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Salomon Toundra Mid WP Winter Hiking Boot Review

The Salomon Toundra Mid WP is a warm winter hiking boot insulated with Aerogel, the same insulation used by NASA to protect its Mars probes.
The Salomon Toundra Mid WP is a warm winter hiking boot insulated with Aerogel, the same insulation used by NASA to protect its Mars probes.

The Salomon Toundra Mid WP winter hiking boot is a lightweight boot that is perfect for hiking and snowshoeing in winter weather. Rated for -40 F, the Toundra Mid WP is insulated with Aerogel, an ultralight foam insulation that NASA developed to protect the Mars probes from extreme cold. Considered the most efficient insulation available today (3 inches has an R-value of 30), Aerogel insulation is far less bulky than Thinsulate (widely used in winter boots) and doesn’t rely on thickness or loft, making it ideal for cold weather footwear and apparel applications.

The Aerogel insulation used in the Toundra Mid WP boots has the added benefit of being very lightweight, which is important when winter hiking with heavy crampons or snowshoes. Weighing just 1 pound 7 ounces (per boot), the Toundra Mid WP boots are so light that they feel like you’re wearing trail runners instead of a much winter boot, providing a noticeable reduction in the amount of fatigue experienced when hiking steeply uphill or breaking trail in snowshoes.

The Toundra boots are indeed quite warm when worn for cold weather hiking and snowshoeing, with a faux fur lining around the top of the boot for increased comfort. They fit slightly wide and about 1/2 size small, so size up and wear a slightly heavier sock to get a good fit. Your feet will also stay warmer and be more comfortable if you leave a little wiggle room for your toes, but that is true with any winter boot.

Rear heel notch is sized to hold a snowshoe strap.
Rear heel notch is sized to hold a snowshoe strap.

The waterproofing on the boots is very good and I have not experienced any leakage when snowshoeing or stomping through winter streams.  A gusseted tongue also provides extra protection against water ingress, providing 5 inches of clearance in standing water.

Additional features include a thick toe cap for additional toe protection and a heel notch on the back of the boot to hold your rear snowshoe strap, a great add-on to ensure a secure boot-to-snowshoe connection.

The Salomon Toundra Mid WP boot has low profile lugs to save weight.
The Salomon Toundra Mid WP boot has low profile lugs to save weight.

Sole traction is good even though the lugs of the boot aren’t exceptionally deep. The soles are not stiff, so you’ll definitely want to use a crampon with a flexible leaf spring like the CAMP Stalker Universal Crampon, which fits these boots very well.

I bought these winter boots on the recommendation of a peakbagging friend, who crowed about their waterproofness and lightweight. He was spot on with that advice and these Salomon Toundra Mid WP boots have become my winter hiking footwear of choice.

Double 1++ recommended!

Disclosure: The author bought these boots with his own funds and loves them! 

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31 comments

  1. An excellent boot. I’m on my third winter season with them and love ’em. Comfortable, durable, warm and totally waterproof. I’ve tromped through streams with no problems.

  2. I just got these this year as well. A great boot, very warm, took them up to Pierce and Eisenhower yesterday and was never cold for a moment. I agree that they run a bit wide, which leads to my only complaint: I’ve experienced a bit of toe bang, not because the boots are too small at the toe, but because I’m finding it difficult to get the boot laces tight enough to secure my foot from sliding forward inside of my boot. I’ve been playing with my boot/sock combinations and may try an insole to elevate my foot a bit to get better grip with tighter laces. I’ve also been trying the vapor barrier method with wool socks over plastic bags over liner socks and feel the lack of grip between the plastic and my socks is contributing to the sliding as well.

    • You might also explore stuffing some cotton in the toe box to fill up more space, but those other methods will work too. I use a sock liner under a medium wool sock to fill up a little extra space, but also tried a number other variations until I got the perfect fit that also provided good blood circulation. This is a common issue and not unusual with any winter or mountaineering boot.

