Salomon OUTbound Women’s Hiking Shoes V Salomon OUTline Hiking Shoes 2021
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The Salomon OUTbound women’s Gore-Tex hiking shoes look virtually the same as the Salomon OUTline hiking shoes, so what, exactly, is the difference?
Put simply I’d say the difference amounts to a few minor details, and about 10 quid! (The OUTbound being the cheaper of the two.)
I’ve owned 2 pairs of the OUTline hiking shoe and mostly used them for hiking on the varied tracks of the South West Coast Path – where I well and truly killed each pair after hundreds of miles (photo evidence below!). They were so damn comfortable I wanted another pair, but when I found the Salomon OUTbound hiking shoe for half-price at Wiggle, I decided to give them a go because on the face of it they look (and sound) the same.
The Differences Between the Salomon OUTbound Hiking Shoe and The Salomon OUTline Hiking Shoe
Both Women’s Gore-Tex
The differences according to Salomon:
- Weight: Salomon OUTbound: 220g.
Salomon OUTline: 290g
- Fit: Salomon OUTbound: standard fit.
Salomon OUTline: slim fit
- Protection: Salomon OUTbound 2/5.
Salomon OUTline 4/5
- Stability: the OUTbound 2/5.
Features that are the same:
- Breathability 2/5
- Both have the same Contragrip sole
- They both have the same OrthoLight sockliner, water-repellent finish and GoreTex membrane
- Both have a gusseted tongue and synthetic upper
- The drop on both shoes is 9mm, etc, etc, etc
The biggest visible difference on the OUTbound is that there’s no “protective mudguard” on the sides and the lacing doesn’t go through tabs
But in my experience, the protective mudguard was the first part of the OUTline shoe to disintegrate anyway (I had to peel it off), and only time will tell whether lacing tabs make any difference at all.
My Overall Score for the Salomon OUTbound: 9/10
This is based on the functional similarities with the OUTline (which I also scored 9/10 – read my full 100-mile review here) and value for money.
However, there are enough differences for you choose one model over another
And here they are, based firmly on my experience of both! (I chose a size 6.5 and usually wear a 5.5 / 6 in standard shoes.)
Salomon OUTbound – Fit
I gave the OUTline 10/10 for the narrow fit, which was perfect for me with my narrow, ‘low volume’ feet. The OUTbound feel a very similar fit around the ankle, but there’s definitely more room in the toebox, so if you have ‘standard’ width feet, choose the OUTbound. If you have narrow feet like me but want to go for the OUTbound you’ll probably need to wear a thicker sock – which might make them uncomfortable in warm weather.
Salomon OUTbound – The Ride
9/10 For Comfort (After 50 Miles Or So)
- The OUTbound were very comfortable straight out of the box, but they felt a fair bit stiffer around the ankle – which inevitably meant I got some hotspots. I was quick to use some blister plasters though so they didn’t get any worse, but it was a significant difference (for me) from the OUTline, which didn’t rub one iota.
- They’re so light-weight you barely know you’re wearing them – which was a similar experience to the OUTline, even though the OUTbound are 70g lighter.
- No stubbed toes with either model – they both have an excellent rubber toe-cap. To be honest I have no idea why Salomon would score the OUTbound 2/5 and the OUTline 4/5 for protection since they both have the same toecap. Maybe it’s because of the mudguard on the OUTline, and if it is I wonder if it’s meant to protect the shoe, rather than your feet (because it wouldn’t seem to make any difference here)?
Salomon OUTbound – The Contagrip Sole
- Both models have exactly the same sole, which is excellent on most of the varied tracks of the South West Coast Path, including mud, loose stones and rocks, wet grass and sandy or pebbly beaches, so I’m sure they’d be good for most long-distance trails and footpaths across the UK
- Neither feel particularly stable on wet boulders but are both grippy on dry rock
Salomon OUTbound – Waterproofing And Breathability
10/10 for Waterproofing
Both models are the same in this respect – I had dry feet in both. (As long as you don’t let water in over the top of the shoe!)
7/10 for Breathability
Neither are great for breathability – even in winter, my feet were hot – although admittedly not as sweaty as they are in summer! It could be because they’re Gore-Tex, but you might think it’s because I have to wear thicker socks because of the extra width of the OUTbound, but that’s not the case…
Salomon OUTbound Wear And Tear
10/10 For Robustness After 50 Miles
There’s nothing bad to report after 50 miles or so, but I expect them to last 500 (which is what Cotswold Outdoors tell me you should get from any hiking shoe), so I’ll let you know how it goes!
Here’s What Happened To My Salomon OUTline Hiking Shoes After 500+ Miles
Based on my experience of the OUTline shoe I’d say that if you’re looking for a shoe for predominantly walking on Tarmac you should look for something else: the lugs wore out noticeably quicker on Tarmac than on trails.
(And if you’re planning to hike 630 miles on the South West Coast Path, for example, you can expect to encounter stretches of Tarmac around some estuaries, through villages and towns, etc.)
I found the textile upper of the OUTline to be really good and didn’t get any holes, even though there were abrasions. The biggest area of wear on the OUTline was the rubber ‘mud guard’ – it peeled off fairly quickly, and to be honest I didn’t notice much difference without it. Ultimately though, they fell apart when the well-worn sole came away from the upper. As I said though, I walked hundreds of miles in them, often backpacking with my Osprey Renn 65 rucksack.
Considering how quickly the mudguard seemed to deteriorate on the OUTline model, I wonder whether not having it on the OUTbound will make any difference over time.
Salomon OUTbound Value For Money
10/10 For An Internet Purchase
The full rrp is £110.00 (the OUTline rrp is currently £120), but I got mine in a 50% sale at Wiggle (March 2021) – which made them excellent value for money! Even at the rrp though, compared to other, similar hiking shoes, I’d say they represent reasonable value for money – perhaps a 9/10.
Available online from:
Salomon OUTbound – Overall
I definitely recommend them! I’m pretty hard on my walking shoes and these have been really comfortable on a variety of terrain in different weather conditions (although I wouldn’t recommend them for hot weather because of the breathability) – and they’re good value for money. They’re well worth a 9/10!
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Have you tried them? Share your experience with us in the comments – I’d love to know what you think.
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