Salewa Rapace Gore-Tex boots. For those of you not familiar with Salewa, they cater their gear for mountaineering, speed hiking, backpacking. They have a ton of boot options. I’m always looking for the perfect boot and have a hard time finding one that I like that checks all the boxes: fits well, lightweight, waterproof, athletic, supportive enough to pack heavy loads in steep rocky country, and durable. I have bunions on both feet and usually require a wide fit. This limits my options as a lot of boots I’ve tried put too much pressure on my bunions.
I had borrowed a pair of Salewa Rapace from a friend during an early summer scouting trip and loved them. I wore them in steep, rocky, trail-less country that will test any boot. They were awesome on that trip. So, when Rokslide wanted me to do a review, I was excited. More info here.
I received my pair just before I went on a trip. Right out the gate, I could feel the support difference. The Vibram outsoles provided excellent grip. The Rapace are 7-inch boots that weighed in at 1 pound 11 ounces each. They are designed for mountaineering, and are quite a bit stiffer than the Mountain Trainer lite (my review of those is coming soon) The Rapace are listed for $299.95 on their site.
Easy To Put On
The Salewa Repace have a “wide mouth” when putting your feet in the boot. Which for me is a bonus, especially in cold weather when I often have to work to get boots on. These I can basically get my feet in without using my hands. Maybe that’s me being lazy but I like it. They don’t come in wide and the outside is very stiff which for me is often a no-go. Yet, these fit perfectly with little pressure on my bunions. I started with a monster hike and was worried that I didn’t have them broken in. Luckily that didn’t matter. As I didn’t have any hot spots.
Almost A Perfect Boot For Me
The Rapace boots did well in almost every aspect. They are made for what I do, and feel athletic, tight, and streamlined. The shell is very protective. I don’t even feel rocks hitting the bottom of my feet. One important thing I noticed was the excellent ankle support. I often move fast through rocky terrain with a lot of shale. Often powering through the stuff on the way down. I’m prone to rolling my ankles and if a boot doesn’t have enough support, I have to be a lot more careful. These did as well as any boot I’ve used in this regard.
In The Field
I chose the Rapaces for a high-country mule deer hunt and also for my 10-year-old’s backpack elk hunt. We got early snow a couple of days. I was at 10K in about 10 inches of snow with deep drifts on the ridges. I did use a pair of gators a few of the days. There were a couple of sloppy wet days when it rained on top of the snow. This was no problem my feet never got wet or even cold for that matter.
This was a pleasant surprise as usually my feet find a way to get wet. They continued to have a good grip on the snow-covered rock. Packing out my daughter’s bull in some nasty terrain, they did very well, and provided solid support. I also helped a friend pack a buck out in some extremely steep rocky country with no issues.
Durability Less Than Expected
As for durability, I was expecting the shell of the boots to get tested in the sharp rock. It seems very well put together and stout and while I haven’t used them for a bunch of days, they have held up very well. Now the outsoles are a different story; while they offered excellent grip, they experienced significant wear in a short period including pieces ripped off in the sharp shale. To be fair I put them through quite a test using them almost exclusively in extreme terrain.
The Rapace fit what I do almost perfectly.
I love the Salewa Rapace boots but the outsoles wearing out quickly is a significant issue. Their customer service was great and got back to me right away when I let them know the issues, and offered to repair them.
There is a lot to work with with this boot and I feel it would be a perfect hunting boot for a lot of hunters especially if they could address the issue with the outsole. You can order yours here.
You can comment on this review or ask Jim questions here.