A big problem I have with many approach shoes is their lack of versatility. Sure, the majority are great for scrambling through rocky terrain, and some can climb reasonably well, but the simple fact remains that most approach shoes are being used mostly for, well, the approach! If that happens to include muddy or snowy trails, traction tends to go right out the window, as most tread patterns that are good for climbing aren’t good for less-than-ideal trail conditions. Thankfully this isn’t the case with Salewa Firetail 3, which I’ve been using through the fall and winter. Even in sloppy mud or snowy conditions, they held good traction where many of their kindred would have been slip-sliding all over the place.
Like all Salewa shoes I’ve tried, they’re comfortable right out of the box. The fit on this model feels geared toward wider feet than the Wildfire Pro (one of the best approach shoes I’ve ever worn, BTW). Those with narrower feet can dial in the fit with the laces which extend well into the front of the shoe, allowing for a precise fit. The Vibram Megagrip sole is plenty sticky when scrambling up steep slabs, and edges well too, (I’m generally not a fan of climbing in approach shoes, that’s what they make rock shoes for, but I suppose you could do that as well if you were so inclined).
At 390 grams (13.7 oz) their not super light but not overly beefy. For those who live in wetter climates, there’s also a Gore Tex version. If you need an approach shoe that offers year-round versatility, the Firetail 3 should be at the top of your list
Weight: 390 g / 13.7 oz
Ideal Uses: Hiking, scrambling & other approaching-related activities
More info and tech specs can be found on the Salewa website.