Salewa has released the Salewa Wildfire 2 Approach Shoes. I reviewed the original Salewa Wildfire Edge back in 2019 and liked them so much I reached out right away for a media sample when I saw this newer version was out. Now that I’ve had a few weeks to try them I’m ready to share my thoughts. Let’s start with who these are best suited for.
Like its predecessor the Salewa Wildfire 2 is a high end supportive approach shoe. It has the lateral torsional rigidity to keep your feet comfortable over many miles of rough uneven terrain yet enough medial flex to feel sensitive enough on technical scrambles. These qualities make these a great choice for a technical approach shoe for climbers, and durable choice for White Mountain hikers and 4k chasers, as well as long distant trail hikers. All of these groups, and possibly the latter the most, will appreciate the breathability of the recycled mesh upper.
Interestingly I had to go up a full size in these compared to when I reviewed the Wildfire Edge back in 2019 (US Men’s Size 8). To get a proper fit in these I needed to go into a US Men’s Size 9 (EU 42). Once I did that though they fit amazing, and like before I felt no need to adjust the adjustable footbeds that come with these shoes. The midsole and insole provide plenty of cushion and having feet that “run hot” I was a huge fan of the breathable mesh uppers.
I’ve developed quite a bit of faith in the POMOCO sole over the last few years. While I had some concerns with the soles in my 2019 review either the formula has changed a bit or my technique has improved (maybe both)? These soles are some of the grippiest soles I have ever tested. It is hard to quantitively compare the true friction performance of the different sole compounds I can state that these feel almost as grippy as Stealth C4, but definitely more durable and long lasting. Laced snugly I felt plenty secure in 4th and easy fifth class terrain (up to 5.6). I also appreciated the soft internal gaiter which helped keep debris out while out on more than one bushwhacking adventure.
The Salewa Wildfire 2 Approach Shoes have a solid standing in my personal “Top Three Approach Shoes” category. If you are currently in the market for some approach shoes see if your local outdoor shop carries these. If they don’t you might try a pair from one of these online retailers, most who accept free returns/exchanges if you don’t get the size just right.
Men’s and Women’s models available, along with a Goretex model for those who prefer waterproof models.
See you in the mountains,
Northeast Alpine Start
Affiliate links above support this blog. A media sample was provided for purpose of review.