Salomon Adventure 7
The Adventure 7 has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best backpacking boots for 2023.
Wow. These are honestly some of the best hiking boots I have ever owned. They look strange, but it's all form following function. The only thing I would have liked is a Gore-Tex liner, but it honestly wasn't too much of an issue where we were hiking. When it rained, the gaiter kept the insides dry, the only thing is that you can't submerse them.
The boots use an internal mesh bootie to strap your foot down and support it, while the stiff leather on the outside is used mostly for protection. An integral laceguard/gaiter zips over the laces which protects them from the muck and keeps the crap out.
Belive it or not, this system really works. Walking downhill with a heavy pack, up and down boulders, my heel stayed locked in place. The design really minimized hot spots, and I haven't gotten a blister from them yet. Water resistance wise, I've found that most of the water I get in my boots comes in through the big hole in the top, and these are no exeception.
Other pluses? They're too damned strange looking to wear when doing anything but hiking, so you won't wear out the soles trying to look cool wearing them on the street.
Use: Trail w/heavy pack, Desert w/light pack, Rocks w/light pack
Break-in Period: Essentially none
Weight: ?? Light
Price Paid: $80
Well, "they" said that the X-Mountain and the ADV 7 are the same boot. Tried out both, found that the X-Mountain was slightly bigger fitted and heavier. In addition, the stitching at the heal of the shoe was a bit of a nuisance. The ADV 7 in comparison fit like a glove. From the moment I slipped them on in the store I knew it was the boot to buy after several hours of sole searching. On the trail they are superb comparing to more expensive boots I have owned in the past. No blister yet.
Use: rough trail
Price Paid: $150 cdn (sale)
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Reviewers Paid: $80.00