Phila Holmes, a female outdoor athlete and #PaddyStaffer shares the essential outdoor gear wisdom we’ve all been waiting for, backed by years of outdoor action and adventure. Words coming from a worldly expert, Phila shares her thoughts on the latest outdoor gear, adventure stories, and an astounding insight on endurance running. We’re sure that the Salomon OUTtline GTX Hiking Shoe will speak the inner-go getter in you with the tremendous agility it serves.

Take Them Anywhere, They Will Take You Everywhere

Salomon is making strides in the bushwalking, trail running and outdoor adventuring spheres. They’re making the first steps to calming the long-standing, passionate debate between whether to choose trail runners or hiking boots. Salomon’s new OUTline GTX combines the lightweight flexibility of a running shoe, with enough grip and protection to take on any trail. Think running shoe on the top, with hiking boot/trail runner on the bottom. These shoes suit activities from endurance running, outdoor trekking, trail and ultra running, bushwalking, and everything in between. For these reasons, they are the all-rounder that should be added to your list of essential outdoor gear when heading to any adventure destination. They are especially suitable for action adventure travel, when packing space is of the essence, as their versitility allows this one pair of shoes to cover a range of multi-purpose activities. 


Their design motive was centered on the idea that today’s adventures now encompass connecting with friends, having fun outside, and discovering new adventure destinations. This is why the OUTline GTX provides the ultimate versatility. The ability to take on varied terrain, brave the elements and face whatever weather Mother Nature throws your way, as well as look sleek and stylish in the urban jungle when you have beers with your adventure crew.


The OUTline GTX shoe is built with athletic style in mind. The technical shoe looks as light and agile as it feels, weighing in at only 330 g. Outdoor protection is fostered no matter what type of terrain you’re taking on thanks to 5mm deep lugs on the outsole, a protective toe cap and a full GORE-TEX® membrane.

Trail running in OUTline Hiking Shoes

The OUTline GTX shoes hitting the trails for one of the first times!


With all that in mind, I was keen to put them to the test. My name is Phila and I’ve worked at the Paddy Pallin Fortitude Valley store for around 2.5 years. It is my second job (the other is in a lab) but it is my favourite job because I get to spend time getting people in the right gear to tackle their next adventure, whether that be bushwalking in Australia, endurance fitness, trail and ultra running, or hiking and mountaineering. Our customers are often setting off for action adventure travel, for trekking adventure vacations, or adventure climbing at a variety of outdoor adventure travel destinations, and that’s what keeps my work interesting!


At first when I was asked to write an outdoor gear review on the new Salomon OUTline GTX shoes I wasn’t sure it was really a job for me. I’m not massively into the tech specs of running. I just like running.


No, that’s not accurate at all. I love running with a deep passion. I mainly tackle trail and ultra running, having run a couple of Ultra Trail Australias, a whole bunch of local trail races including my favourite yearly race “Hares & Hounds” as part of the Glasshouse Trail Series and this week I am attempting my first sky run down in the Blue Mountains at the Hounslow Classic (68km with 4480m of climbing and descending). I have raced triathlons from the local Bribie Tri to Ironman and have lined up at two Age Group World Championships. Basically, I love any and all outdoor activities, but hiking is also one of my favourite things to do. Some of my favourite hikes include the 21 day John Muir Trail in California (read my trip report here), Singalila Ridge along the borders of Nepal and India, the beautiful Labyrinth in Tasmania to my brother and, just this winter, exploring the Walls of Jerusalem while it was covered with knee-deep snow. I guess you could say I have run and hiked a lot of kilometres in the great outdoors which means I have worn a shoe or two. With all that in mind, I was excited to put Salomon’s new technology and design to the test.

 So, maybe I am the person to do this after all.

