Before I get into this review of the Salewa Dropline Speed Hikers I’ve got a niggle to dispense with first. The brand claims the Dropline Speed Hikers weigh 578g per pair, but the UK8.5 female shoes were 712g on my scales. The Dropline featured in our guide to The best trail shoes for hiking and hillwalking 2023.
RRP: $120 | £135 | Weight: 712g | Heel-to-toe drop: 6mm | Lug depth: 4mm | Materials and features: Own-brand ‘POMOCA’ butylic compound rubber sole; upper: 3F System with Kevlar cables, Exa Shell Over Injected 3D Cage, stretchable air mesh; midsole: Performance EVA , rubber toe cup, stretch gaiter, anti-rock heel cup, Ortholite footbed | Sizes: 3-9 | Men’s version: Yes
That niggle aside, I really like these. For me, the Salewa Dropline Speed Hikers fit is comfortable and supportive. If you have a wide foot, I suggest you go up a size; but my narrow foot felt hugged and loved. The ‘stretch gaiter’, which is a stretchy tongue, adds to the comfort levels because it sits neatly and flatly on the top of the foot and doesn’t move about.
There is plenty of underfoot cushioning in the Salewa Dropline Speed Hikers, although the heel-to-toe drop is moderate. I like this combination, especially when hiking and running on hard-packed trails. It would be good to see a bit more upper protection from trail and hill vegetation. The outsole traction is a little timid, too, but if you have miles and miles to travel, they are superb. I found it was as easy to walk as it was to run in them. Just make sure you tie the slippery laces in a double knot to stop them coming undone. All in all, these shoes are best reserved for hard-packed trails – especially dry ones because they are not waterproof, rather than lots of mud, bog and steep slopes.
Written & tested by Fiona Russell
Fiona is a size UK8.5 and has a narrow foot. She is a keen trail and hill runner, as well as a hillwalker. To test the trail shoes, she walked and ran in each pair on the full range of terrain, from forest tracks to off-path mountain slopes, through peat hags, bog and streams and on ground covered in tussocks, heather, rocks, stones and grass.