Trail running is a serious sport, and one that requires gear and skill all of its own. Take it high up into alpine territory, and that becomes truer than ever. Regular trail running shoes won’t deliver the traction, flexibility or coverage that those high-altitude conditions demand, and any trail runner heading to those high elevations will soon find themselves reaching for dedicate shoes that can handle the rugged terrain and moisture they’ll be sure to find up there. Our pick? The Salomon S-Lab XA Alpine.

Salomon knows outdoor footwear, and the S-Lab XA Alpine certainly doesn’t disappoint, either. Combining the best of a lightweight runner with the coverage and protection of a boot, thanks to the integrated gaiter that rises 8” and keeps your ankles and feet clean and dry, not matter how much mud you come across. The gaiter uses a Quicklace closure, with integrated zipper. The upper is made from ripstop nylon for durability and sheer light weight, and is woven tight enough to be water-resistant and

The shoes also use the Sensifit upper and EndoFit technology that Salomon uses to create flexible, comfortable and slim shoes that fit tight and snug, and pairs them with a Carbon Chassis, which keeps your heels firmly planted and stable, helping maintain grip – extremely important when flying up and down mountain trails.

On the bottom is a Wet Traction Contagrip sole for good footing on any surface, that sits on top of three generous layers of EVA Foam for shock-absorption.

To top it all off, the Salomon S-Lab XA looks sick. We all know how important it is to like what you’re wearing out there. They also weigh in at only 13.2 ounces a pair, making them not the lightest trail runners out there, but well-balanced considering the heavy use you’ll likely be demanding of them. If alpine running is your thing, Salomon’s got you covered with these bad boys; their our pick for the Best Alpine Trail Running Shoes of 2018.

S-Lab XA Top Down Salomon S-Lab XA Sole Salomon S-Lab XA S-Lab XA Side Sole