Every year, ISPO gives awards to the most innovative and creative products in the outdoor and sports industries. In the last few years, a number of those awards have gone to Salewa – a Dolomite-based outdoor gear maker that’s been creating some of the industry’s best backpacking gear since the 1930’s.

Back in 2016, their heavy-duty Vultur GTX mountaineering boots won an ISPO Award for its intuitive ergonomics and customization, which allowed it to be adapted to the wearer’s unique foot shape. The 2018 ISPO Winner was the Wildfire Edge  – was a lightweight approach shoe that allowed you to switch from “hiking mode to climbing mode,” thanks to their Switchfit system. 2019’s Winner is the sequel to that shoe – the Wildfire Mid Edge GTX.

The Mid Edge GTX builds on the success of its predecessor but turns it into an all-out climbing and mountaineering boot – one designed for both maximum comfort and maximum climbing performance. All they had to do was add a flexible mid-height ankle – that looks almost like a sock but provides serious support for rocky terrain and uphill climbs.

The main attraction here is the “Switchfit System,” which allows the shoes to quickly and easily adapt to your terrain. For climbing, you tighten the laces, narrowing the fit and transferring more weight for more precise climbing. When descending, you loosen the fit and laces, giving your foot and ankle more room for comfort on the way down.

For the Mid Edge GTX, Salewa also added a Gore-Tex membrane for waterproofness – a necessary addition for alpine pursuits. Rounding out the ensemble are Ortholite insoles for superior comfort, an Exxa shell for stability, and suede leather uppers (that could pass for mesh at first glance). The outsoles are POMOCO Speed MTN’s – a composite TPU material.

They’re not out just yet, so we can’t speak to their on-foot, high-altitude performance. But if they come from a brand like Salewa, you can expect them to deliver on all fronts – and be on your feet for years to come. And if they’ve won an ISPO Award – handed out by the world’s largest outdoor and sporting gear trade show – we imagine they’re worth the asking price.

Salewa Wildfire Edge GTX 2