Salewa Speed Ascent

2015 Gear of the Year Winner

The Speed Ascent helps you maintain a faster pace for longer on the uphill. (Photo: Michael Karsh)
The Speed Ascent helps you maintain a faster pace for longer on the uphill.

If dashing up peaks or down trails is your thing, then this is the shoe for you ($139). The secret to its speed is a rockered Vibram sole, which forces you to climb with your calf and quad muscles instead of relying on your toes and ankles. The upshot: you’ll maintain a faster pace for longer.

On descents, the rocker engages with the ground more quickly; combined with the ultrastable lugs, it improves braking and reduces leg fatigue. “It’s like the shoes are nudging you along,” said one tester. Other standout features: a double row of lacing for extra cinch and a rubber toe rand in case your hike goes vertical.

12.7 oz;

Comfort: 4
Traction: 5

Support Outside Online

Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.

Contribute to Outside
Filed To: Summer Buyer's GuideHiking ShoesGear ReviewHiking and Backpacking
Lead Photo: Michael Karsh
More Gear