Salewa Rapace GTX

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Salewa Rapace GTX Review Facts

A proper hiking boot can do wonders in regards to performance and protection. This is because they are specially designed to both offer safety and protection features like rock plates and special supports meant to help hikers specifically.

The higher collar helps protect the ankle from rolls and sprains. In addition to this, the traction is typically a little stickier than running shoes, helping the hiker avoid slips and falls when on trails. The overlays across the upper of the boot are usually a little stiffer as well to help create a more supportive and stable system for the foot.

And hiking boot usually also offers a larger toe bumper to protect the toes and the shoe from bumps along the path, as well as some sort of rock plate in order to protect the underside of the foot from sharp rocks encountered. When considering a hike it is very important to consider the type of footwear needed before venturing out.

This article is a product review on the Salewa Rapace GTX, a hiking boot offered by Salewa. We looked at what buyers thought of this product in all aspects including quality, protection, and durability. We also looked at whether this product is worth the cost associated with it. We hope this article serves you in your next hiking footwear purchase.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

High levels of arch and ankle support

High comfort and no break-in period

Decent level of traction

Extremely lightweight

Cons

Questions on boots actual waterproofing abilities

Some durability concerns across outsole

SOLE COMPISITION

SOLE COMPISITION

The sole composition consists of a stiff nylon material which is also incorporated with a 27% fiberglass material in order to offer stiffer support to the foot. Nylon offers some stretch where fiberglass creates a stiffness. The midsole is a Bilight midsole which is not only supposed to be supportive but also is lightweight in design which helps avoid adding too much additional weight to the boot. This is oftentimes a problem with highly supportive footwear- the extra support equates to extra weight. Luckily that is not a problem with this product.

These boots are also Crampon compatible. Crampon is a traction device meant for walking on ice. They offer blade-like cleats that grip ice extremely well in order to walk on ice without slipping.

Those who bought these found them to quite supportive right out of the box. They understood before buying the boot that their support was a little on the stiffer side and had no issues with this. In fact, many were surprised by how comfortable they are despite the stiff support.
TERRAIN

TERRAIN

The terrain they are intended for is hiking, mountains, and ice. We'll start with hiking and mountains. The outsole is made of Vibram WTC which is usually a very durable and sticky material very commonly used in hiking gear. The reason for this is because Vibram is known for both its durability and strength. The Rapace prides itself on offering a mountaineering shoe due to its superior grip. For ice, they are crampon compatible meaning that ice grips can be clipped on them in order to offer a shoe that can be used in very icy areas. This is particularly appealing to some consumers.

Those who bought these found that their traction was impressive right out of the box. In addition to this, they really appreciated the clip-on addition. That said, there were some issues in regards to the durability of the outsole even with the Vibram integration. This is discussed later in the quality section.
UPPER BUILD

UPPER BUILD

The upper is made of a 360-degree rubber rand. It also offers 1.8 mm thick Nubuck leather. Nubuck leather, being a natural material, offers a natural stretch without a breakdown in material. This helps with the break-in period and ultimately the comfort of the shoe. In addition to a natural step, it also means that also offers weather resistance. The upper is also GORE-TEX lined (inside the boot). GORE-TEX is well-known for its waterproofing features.

Unfortunately, those who wore these shoes were very disappointed with their waterproofing abilities. In fact, reviewers went through areas of light frost and found their feet wet which is a problem. Though this is the case, those who bought these were very impressed with the lightweight nature of them even with Nubuck leather (which can be slightly heavier) and with how durably the uppers of these boots are which is positive.
SIZE & WEIGHT

SIZE & WEIGHT

The weight listed is 740 grams.

They fit a little wider making them ideal for wider set feet. The different components of these shoes were specially designed not to weigh the boot down which helps avoid foot and leg fatigue over time. In addition to this, it helps with the weight that crampons can cause.

Those who bought these were really impressed with their weight and regularly noted how great they felt on their feet. Not only are they quite supportive but they are also very comfortable right out of the box which is really positive.
AIRFLOW & WATERPROOFING

AIRFLOW & WATERPROOFING

There isn't much mentioned in regards to the airflow. One thing to consider is that GORE-TEX is notorious for a lack of breathability. The reason being that prohibiting one element through (air) but not others (water in this case) is a hard task to pull off. Though because there were waterproofing concerns with this particular product this could be why little was said both positively and negatively about the airflow.

As far as waterproofing goes, those who bought these found that this model was a big disappointment when anywhere near water. It could be as simple as the dew that caused wet socks and this is a serious issue for those in wetter climates. It should also be seriously considered before buying these.
COMFORT & CUSHIONING

COMFORT & CUSHIONING

The insoles are stiff meaning that they are quite supportive but can sometimes hurt the arches. Not with these boots, though. Many reviewers really appreciated the stiffness of the insoles. They found them to be quite supportive as well as quite comfortable and cushioned with zero break-in time. This is really positive and should be particularly appealing to those looking for a new pair of boots right away. They also offer a solid foundation which is also extremely helpful when considering stability and support.

