Wildfire Edge Men
The Wildfire Edge is a technical approach shoe that can be adapted from hiking mode to climbing mode. Designed together with mountain guides and top climbers in the Dolomites, the Salewa Switchfit system is as simple as it is smart. Simply tighten the laces at the rear eyelet and then do them up. This way, you pull your foot forward into the toebox, compressing your toes similar to a climbing shoe. Once you’ve finished climbing, loosen the laces at the rear eyelet for a roomier toebox and greater hiking comfort. To further enhance climbing precision, the Wildfire Edge’s insole also incorporates an Edging Plate right under the toes for additional, directional stiffness, while the rest of the insole remains flexible to ensure good comfort and a natural rolling motion. For enhanced grip and friction in both dry and wet conditions, the Pomoca Speed MTN sole is made from Butilic Compound. The sole has a precision climbing zone at the toe, good edging performance and aggressive lugs for improved traction on mud and soft terrain. For enhanced torsional stability, the Exa Shell works together with the 3F System to wrap the foot for flexibility, fit and support. Climbing Lacing extends right to the toe for a more precise fit and greater adjustment. The Multi Fit Footbed Plus (MFF+) uses interchangeable layers so you can adapt it to the unique shape of your foot, supporting SALEWA’s trademark Alpine Fit 100% blister free guarantee.
- Pomoca outsole
- Switchfit adjustment
- POMOCA® S Path
- Stretch gaiter
- Anti-rock heel cup
- Exa Shell
- MFF+ Footbed
- Climbing Lacing
- 3F System
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Half Pair - size 8 UK
Full Pair - size 8 UK
A running inspired shoe, designed to excel on technical trails. These shoes may have less rubber lasting and a smaller climbing zone on the sole but tend to be on the lighter and less bulky side of the spectrum, similar to a classic technical trail runner.
Great for flat ground, short approaches, and slabby scrambling. Casual approach shoes are great daily wear for folks that find themselves scrambling and hiking a lot in between trips to the crag and the grocery store.
A more rugged shoe with more lasting and typically a thicker sole. Made to handle the most technical terrain and talus fields. Technical shoes can also have more ankle coverage and waterproof coatings.
Size vs Gender
Volume refers to the overall sizing of the shoe in relation to the size of the foot from top to bottom and side to side. Many brands make a Mens/Unisex shoe and some have both a Men’s and Women’s model. Brands are slowly updating their language away from gender to Low/High volume -- recognizing that any person may have a high or low volume foot.
Flat laces are found most often on casual or running shoes, as their low bulk helps with aesthetic and having a lower profile.
Cord laces are found on the majority of approach shoes. Their rounded shape makes them more durable than flat laces and their woven structure makes them much stronger.
Webbing & Buckles
Though fairly uncommon, some approach shoes are made to be closed via a combination of threaded flat webbing and a tightening buckle.
Low vs Mid
The rise of an approach shoe mostly affects the support and coverage of the ankle but can also limit articulation and range of motion. Most approach shoes have a low rise. A mid rise should be chosen when scrambling through large loose scree or boulder fields is a regular need or when in wet or snowy environments where slippery surfaces can benefit from more ankle support.
The climbing zone is a quintessential part of an approach shoe; without it, we consider a shoe a hiker or trail runner. The climbing zone is a flat or flattened area of the sole directly beneath the toes on every approach shoe. This zone is specifically designed to not have lugs for grip and instead is intended for smearing and edging on rock during an approach to a technical climb. Some manufacturers add splits or shallow texture to this zone, but it is not lugged as in a traditional hiker.
A foldable heel is designed to flatten into the shoe so it may be slid on and off easily similar to a clog or a croc. This is becoming more common with newer models and is most likely to be seen in casual shoes than hiking or running.
Low Toe Lacing
Low toe lacing is a feature where the closure of the approach shoe extends greatly towards the toes as compared to traditional hiking shoes. This will most usually be an extra 3-5 extra lacings across the shoe that are usually partially across the knuckles of the toes. The advantage of lacing extending this low is that it allows a greater tightening of the shoe around the toes when terrain requires technical footwork like slab climbing or crack jamming.
An approach shoe with this feature either has a built-in elastic or webbing or an accessory strap or band that is designed to connect the shoes to each other when they aren’t worn. This allows them to be hung from a harness or bag on a multipitch climb. This is fairly uncommon and usually found on light-weight shoes.
Since there is no standard in the shoe industry for what exactly qualifies a shoe as ‘Vegan’, we only list this if the manufacturer has stated it in the product description.
Refers to an applied coating or material technology that either makes a shoe resistant or impervious to water. Not every manufacturer tests waterproofing in the same way so this can be difficult to compare. We list items as ‘Waterproof’ when the manufacturer states they have one or more of these technologies.
Low toe lacing
|Sizing||US: 7 - 13 (half sizes) |
|Materials & Construction|| Upper: 1.6mm suede leather, Exa Shell Over Injected 3D Cage, Microfiber
Insole / Liner: Edging Plate
Sole: Pomoca Speed Mtn
The Wildfire Edge is also encompassed by a web of laces—the "climbing lacing" system. This system reminds me a little bit of La Sportiva Mythos climbing shoes, where a lace runs around the heel and down through the front. Supposedly this allows you to tweak the fit from front to back, but I have a hard time discerning how much of a difference this makes. Having so many exposed laces also leads me to believe that this might be the main point of weakness for the design, as it is for the Mythos—once an outside lace breaks, it's likely going to leave you with an annoying mess to figure out. This hasn't been a problem for me so far with the Wildfires, but there is one spot on each shoe, near the ankle, where the outer sheath of a lace has worn through, leaving a tiny bit of the core exposed.