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Salomon Quest 4 GTX

photo: Salomon Quest 4 GTX backpacking boot

Specs

Men's
Price MSRP: $230.00
Current Retail: $229.95-$230.00
Historic Range: $172.46-$230.00
Reviewers Paid: $194.00-$225.00
Lacing system Regular laces
Waterproofness GORE-TEX
Anatomical fit Standard fit
Drop 12 mm
Weight 655 g
Women's
Price MSRP: $230.00
Current Retail: $229.95-$230.00
Historic Range: $229.95-$230.00
Lacing system Regular laces
Waterproofness GORE-TEX
Anatomical fit Standard fit
Drop 12 mm
Weight 535 g

Reviews

2 reviews
5-star:   1
4-star:   1
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

A well-made heavy-ish hiking boot for backpacking and hiking. Excellent support and foot protection and comfortable. Works equally well for wider and narrower feet, and has a nice, grippy sole. On the heavy and pricy side for day hikers, and they run warm in the summer.

Pros

  • Support
  • Sole grip
  • Comfort
  • Waterproof
  • Durable

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Warm for summer
  • Price

INTRO/BASICS

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I picked up the Quest 4s last May to replace a pair of Salomon mid boots, and because my younger brother raved about how they worked for him on a trek in Europe. The brand fits me well, and I was looking for a little more support and durability. My size 11.5 pair weighs slightly less than 3 pounds. The Quest 4 does not come in wide sizes but is a roomy boot. They’re available in men's sizes 7-14 and in a female-specific model sizes 5-11.

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HOW THEY FIT AND FEEL

The Quest 4 is a substantial boot. The midsole doesn’t flex much and clearly has at least a partial shank (thin flat piece of hard polyurethane or polycarbonate material somewhere in the midsole). Having a shank means less flexibility but more support and protection from rocks and roots under your feet. I have somewhat wide feet and wear them with a custom orthotic; my younger brother has narrow feet/no orthotic, and the boots fit both of us well. The boots also provide better than average ankle support. If you want the highest level of durability, foot protection, and support, look at all-leather boots.

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The piece with the red “4D” is hard plastic and gives the heel more support.
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The tongue is thick and cushioned. Not sure why they have that lace/loop on them.

The Quest 4 is also a comfortable boot because the inside is all very smoothed out, no obvious friction points, and the lacing system—speed laces on the lower part, hooks on the upper—make them easy to get a good, solid fit.  

For the most part, I wear these with a relatively thicker sock, mid-weight, which is really one step down from a thicker, expedition-weight wool sock.  

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Side view shows the lacing hooks and midsole features
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THE WALKING EXPERIENCE

Consistent with how they’re built, the Quest 4 feels like a sturdy hiking boot. They combine a burly fabric with a texture similar to ballistic nylon with leather at various points, and a thick rubber toe bumper. The midsole is some kind of EVA foam (EVA tends to be a more forgiving material under your feet; polyurethane midsoles tend to feel harder, and all-leather boots tend to have a hard composite or rubber midsole), and there is a hard polyurethane piece around the heel cup to give it more stability. This is a great boot for rough, rocky trails. It also might be overkill for lighter day hikes.

 The Quest 4 has been reliably waterproof for me. 

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Toe view

I have worn these boots on hikes ranging from high 90s and humid to high 20s and chilly. They’re better suited for moderate to colder weather. I wore them on hikes all summer, but considering how thick they are, even though the Gore-Tex membrane they have is "breathable," my feet were pretty warm. On all-day summer hikes, I benefitted from swapping to a new pair of socks at lunch. 

The soles are aggressive, with relatively deep lugs. They’re grippy in gravelly, rocky conditions, mud, sand. Because the rubber Salomon uses on these soles is quite hard, they wear pretty slowly and should last a long time. Their only shortcoming is that hard rubber doesn’t give you the best grip on smoother, slicker rock scrambles. Next time I tackle a trail with smoother slabs, I will probably carry a pair of approach shoes and swap them in. 

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These are 5-6 months old. I rotated them with lighter shoes this summer.

HOW I HAVE WORN THEM

I wore the Quest 4s on all-day hikes in the White Mountains and Shenandoahs, as well as on day hikes in the DC metro area for the past several months. I have not worn them on any overnight or longer backpacking trips, which my busy work schedule has impeded the past couple of years. This summer in DC was a steam bath, generally in the high 80s to mid 90s and humid. The most weight I carried with them was about 40 pounds; I packed a large pack and took a few hikes in these to see how they would feel carrying weight.

They saw more than their share of rain and muddy trails over the summer in DC. This fall, on trips to Massachusetts and Michigan, and lately in the DC area, I have hiked in them in cooler to cold-ish weather.  

TAKEAWAYS

I’m really happy with the Quest 4 as a hiking boot. A lot of stability and foot protection for a textile/leather boot, yet they are more forgiving in some ways than the all-leather boots I normally wear on longer, harder hikes. They feel like a hiking boot, though, so if you prefer lighter, more flexible shoes (light hikers, trail runners), these might feel like too much boot for you, and you might consider mid or low shoes instead.

My feet have been safe, blister-free and comfortable in all but the hottest weather, when the thickness of the materials and high heat aren’t the best combo. If you hike in hot/desert conditions, there may be better options in that respect. They keep water out, give you good grip in most conditions, and seem to be built to last a while. 

Experience

5-6 months of hiking and walking, from shorter hikes on slick river rocks to larger mountains with a lot of angled rocks and slabs.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $225

Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Excellent review and product info, Andrew!


10 days ago

Pros

  • Durability
  • Support
  • Comfort

Cons

  • Not a dayhiker

I'm on my third pair of these Salomons and they are by far my favorite backpacking boot. On two thru hikes of the Appalachian Trail each pair lasted eighteen hundred miles. Most of the popular hiking shoes last between five hundred and eight hundred miles.

Years ago I worked at REI and sold more of this shoe than any other. The price back then was also $230. I was first struck by their immediate comfort. They felt fairly lightweight for such a large shoe and as compared to comparably-sized shoes. Salomon has long been a favorite brand as I've been a lifelong skier.

Besides the AT, I also wore them on a hike of the Florida Trail and was plenty comfortable. They breath well and I did not overheat. I prefer the support that the 3/4 height gives versus trail runners and always knew that I wouldn't be changing them out more than once on a long trek.

Experience

Two thru hikes of the AT

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $95 (2008— previous year model), $145 (2009) $194 (2016)

Alicia MacLeay TRAILSPACE STAFF

Thanks for sharing your experience with these boots, Dah Wah He.


1 day ago

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