The flex collar is also something worth noting. Those who bought these found the collar to be quite comfortable both due to the material used as well as how flexible the collar and heel of this boot are. They found that they were able to move around easily but also felt supported, two areas that can sometimes conflict with one another. Luckily, not with the Rapace GTX.
AESTHETICS

AESTHETICS

Aesthetically, these are attractive. Though maybe not necessarily the most fashionable footwear, they are attractive in design for what they are- a hiking boot.

They come in a couple of different color options depending on the wearer and they look like they are made of quality materials (Nubuck leather). Those who bought these appreciated their appearance and liked wearing them with jeans.
LONGEVITY & OVERALL QUALITY

LONGEVITY & OVERALL QUALITY

The longevity of the Rapace GTXis a little questionable. Though they are made of quality materials like Vibram and GORE-TEX, many reviewers found that there were serious concerns with the outsole of these boots. They found that it didn't take long for the outsole to wear down enough to make the boots unusable. This hurts the cost value comparison. The price point is quite high too which makes it even hard to stomach the easy breakdown of the Vibram outsole.
SAFETY FEATURES

SAFETY FEATURES

As with many other hiking boots, this pair offers a nice thick and strong toe bumper. This helps protect both the hiker's foot as well as the shoe itself from bumps and nicks. They also offer a stiff nylon and fiberglass insole, this not only offers support but also helps protect the bottom of the foot from sharp rocks underfoot (similar to how a rock plate would work).

It also provides a higher collar with a flexible design. This protects the ankle from rolls and injuries, especially when in stickier situations.

Reviewers really appreciated its fiberglass insole as well as its solid foundation. They felt safe and protected with these on their feet.
FLEXIBILITY

FLEXIBILITY

Hiking boots aren't typically known for their flexibility but rather their strength and stabilization features. Luckily Nubuck leather offers flexibility with strength.

In addition to this, the collar (as mentioned earlier) is also quite flexible in order for a little more free movement without actually giving up the safety required when hiking. Flexibility is important because this helps with the responsiveness of the boot. When hiking and mountaineering, different surfaces are encountered including icy, wet and muddy. This means sliding and slipping which can lead to injury.

The benefit of a flexible boot is that the foot has enough responsiveness to react faster and stabilize the hiker. This means a safer trip and a better experience.
SUPPORT & BALANCE

SUPPORT & BALANCE

As mentioned earlier, the Rapace GTX offers a 360-degree full rubber rand. The benefit of a 360-degree rand is that the foot is stabilized all around the foot rather than just the top. The top of the shoe works with the bottom of the shoe in order to completely stabilize the foot. This means more control and more support when in motion. The Vibram outsole, though may lack some durability, does offer mountaineering strength traction which helps stabilize the foot as well. The high collar is also beneficial in offering balance to the hiker.

Reviewers really appreciated both their traction and their high collar stating that they felt very secure in these and that they were able to tackle more advanced climbs as a result of their stabilizing features.
LACING SYSTEM

LACING SYSTEM

The lacing system is listed as climbing lacing which is a system that both locks the laces and also offer some micro-adjustments when already tied. They lace up all the way up the shoe, along its collar in order to offer some customized stability around the ankle.

Reviewers appreciated the lacing system, noting that their ankles felt supported in them. Even those with injuries felt that their ankle didn't hurt as much when wearing these.
COST & VALUE

COST & VALUE

The cost value comparison is a little tough with the Rapace GTX.

On one side, they offer really great and reliable features including the crampon attachment. On the other side, there are serious concerns about the durability of their outsole as well as pretty low satisfaction with the waterproofing system.

They are made of quality materials and are (for the most part) constructed well. They aren't as versatile as alternatives on the market, though, that are a little more fashionable and thus offer more versatility.
KEY FEATURES

KEY FEATURES

- 3F climbing system for better performance
- Climbing lacing system for protection of the ankle
- Vibram outsole for better traction
- GORE-TEX waterproofing
- Flex collar for better flexibility
- Fiberglass insole for protection
- Nubuck leather upper for flexibility and durability
- Lightweight design for less early-onset foot and leg fatigue
BOTTOM LINE

BOTTOM LINE

The bottom line is that the Salewa Rapace GTX have some definite highs and lows.

On the plus side, they are quite comfortable and require no break-in period. If the hiker is looking for a pair of boots that can handle traveling in right away- these will work. They are also insanely stable and look really great too. They offer great impact reduction, as well as fantastic traction. Those who bought these boots felt safe and secure in them.

On the negative side- they have some serious durability concerns, they are not cheap and they don't seem to offer the same waterproofing knowing by GORE-TEX. These flaws make them a fairly tough sell. For those looking for a nice boot meant to be worn on less rugged trails, these boots would suit them. For those looking for something that can handle a little wear and tear with a lower price tag, these may be a little bit of a letdown.