  3. I ordered these to try this winter. Unfortunately they don’t work at all for me. I had read that they have a wide toe box which I need, but after a 6 mile hike in them, the soles of my feet were in pain (for multiple days after). I wear a wide in Lowa Renegades. Will keep looking for that perfect winter boot….

  4. Can u recommend any gaiters that work well with these?

  5. Thanks for the great review Philip. What would you estimate to be the upper comfort range of these boots for sustained use when snowshoeing, including breaking trail uphill through 6-12 inches of fresh snow? Also, do you prefer the CAMP Stalker Universal over the Hillsound Trail Crampon Pro?

  6. After extolling their virtues a few years ago on your blog Philip I may have to backtrack on my recommendation. Not because they aren’t a great boot but because they are a great boot. In fact, too great. If you experience cold feet then these are the boots for you. I also love the waterproofing along the bottom, which prevented me from getting wet feet when the snow bridge I was crossing on he way to Owl’s Head let go and I dropped into the river below.

    So what’s the problem? They are too warm. My feet are always soaked when I finish a hike and its not from snow getting in its from sweat because my feet are overheating. We did Monroe and Washington yesterday and when we finished the inside of my boots were pretty wet. Was never cold, just wet. I didn’t get a chance to dry them Saturday night so I used the pair of Keen Summit County boots that I got a great deal on recently (also one of the recommend boots from my article) because they were dry. Finished our hike of the Southern Presidentials yesterday and my feet were pretty much dry.

    Both boots are rated to -40 but as you mention they have different insulating systems. Not ready to give up on the Toundras but I am going to do a couple of experiments over the coming weeks to see what the difference is for people who tend to generate a LOT of heat.

    • Be advised, Michael really does run VERY hot. He hikes in shorts above treeline in winter weather…..YMMV.

    • I have used Toundra’s for 5 years in NH and Maine

      Try using a vapor barrier – a waterproof membrane (oven bag/Stephenson warmlite) over a nylon sock then your regular sock. These boots don’t breathe so sweat builds up and the vapor barrier does the trick I have not been able to find out if aerogel “wets out” like other insulation.

      I also added aerogel “Hot feet” insoles under a “Superfeet insole” I haven’t used them with full size crampons grivels with a flexibar and have some concern I may cut them if I misstep or kick by achilles.

      I am hoping to use them on Ranier next summer. I have used them with Hillsound crampons-(I put wire from a fishing store with swedges- between the back and front sections so they work with the flexible boot) they have been okay.

      I got rid of my plastic boots and Scarpa Freney GTX and only use these because of the weight.

  7. Those are some nice looking boots. Salomon makes excellent footwear.

  8. Hi, I have to order these without trying in a store, internationally. That means it will be very difficult to return them and I need to be very careful to select the right size. I normally wear 8.5 size Asolo Flame boots and they are ok fitting even if there is a little bit of room in front. It would be great to receive some feedback on how these Salomons compare to my Asolo boots. Should I order 8.5 or 9? My feet are not super wide, but also not slim. I will take a gamble anyway, but any help would be much appreciated.
    Sorry I forgot to say: Great website; as a newcomer to backpacking/hiking, this is a treasure for me. I read at least an article everyday. Thank you?

  9. Probably a 9.0. They do run small, and remember that these are US sizes, not British. You can always add a sock to take up any extra space. Glad you like the site. I love sharing my experiences and learning things from my readers that I didn’t know.

  10. Don’t overlook the Vasque Snowburbans. I’m wearing them now and have been walking about in them all day in 5″ of wet snow today and they are very warm and comfortable.

  11. I’ve still in search of a solid winter boot for hiking. I usually experience cold toes but less, I believe, due to a lack of insulation then if they get wet and are cramped. My feet sweat a lot even when cold it seems. I’m not sure these would have the breathability needed to keep my feet comfortable.

    I picked up a pair of uninsulated, all leather, GoreTex Kayland Globos with enough room to wear mountaineering socks, but they still wet out on the inside, then my toes get cold/numb. So, I guess breathability is key for me too. Of course, I then run the risk of water getting in.

