If there’s any single Salomon sneaker that speaks to Salomon’s contemporary legacy, it’s the XT-6. Salomon’s signature trail-running shoe is a veritable fashion icon, both a collaborative maven and delicious appetizer for whetting the Salomon-curious’ palettes, perhaps leading them towards more advanced menu items.

Salomon’s XT-6 Expanse offers more mixed-material intrigue than its more technical siblings but the sneaker still primarily utilizes functional fabrics over organic makeups. Or so it did, until Salomon’s XT-6 Expanse Leather shoe stepped in to shake up the situation.

Yes, you hear me right: Salomon’s XT-6 comes in leather now. Huh?

Product photos of Salomon's XT-6 Expanse Leather sneakerSaks Fifth Avenue, Press

Salomon’s latest XT-6 shoe swaps breathability for cold weather comfort, wearing a mixture of grain leather and suede across its upper panels. Its two neutral-toned colorways are classic Salomon but its leather construction is certainly not, as far as Salomon trail runners go.

The idea is that this leather iteration is Salomon’s most winter-friendly XT-6 yet, aside from some GORE-TEX forebears.

But the XT-6 Expanse Leather is actually so much better than that, because it blends the utilitarian appeal of Salomon’s signature low-top runner with the buy-it-for-life ethos of leather, yielding a shoe that crosses boundaries — literally!

Most of the trail runners on the market don’t exactly improve with wear. That’s not a design flaw but a fact of life: the more you wear a shoe, the more it gets worn down.

But one especially cool thing about making the Salomon XT-6 in leather is that, whatever it lacks in waterproofing, it makes up for in day-over-day growth. These things will only look cooler the more beat-up they get.

To be fair, these things are designed to resist at least some moisture — we are talking about Salomon, after all. This brand knows outdoor gear.

Currently available only at select retailers for $200, the leather Salomon XT-6 shoes follow a brief string of appreciably textural Salomon sneakers. Recent examples range from Phileo’s touchable collab and The Broken Arm’s XT-Quest to MM6 Maison Margiela’s funky Salomon waders but nothing really hits the same as the leather XT-6 partially because, well, nothing plays with texture as much as an actual fabric swap.

The more the merrier, I say. If there’s any real improvement to be made to Salomon’s already beautifully streamlined shoes, it’s that they can be more inviting on a material level.

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