Outbound Reviewed: Hiking in the Yukon Alpine with Salewa Shoes

If the journey of a lifetime begins with one step, it better be a comfortable one.

By: Rachel B + Save to a List

Trekking in the Yukon is always a challenge. On the positive side, being located so far north of the equator, the territory is isolated from the masses of hikers usually found in places this beautiful. However, little to no trails exist, bushwhacking skills are essential, and the weather is always unpredictable. But ask most who trek here, and we'll tell you the rewards of capturing alpine views without another soul in sight always makes the adventure worthwhile.

For me, there is no other piece of equipment that matters more on a lengthy hike than what you put on your feet. I often feel like I can walk forever, and carry whatever load I need to haul over any pass as long as I have comfortable footwear that is suited for the terrain. Recently, my husband and I added pairs of Salewa shoes (for him: the men’s Raven 2 Gore-tex boot; for me: the Repace Gore-tex women’s boot) to our gear list after hearing the Dolomite based company had been awarded as an all around best boot by other gear testers out there.

Those testers were right.

Straight from the get go, these boots fit perfectly. Each pair came with an extra insert to make sure the interior of the boot customized to the size of foot whether that needed a narrower or wider shape. The climbing style laces also meant that we could adjust the fit for almost the entire foot.

First impressions of the boots had us stoked to put some miles in them. They were sturdy yet also lightweight for a mountaineering boot, and the caliber of the grip was apparent instantly. I’m usually a clumsy person, who often rolls an ankle or stubs my toe at some point in the journey. That normal pattern for me was not an issue with this shoe.

The soles were decked out in an aggressive tread pattern that clung to every slippery granite peak we climbed, and soaking wet river canyon we descended into.  With a narrower toe shape, the boots allowed us to be nimble when we needed to be, without sacrificing strength needed to stay sure footed in rocky terrain.

While fumbling along scree hillsides, through jumbled roots of ancient forests, and over pointy granite boulder fields, I was thankful for the full rubber rand found above the sole that protected my toes from painful missteps. Despite hiking for hours on uneven ground that would normally send me tumbling, the sturdy Vibram sole, with what felt like a shock proof midsole, along with serious ankle support allowed me to take each step confidently.

Between the snowy slopes and marshy bogs the boots handled each situation perfectly. Fully waterproof, the synthetic fibers and leather material also kept our feet at a cozy temperature as the weather turned from a summery day to a blustery evening on our traverse.

For us the beauty of the boots lie in that these didn’t need to be broken in and they handled each change in terrain like a pro. For now they will be great for our longer treks during the summer in the alpine, but they will also transition easily into a winter boot over ice and snow when the short northern summer ends quickly. We have yet to appreciate the crampon compatibility and although we might not, we’re really satisfied how they’ve performed so far.

If there was any downfall to the boots, it’s that they’re an investment that would be hard to justify if only going for simple strolls in the front country. For us, with little trails to follow when exploring the alpine and keeping our feet warm being a priority, it was a worthwhile investment. Already proven in rough terrain across boulders, rocks, and roots, the blister-free guarantee lived up to the promise and left us wanting to get back outside.


Learn more about the Salewa Raven 2 men's shoe.

Learn more about the the Salewa Repace Gore-Tex women's shoe.


Follow along my adventures in real time on @meandertheworld.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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