Review: Salomon Vaya Mid GTX walking boot
The women specific Vaya Mid GTX walking boot is new from Salomon and is aimed at general hiking. I would say this is a year-round trail walking boot and a summer walking boot for drier hills. It’s not ideal for winter hills and mountains in Scotland because the grip and flex are better suited to hard-packed trails.
- The words in quotes are Salomon’s own.
- Women specific: “With a soft collar and Sensiflex technology, the construction is perfectly adapted to the morphology of female feet.”
- Convenient simplicity: “With simple lines and a choice of colours, this outdoor shoe offers out-of-the-box style, comfort and convenience.”
- Hiking ready: With higher ankle support for extra stability, the VAYA MID GTX combines sturdy mesh, a Contagrip® outsole and waterproof Gore-Tex membrane for your favourite outdoor moments.”
- Contagrip MD: A durable compound for the sole that is for use on hard and smooth or soft and loose surfaces.
- EnergyCell: “A high performance EVA foam that provides shock attenuation.”
- SensiFlex™: Two stretch panels that support natural foot expansion and forefoot flex, while still maintaining support.
- GORE-TEX: A membrane that is waterproof and breathable.
- Heel to toe drop: 9mm
- Weight per bot: 330g
- Price: RRP £130
- Sizes: UK3.5 to UK8.5
- See: Salomon.
On test: Salomon Vaya Mid GTX walking boot
Before I get started with my review I want to comment on some of the descriptions of these boots. I can’t decide if I think Salomon’s use of some terms and words is clever, or too high brow and irritating. For example, “morphology” and “attenuation” are great words but I am a believer that when you read something it should be easy to understand. I don’t need to be challenged with clever words when I am trying to understand the features of a walking boot.
Saying that, I get what Salomon is driving at but are these words necessary?
The boots are very comfortable from the second I put the on. I have a narrow and fairly flat foot so there is a little too much internal volume, but for most people with an average foot I think they will fit well.
The heel cup is quite deep and roomy and, again, this is not ideal for a narrow foot. One solution is to swap the insole for something a little thicker.
The boots feel really lightweight, too.
The 9mm drop actually feels quite level. What I mean is that there doesn’t appear to be much of a heel-to-toe drop. This means the sole feels quite natural and close to the ground rather than built up.
The flex is on the very flexible side. This tells me it’s a summer boot or a boot that is fine for year-round walking but not in high and rocky places. It’s a great boot for paths, trails and tracks but not for wet and abrasive rock or mud and scree.
The sole (and the lugs) are fine if you avoid thick mud – we get a lot of this in Scotland – and stick to hard-packed paths and trails. It’s a boot that would be ideal for a long-distance trail such as the west Highland Way in summer and for generally getting out and about all-year-round. It’s a great dog walking boot, in my opinion.
The Gore-Tex liner means your feet stay dry, so long as the water or rain doesn’t get in at the ankle cuff.
There is a thin rubber rand around the edge of the boot, between the fabric upper and the sole. The rubber rises up higher and thicker at the ankle. The boots look like they will be durable if you stick to the trails and paths.
It’s a very comfortable boot to walk in and while the upper is soft and cosy (I think this is where the Sensiflex comes in), my feet still feel supported. The ankle support is really nice and there are two hooks each side for the laces, so it’s possible to tighten the boots properly.
The tongue is wonderfully soft and comfortable, too, and it stays in place thanks to the lacing system. I double tied the laces and they stayed tied.
Another nice detail is the loop at the back of the ankle that allows you to hold the boot with a finger while you slip in your foot.
I know colours and looks shouldn’t matter because practicalities are more important but this is a pretty boot. I was sent the green boot by Salomon and I think it looks fab. The only issue is that the pale green will end up a dirty mud colour in no time at all living where I do.
Conclusion: The Salomon Vaya Mid GTX walking boot is a very easy boot to wear – and to like. It’s lightweight, comfortable and offers good trail and path hiking durability and grip. I will be using these for dog walks on local trails, paths and tarmac during the autumn and winter. Come the spring, I’ll head up the drier and less muddy hills in these boots, too.