-drying GORE-TEX® Extended Comfort lining for durable waterproofing and optimized breathability.
Offer price: MSRP: $159.95
My overall impression of the Dropline GTX is that it is best suited for trail runners and through hikers on any terrain, and if paired with waterproof gaiters, will provide ample protection from all kinds of weather.
- EXA-SHELL tech
- Athletic style
- Could use a thinner mid-sole (personal preference)
First off, the Pomoca S-Path. It’s not a type of sole I’ve worn before and felt strange at first. That is until I realized its shape was literally propelling me forward as a walked or ran. It’s this tech that allowed me to feel as though I was putting in less effort and going further.
A body in motion stays in motion, as long as it’s got Pomoca tech.
And the tread? I have yet to find terrain it struggles on.
But let’s get back to one of my favorite things about this shoe, as well as the childhood trampoline analogy. Remember how you would keep your shoes on to jump? Of course not- shoes are confining, socks are freeing.
The Dropline uses EXA-SHELL tech, an anti-rock heel cup, air mesh, stretch gaiters, and Salewa’s 3F system to secure your foot in place, and the end result feels like wearing — you guessed it — a sock. It allows the shoe to form to a variety of foot shapes with no irritating pressure points. I have wide footpads, and it is a constant battle to find shoes that don’t cause pain after a couple of hours, so this was a relief.
For its weight, this shoe will take a lot of abuse before it begins to show. The EXA-SHELL tech is placed strategically to protect all the areas I’ve dealt with wear and tear on other shoes, while saving weight where it’s not needed. The soles are a good middle ground of durable but still sticky enough to maintain traction on steep rock, but for that reason, they also won’t last as long as tougher soles. I really like the lightweight quality and durable construction of the heel cup, since I find a worn out and floppy cup encourages twisted ankles and looser fits. The only part of this shoe that didn’t impress me is the somewhat flimsy shoelaces that I see myself having to replace sooner than I ought.
To me, the simpler design, the better. As someone who is not a distance runner, the S-Path tech is a game changer on the Dropline, allowing me to expend less energy and enjoy my hiking and running that much more. Also, the stretch gaiter fixed one of the biggest issues I have with any shoe ever- the tongue not staying put. The Dropline holds everything where it should be, and I’ve never had to stop and adjust.
Oh, and did I mention it has GORE-TEX? Snow, mud, and rain are no longer a problem.
I have very wide feet, and almost without fail every new shoe I’ve had hurts until it is broken in. But no issues with the Dropline, because the air mesh the shoe to expand at pressure points and I wear it all day without complaint! Similarly, the arch is not too aggressive so that I can switch from flip flops to these without discomfort.
As a whole, the air mesh upper, combined with the stretch gaiter and 3F system allows you to slip your fit in as you would a sock. It secures your foot comfortably all around, without undue pressure that might cause blisters.
Room for Improvement
The only negative that I found was due to personal preference, in that I usually prefer a thinner midsole; not for any other reason but less risk of ankle twists.
Friendliness to the Earth
They’ve been manufacturing outdoor gear for over 60 years, designed for some of the most aggressive terrain and conditions on the planet. In addition to that, they’re committed to keeping the outdoor equipment industry sustainable with over 60% model carryover to reduce waste, and sustainable packaging, just to name a few.
Great company, great gear.
My overall impression of the Dropline GTX is that it is best suited for trail runners and through-hikers on any terrain, and if paired with waterproof gaiters, will provide ample protection from all kinds of weather.
About the Gear Tester
Andrew has loved outdoor recreation for years, leading trips on Alaskan glaciers, teaching outdoor education in Colorado, and guiding students in the European Alps for the last three seasons. He has lived mostly in Colorado for nearly five years since migrating from the beaches of Florida. He has no intention of leaving the beautiful Rockies anytime soon. When not guiding, you can find him climbing in either Colorado or Utah, camping with friends, snowboarding, mountain biking 14ers, or sitting quietly next to a campfire. You can find his adventures on Instagram at @andrew.hamm.144.