    Anyway, how stiff are the Toundras and/Summits? Will they accept a flexible C1 crampon?

    • Try wearing a vapor barrier liner made out of an oven bag That will prevent sweat from overwhelming your socks. I’d also check you gaiters and pants and make sure you’re not sweating to much and overwhelming your socks that way.

      yes, the toundra accepts a crampon with a flexible leaf spring.

  12. Hi Philip, When you size up half a size, does that give you enough room for the nylon dress sock / oven bag / wool sock WVB system you’ve written about? Or would I want to go up a full size if I planned on doing that?

  13. I am soooo glad I saw your positive review of these boots, Philip! I got a pair, and cold toes are a thing of the past, even this past weekend with well below zero temps. AND they are light and comfortable!

  14. I finally got mine with your size recommendation and they fit perfectly; thanks for the help:) They are very warm, yet doesn’t cause your feet sweat, even in 50 degrees. However, they can destroy your knees if you are lazy and don’t change these with regular shoes when the snow ends.

  15. I bought a pair late last winter after reading about them here. But I got them primarily to wear at my son’s winter soccer matches! Happy to report on their first use this weekend. Rainy tournament weekend with temps in the 40s. My feet were warm and dry. Now to try them out on the trail.

  16. Phillip;

    Thank you for your report. Would you please tell me what was the lowest temp you used these boots in for walking? How warm were they once you stopped moving, and how long did you stay immobile until your feet started to feel the cold?

    Could you tell me about ankle support and lateral stability? Even though I mostly hike AT and local blue trails in upper CT and lower MA (would love to hike/camp the Whites but time doesn’t permit it, maybe in the next few years though), I prefer boots with good ankle support and torsional stability that supports a 40-50 lb pack. My 3 season boots are 1980’s heavy duty all leather boots (Asolo Pioneer, Fabiano, Raichle, Lowa; looking for a good Pontvert double boot!).

    I know these Salomon’s are a different animal, so I’m curious about their torsional stability and ankle support. How much pack weight can they support? 30lbs? 40lbs? I’m thinking the Vasque Snowburban may be a better choice, giving more ankle support and torsional stability. Or, since I’ve a low volume foot, the AKU Utah Top, AKU KS Schwer 14, or the Zamberlan 960 Guide offer more support than the Snowburban, and are just as warm, according to the reviews I’ve read. They’re also twice as costly.

    Much as I’d like to see how warm that Aerogel is, the Salomon appears to be a very warm pac boot, not a backpacking boot.

    Could others who’ve hiked this boot with a pack chime in on ankle support and torsional stability?

    Thank you,
    Wayne

    • Down to 30 below. Stability is good but I view it as a myth. YMMV. Suggest you get a leather mountaineering boot if it will make you feel better. It’s a hiking boot not a pack boot.the world has changed. I don’t stop long in extreme cold.

      • Thank you Philip. You clarified it when you said it’s a hiking not a pack boot. Exactly what I needed to hear.

        How is stability a myth? Isn’t stability what mountaineering boots are all about?

        The old school heavy duty leather boots by Galibier, Fabiano, Asolo, Lowa were top technology and offered superb stability in their time, especially Galibier’s double mountaineering boots. Modern materials and a changing world replaced those technologies for a time. But that’s changed and now most single mountaineering boots are, for the most part, leather.

        What’s old is new again.

      • Mountaineering boots are all about rigidity so you can kick steps and wear crampons. The myth is that you need extra ankle support to carry a 30 or 40 pound pack. You just need to be in reasonable shape. I carry those kinds of loads with trail runners and my non-mountaineering boots all the time. It’s ok if you prefer a leather mountaineering boot or a double plastic. I’ve used both, but for warmth or rigidity. But I think it’s a myth that you need a hiking/mountaineering boots for ankle support to carry 30 or 40 pounds.

  17. Do these boots have enough of a rear welt to accept leverlock heel bail crampons?

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