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Salomon OUTline Prism GTX approach shoes review: a running/hiking/approach hybrid

A modern, breathable hiking-style shoe, the Salomon OUTline Prism GTX is super flexible and able to cope with rough terrain

Salomon OUTline Prism GTX
(Image: © Salomon)

Our Verdict

One of the comfiest shoes on test, packing a lot of technology into an unassuming trainer-style shoe. Available in four colorways, if ‘Almond Cream’ isn’t your taste, there are many options to suit every adventurer and provide a reliable shoe no matter what the weather brings.

For

  • Great laces
  • Supportive mid sole for tired feet
  • Grip is great for muddy trails
  • Gore-Tex membrane

Against

  • Soles hold onto mud
  • No webbing loop
  • Quickly look dirty

Salomon OUTline Prism GTX: first impressions

The Salomon OUTline Prism GTX is bit different from other shoes in our best approach shoes buying guide. When does a running shoe become a hiking shoe? When does a hiking shoe become an approach shoe? Although making no overall claim to be an approach shoe, the Salomon OUTline Prism GTX can adapt to any tough tricky terrains where one shoe that’s able to cope with a multitude of settings is exactly what’s needed. 

A lightweight, breathable shoe that’s got the flexibility of a running shoe, waterproof Gore-Tex membrane protection and the active all-terrain grip of a hiking shoe – plus some built-in protection against scrapes and bumps – this shoe will tolerate a great deal of abuse when hitting the rough and unexpected paths. High performance EVA foam delivers shock absorption, stitch-free upper construction provides a smooth, glove-like fit and feel, and an OrthoLite insole supplies superior cushioning, breathability and durability, upgrading the comfort and performance of the footwear. 

This shoe is feature and tech heavy, yet combines high performance with modern looks to feel like a well-designed trainer.

Specifications

• RRP: $130 (US) / £120 (UK)
• Weight (per shoe): Men’s 310g / 11oz Women’s 260g / 9.2oz
• Heel-to-toe drop: 9mm
• Materials: Synthetic textile upper with Gore-Tex lining; OrthoLite insole; Contagrip MA rubber outsole
• Colors: Almond Cream, Stormy Weather & Black / Flint, Ebony & Tropical Peach / Black & Quiet Shade / Blue Indigo, Navy Blazer & Icy Morn
• Compatibility: Walking, running, approach

Salomon OUTline Prism GTX: on the trails and crags

The vegan-friendly Salomon shoe (learn more about the best vegan footwear) combines features such as an extra grippy sole and a protective toe cap with an upper that’s built for trainer-like speed, so it straddles the line between being an approach shoe, hiking shoe and running shoe

We put the Prism to the test on some day walks and approach hikes in the hills and valleys of the Peak District and North Wales.

Breathability

Whether it’s padding up a gritstone slab or running along the North Wales skyline, the Salomon OUTline Prism GTX proved they were able to cope with the extremes in UK’s weather thanks to their breathable mesh and waterproof Gore-Tex membrane. These were one of the most breathable shoes we have tested.

It uses also a synthetic upper material in order to provide great durability and protection for outdoor activities. A soft, breathable lining helps sweaty feet stay cool for extreme comfort, while a tight mesh prevents debris from being trapped between your foot and the footbed.

Salomon OUTline Prism GTX

Sweaty feet stay cool in Salomon OUTline Prism GTX shoes (Image credit: Jessie Leong)

Waterproofing

The OUTline Prism GTX is available in a Gore-Tex and non Gore-Tex versions. Having it as a low-cut profile allows the shoe to be accessible as a running shoe and reduces weight and bulk. The Gore-Tex membrane kept my feet dry, even while running through saturated bogs and remote fells in the Peak District. It’s perhaps no surprise that the Pale Almond color was soon rendered more Bog Brown by the end of its first outing, but discoloration aside, they didn’t let any moisture in, which made them ideal for exploring in wet conditions.

Fit

The Salomon OUTline Prism GTX felt like one of the bigger shoes in the test thanks to the wide footbed, which then tapered and curved to provide a supportive mid section and cushioned heel. With a removable OrthoLite insole cut to the shape of the inner shoe, the OUTline Prism GTX provides superior cushioning which added to the overall sizing and comfort rating of the shoe.

The stitch-free upper construction provides a smooth, glove-like, fit and feel, which was also noticed by several friends who helped me test them. The shoe’s tongue was half attached, which made them much easier to put on than some of the other shoes on test with elasticated fitted tongues. Runners, hikers and even climbing friends found the OUTline Prism one of the most comfortable in the test, and definitely one of the wider and more supportive shoes in the range.

Salomon OUTline Prism GTX

Look at the lugs on these things! (Image credit: Jessie Leong)

Performance

These shoes were extremely comfy from the outset – lightweight, they fitted like a glove, had well-supported arches and flat laces, which I noted stayed tied and reduced pressure points over the instep for a consistent, comfort-focused fit. It’s not necessarily a good mountain shoe, because it’s not stiff enough for rock edging and other technical demands, but it’s perfectly suited as a running / easy approach shoe.

As for grip, the Salomon OUTline Prism GTX uses Contagrip MA on the soles, which is famed for its durability over wide variety of surfaces. It was most noticeable when the aggressive lugs were needed for pulling up some challenging sections of uphill, as well as descending fast rough terrain, where the grip of the sole helped with braking.

Overall

It’s a great shoe to wear for short outdoor adventures as opposed to long climbing approach.