A few days ago, we did a selection of our favorite hiking boots brands to hopefully give you some ideas of brands that you can try this year.
Today we will take two of these brands, La Sportiva and Salomon, and compare them to each other to see which one would be the better choice for your specific situation. So, if you are undecided between these two, we hope this article will help.
La Sportiva and Salomon are two famous brands of footwear and outdoor clothing and gear as you probably know, the former is Italian and the latter French.
Here we will compare them not only for their hiking boots, but also for their trail running shoes, along with giving you some information about the history of each of them, of course.
Let’s begin with La Sportiva!
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1. La Sportiva
A short history of the brand
It was dedicated first to farmers and lumberjacks in the Val di Fiemme (Trentino), then to sports and hiking and mountain enthusiasts.
Given the strong demand for boots, in fact, after the first period of activity, the company specialized more and more, to offer a product line that nowadays ranges from hiking, to trail running, but also technical clothing for outdoor sports.
You might also like: 12 Best Hiking Trails in Italy: Our Favorites
Despite the economic crisis and the many difficulties encountered, today La Sportiva is one of the leading brands in the outdoor boots sector, exporting its products to more than 70 countries in the world and offering quality and cutting-edge products.
Materials and Manufacture
The trail running shoes by La Sportiva are versatile and combine different materials and technologies to make them suitable for the most diverse terrains.
For example, the FriXion® technology and materials, exclusive to La Sportiva, are used in many of the trail running shoes. This material guarantees wear resistance in different types of terrain.
If you need more water resistance and waterproofness, the Gore-Tex trail running shoes guarantee breathability and waterproofness.
As for the hiking shoes, which we talked about in our previous article, La Sportiva offers a wide selection here too. For all types of terrains and for all needs, their products are versatile and flexible.
Thanks to the combination of different materials, such as the Gore-Tex Surround membranes and the breathable grafts in Nano-Cells™, they are suitable for short excursions or for the most demanding ones.
They guarantee breathability and waterproofness, offering a large number of possibilities to choose from.
Now, as we usually do in these comparisons, let’s see some popular designs that the brand La Sportiva provides for trail running and hiking shoes.
La Sportiva Men’s Wildcat Trail Running Shoe
Starting with a trail running shoe, we chose Wildcat which is light, breathable, suitable for hot climates and humid soils. Furthermore, with its Grippy FriXion AT sole, it guarantees stability on all types of terrain, even the most impervious.
It is available in different colors and offers comfort, stability, breathability for outdoor sports such as trail running.
La Sportiva Women’s Synthesis Mid GTX Hiking Shoe
As for La Sportiva’s hiking shoes, we picked the Synthesis Mid GTX for women.
With very beautiful colors, thanks to the Gore-Tex technology it offers breathability and waterproofness. The foot will remain dry during walking hours, in many weather conditions.
The shoe is ultra-light and very versatile, thanks to the specific materials that make it suitable for sports such as hiking.
The prices of La Sportiva, considering the high quality and characteristics of the brand, are not very high.
The price for hiking and trail running shoes is on average about $150, starting from $110-$120. So, for a high performance shoe, we don’t think the prices are very high.
Are La Sportiva shoes worth the price?
Yes. As we said their prices are not high and in our opinion these shoes are definitely worth the price. La Sportiva is in fact a quality brand and you can also choose from their product range the option that is suitable for your budget (starting at around $110 and going up from there).
A short history of the brand
The history of the Salomon company starts in France in 1947 (here are some other French outdoor brands). It was born as a company that manufactured ski bindings – in 1966 they invented the first ski binding with automatic release heel.
It is only the beginning of a success in the field of ski sports: 1979 is the year of production of the first Salomon ski boots.
From the ’90s Salomon began to also produce shoes and boots for sports such as hiking and trekking. Always with an eye on ski boots, production begins in the world of winter clothing.
In 2018 Salomon athletes win 18 medals at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games. A story made of success.
Now the brand values are based on: fun, family, adventure; with an eye towards environmental sustainability.
Materials and Manufacture
Salomon is famous for their high performing shoes. This is also thanks to the use of different technologies, such as Gore-Tex, which makes the membranes utilized in shoes waterproof and resistant.
Another technology used by Salomon is the Contagrip® TD outer sole. It is a technology designed to improve traction on various types of terrain, including more difficult and impervious ones.
The OrthoLite® die cut insole technology also deserves to be mentioned, which allows the foot to breathe and remain comfortable during excursions and trail running.
With regard to trail running shoes in particular, the Energy Save midsole guarantees superior cushioning.
“Even details make the difference“: for a comfortable fit, to remove and put on the shoe with ease, Salomon uses Quicklace™, a robust and thin string.
As for hiking shoes they use different technologies that make them waterproof and comfortable. Among these we can mention SensiFit™, EnergyCell™ to mitigate shocks, “extra” tip protection, and waterproof materials.
The Gore-Tex membrane also guarantees that the foot will remain dry, even in wet soils and rainy climates.
Salomon Men’s XA Pro 3D Trail Running Shoes
Our first choice by Salomon is the XA Pro 3D shoe for men. It comes with different technologies to make the shoe not only suitable for trail running, but also versatile (can be used for various outdoor sports).
With an aggressive grip and attractive design, it is suitable for all types of terrains, and is available in different colors.
Salomon Men’s X Ultra 3 GTX Hiking Shoes
Also with the aggressive grip which is a special feature of Salomon, the X Ultra 3 shoe for men is available in various colors.
It is a hiking shoe design that offers comfort and stability. This is also thanks to the two different types of rubber on the sole, which make the shoe suitable for tackling the most difficult terrains.
Slightly higher in price compared to La Sportiva, we believe this is justified by the fact that Salomon offers a more varied range of solutions to choose from. However, not very expensive given the quality.
The options start at about $90 and can exceed $200, prices that we believe are right for products of this quality.
Are Salomon shoes worth the price?
We think they are worth it, considering the wide range of designs, their performance and quality, and also the many positive online reviews.
Not very high but also not low, Salomon’s prices are fair for the quality of the products they offer.
3. Which Brand is Better?
Both companies started very early with the production of shoes or, in the case of Salomon, with ski boots.
Subsequently they specialized in just that, and today they are two of the most renowned brands for hiking and trail running shoes.
But which one is better?
If we were to focus on aesthetics only, we believe that Salomon offers better solutions: the design is very modern and attractive.
On the other hand, if your budget is lower but you don’t want to compromise on quality at the same time, you can instead choose the La Sportiva brand, which offers a wide selection of shoes, at a slightly lower price.
In our opinion, the added value of Salomon lies in the design, the wide availability of products and in a slightly greater number of specific features and technologies used. La Sportiva is a reliable and quality brand too, which offers many useful features.
So, if we were forced to make a choice and, of course, if we had the budget, we would go with Salomon for their design and features.