Salewa flex system - why discontinued?


Original Post
Steven Scherr · · Boston · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 0

Ive read a lot of good reviews for the Salewa Pro Gaiter and boots with the flex system. It seems besides the screw stripping, everyone liked this technology. However, on the new line of Salewa boots, they seem to have discontinued the technology. Does anyone know why they did this if it seems that it was well received? Thanks.

shoo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 0
Steven Scherr wrote:Ive read a lot of good reviews for the Salewa Pro Gaiter and boots with the flex system. It seems besides the screw stripping, everyone liked this technology. However, on the new line of Salewa boots, they seem to have discontinued the technology. Does anyone know why they did this if it seems that it was well received? Thanks.
Glad they're dropping it, always seems like a pretty bad gimmick to me. I'm all for experimenting with off the wall ideas, but this one just wasn't great.

You are inherently making some pretty bad trades with a system like this, namely weight, warmth, simplicity, reliability, and durability. Competitive modern ice boots already walk really, really well, particularly those that have reasonable rockers to compensate for stiffness in the sole. The best way to make these types of boots hike better is to make them lighter. You're also messing with the insulation of the sole, which you'll need to compensate for with more insulation and/or a thicker (heavier) sole. Most importantly, though, if this thing fails to get into stiff mode (whether by ice, forgetting/losing your allen key, or stripping bolts), your day (or trip) is done. If it breaks altogether, your boots are done. If you forget to switch it to ice mode, your crampon could fall off and/or be damaged. If that happens mid-climb, you could be in a lot of trouble.

That is just not a risk trade off that most people are willing to make, especially when you consider that many competitor boots are better in nearly every possible way except a bit of flex during the approach. No thanks.
Steven Scherr · · Boston · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 0

Have you used these? Every review Ive read started off thinking it was a gimmick, then said it actually worked really well. It seemed to compare favorably in weight, warmth, stiffness, everything, that's why I ask.

I think your point that it could break and be potentially dangerous is a good one, especially for actual mountaineering. The only failures Ive read were the allen screw strippig, which should be simple to prevent in the future. From an engineering perspective, there are lots of pieces of gear we use that we could say this about, but generally gear failure isn't the cause for many accidents.

Im wondering if there are lots of reports of these failing, or if people were just too afraid to buy them and they never caught on.

shoo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 0
Steven Scherr wrote:Have you used these? Every review Ive read started off thinking it was a gimmick, then said it actually worked really well. It seemed to compare favorably in weight, warmth, stiffness, everything, that's why I ask.
No, I clearly have never used it. I have boots that I'm happy enough with, and if I were to upgrade and magically get some cash, baturas would be the way to go for me.

With regard to the reviews, it's always worth keeping in mind that few formal gear reviews do any kind of real long-term comparative review, and virtually all have inherent conflicts of interest. OutdoorGearLab gave them a second place, but the first place winner, the baturas, beat them handily in nearly every category. There are now several other boots out there in this category (Arc'Teryx Acrux AR, Scarpa Phantom Tech, LS Batura 2.0).

That being said, if you have a really good deal / you are just getting into the sport and unsure how serious you want to be, they don't seem so bad that I wouldn't even consider them.
Steven Scherr · · Boston · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 0

Thanks for your thoughts.

Nick Sweeney · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 615

As someone who owns and has used Salewa Pro Guide boots extensively:

I liked the system well enough, but for me it is not worth the weight. The boots are HEAVY because of it. I just picked up some Sportiva boots that walk fine and are so much lighter without this system.

Steven Scherr · · Boston · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 0

Thanks! I ended up picking up a different pair of boots. I decided I didn't want to be fussing with switching the boots back and forth. I do like the idea though.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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