Adventure Travel USA Banner Peak, John Muir Trail

Banner Peak, John Muir Trail

Long Course in Tri World Champions in Canada

North american Adventure Trips: Long Course in Tri World Champions in Canada

I’m not technical when it comes to running in that I don’t record a lot of stuff, I mostly use my Suunto to tell me when it is time to eat but I love it all the same. I don’t have a heart rate monitor but I love to trail run adventure destinations as a way of experiencing nature. So last week I put my new pair of Salomon OUTline GTX shoes to the test and ran 26 km from Gold Creek Reservoir up Mt Nebo then over to Camp Mountain on the steep, rocky ups and downs of Hell Hole Break.

I followed it up a couple of days later by running the South East Queensland classic trail marathon (43km) that is from Binna Burra to O’Reilley’s and back in Lamington National Park. I did this run in the rain on soft, wet dirt with wet, slippery rocks while puttingg roots to boot along the way. Check out the Strava route here and for more info, head to Queensland Parks for the full run down.  If you’re anything like me and love running in the rain, have a peek at our blog that runs you through the ins and outs of waterproof fabrics, to make sure you’re geared up for your next all-weather adventure.

Phila on run from Binna Burra to O'Reillys

My run from Binna Burra to O’Reillys

I then hit up Mt Coot-tha (a Brisbane classic) mid-afternoon for 9km outing because nothing ever seems as brutal as that little hill so close to the city with its hard packed but sweet single trail. I just really wanted to make sure I was giving the OUTline GTX shoes a run for their money by going up Powerful Owl, across on Ghost Hole to Litchfield and then back down the beautiful downhill joy that is Mahogany and back to JC Slaughter Falls. If you’re looking to check this route out yourself, see this classic Coot-tha loop on Strava  and for more tracks, head to the Brisbane City Council website.

Finally, the shoes and I headed out for one of my local favourites – the 13km Somerset Loop in D’Aguilar National Park . I love finishing off my morning out with a picnic breakfast at the Gantry after.

Trail and ultra running on the Somerset Loop in Queensland

Taking 5 to enjoy the view along the Somerset Loop

I felt with these I had covered a variety of the local terrain and conditions to give them a real whirl and test them out.

Here are a couple of stand out features based on my experience with the Salomon OUTline GTX shoes:


At first, I was a bit disappointed with the low profile look of the shoes, missing out on the fun, outrageous colour we usually choose from, but the more I think about it, the better that is. They are low profile and not too flashy so you can wear them with jeans or skirts and still have them look good in social settings. Their muted features are one of the shoes biggest differentiating factors from other options on the market.

OUTline GTX hiking shoes in the urban jungle

The OUTline GTX shoes in the urban jungle. Right: For a well-deserved bite to eat after a long run. Left: On my way to work at the lab!


I love the lightness of the shoes. These are hiking/all-round shoes weighing in at just 330 grams – these babies are light. Light means fast and responsive, which the OUTline GTX shoes absolutely were on the downhills. Shoes that are heavier and bulkier mean moving my feet fast enough to keep a good cadence downhill makes me feel clumsy, slow and cumbersome. A such, I am more likely to stack it, too. The Salomons were a dream (well, as much as anything can be) on steep open fire roads down. They are comparable in weight with my all-terrain “I don’t know what terrain I’m really expecting out here today” Inov8 Trail Roclite (305g) shoes and my North Face Endurus Hike (329g) but somehow they feel lighter than these.  They are not as light as my Trail Talons (250g) but my Trail Talons offer very little protection for my forefoot when on loose rocky sections leaving me to regret my decision to wear them to increase speed. These shoes are an all-in package, preparing me for any terrain my run might have in store for me, while weighing in light enough for me run in, commute with, do a range of outdoor adventure activities in as well as travel with them to adventure destinations.


The lugs on the bottom of the OUTline GTX scream Salomon Speed Cross, which is Salomon’s incredibly popular (and rightly so) trail runner. So to have a hiking shoe with this kind of grip is wicked. The shoes are a little more forgiving than the Speedcross and are not as flimsy or narrow fitting. I felt incredibly stable running downhill and especially noted this going down Mt. Coot-tha. It felt like I had exceptional contact on the ground. I think sole of the shoe offered a lot of protection for my feet and from what I encountered in them would be incredibly capable and stable on most terrains.  They also were secure enough around my ankles to stop any gravel and grit from finding its way inside the shoe, but did this without being constricting. They’re not the fastest on pavement because of the lugs but a slower 8 km trot around a city whilst travelling wouldn’t be enough reason to not where these shoes on the road as well.


I also love the generous toe box in the OUTline GTX which I find pretty helpful in keeping all my toenails on my toes. My previous shoes did not have such a wonderful feature and I ended up losing all 10 toenails after my trip to the States last year (well, there were potentially a few contributing factors – namely doing UTA then following it up with a month of hiking; spending essentially a month in knee deep water; kicking in steps in trail runners in hard packed snowy slopes, etc. So, it wasn’t all the shoe’s fault, I was probably a bit extreme with them in hindsight, but a larger toe box might have seen me keep at least 2 of the 10 nails). The outer protection around the OUTline GTX also seems pretty tough and should hopefully see the shoes last through a lot of rock abrasion. This is pretty hard to comment on while they are still new but I’ve had trail runners scuff up from abrasion in less, so … so far, so good!


One thing that I am not a fan of for here in south east Queensland is the Gore-Tex lining. This is no discredit to the shoes themselves, as it’s a very personal opinion based on where I live. Gore-Tex serves a purpose, and for multi use adventuring, which the shoes are designed for, it’s absolutely suitable. However, in the Brissy humidity, on my afternoon run at Coot-tha especially, my feet were sweating like crazy and it isn’t even summer yet! At Lamington NP it was a much cooler day (think 12 degrees) so I didn’t rate it as an issue in this case but I don’t like the Gore-Tex lining in my hikers or trail runners for use around home. It is much too hot. In summer when it’s wet, Gore-Tex linings are neither here nor there because water crossings are more than ankle deep and the Gore-Tex lining hinders the drainage of water from the shoe.

Bushwalking Australia in summer with flooded trails

Glasshouse trails in summer (why Gore-Tex doesn’t work for me in Brissy)

In saying that though when I go to Tasmania over summer for hiking and trail running fun the OUTline GTX will be one pair of shoes I pack. When I’m heading to Wales next year for a 5 day stage trail race in the mountains, these shoes will be coming with me. For my separate trips to the States and Canada last year these would have been the ideal shoe to have taken. I did a mix of hiking, trail running, snow running (with microspikes) and many walks to different breweries (I was Oregon, in after all) and these shoes would cover all those situations.

All in all I think Salomon have achieved an awesome, versatile hiking and running shoe that can be taken to most places. I can’t wait to see what adventures are to come for me while in these shoes.

Where’s your favourite place to hit the trails? Whether it’s near your front door or at an adventure destination around the globe, I recommend giving the Salomon OUTline GTX shoes a go for your trail and ultra running, mountain adventure, action adventure travel or hiking activities.

Phila Encouraging everyone to get out trail and ultra running

#ExperienceIsEverything #PaddyPallin #PaddyStaffers



About The Author


Some 80 years ago, a young bushwalker's dissatisfaction with the limited and heavy bushwalking equipment available prompted him to design and make his own. Before long, word spread, and Paddy Pallin's lightweight, functional designs were soon in demand among fellow bushwalkers. From its early days the company has concentrated on supplying bushwalkers, travellers and adventurers with the highest quality and most advanced products and knowledge. Since 1930 the company has grown to become Australia's leading supplier of specialist outdoor and travel gear. The company, still owned by the Pallin family, now has thirteen stores throughout Australia as well as online, mail order and corporate sales divisions. We are using our vast wealth of knowledge, and experience, to build an online community where we can share our stories, reviews and tech tips to help you research and plan your next adventure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.