For the heavy-duty adventurer looking to explore a wide range of locales, the Salomon’s Quest 4D Backpacking Boots are the way to go. They are not only streamlined and elegant, but full functional as protectors against cold, wet, uneven ground, and all the dangers therein.
- True to size, according to customer ratings
- Very short breaking-in period; most buyers report that the shoes can be broken in within a few hours with very little movement
- Highly praised for comfort over an extended period of time
- Exteriors do not dry quickly
- Limited durability: May gradually lose waterproofing ability after several hundred miles of hiking, or after extreme use
- Not suited for trail running, although buyers report that it is excellent for backpacking and hiking
Salomon was established in 1947 in the French Alps, the heartland of Alpinism. From their origins as a pioneer of modern ski equipment, Salomon has since then expanded its production line to encompass their full passion for mountain sports, designing and distributing everything from skis to apparel to footwear. The company prides itself on its innovative designs and is always looking to expand the limits of mountaineering possibility. The Quest 4D GTX Backpacking boots accomplish this by packing a wide variety of features into a compact, elegant, and utilitarian design, giving you the optimum experience no matter what you do outside, be it wandering trails or scaling mountains.
This shoe comes in 6 color schemes, all of them dark or turf colored, which equips them to hide mud and blend in with the terrain if needed. It has a stylized exterior design that integrates polyester mesh, textile, and long-lasting split suede leather in such a way that the shoe is warm and waterproof without being stifling. Its interior features the OrthoLite foot pad, which absorbs shock and repels odors and microbes in order to keep your shoes always smelling good as new. In addition, the interior includes the well-known GoreText membrane, which repels water while allowing water vapor to escape and preventing your foot from overheating. Customers largely report satisfaction with the way the mesh and suede mix keep your feet cool in hot weather but warm in colder conditions—a very rare combination. In fact, this product has been praised by members of the military, who report that these are ideal for deployment due to their ability to support and warm the feet in snowy conditions for long periods of time.This product features a mid-rise design with a unique lacing system. The 3 pairs of lace hooks not only will hold the shoe’s form exactly the way you need it, ensuring ideal fit, but also make it very easy for you to pull it on and off in a hurry. The tongue is gusseted, locking out annoying small objects in your path such as stray pebbles or burrs. Other standout features include:
- The Contragrip rubber outsoles, which enable you to move over surfaces both wet and dry
- The 4D Advanced Chassis Midsole, which is made of a unique thermoplastic urethane. This controls the sole’s flex and reduces the strain on your ankles.
- Toe protection includes a rubber cap that wraps around the entirety of the toe area, protecting all toes from obstacles or objects from the front and above. The cap integrates into the boot’s design without becoming clunky or overly large, making for an overall seamless, elegant, yet functional look.
- Ankle protection incorporates several things: first, a well-padded, mid-rise collar; secondly, heel slings which are extensions of the rubber sole and wrap around the back of the shoe in order to keep the heel locked and prevent the ankle from rolling or causing injury
Compared to the Hi-Tec Men’s Flagstaff Waterproof Hiking Boot, this product has more exterior ankle and toe protection, with its heel slings, slightly higher top, and rubber toe cap; as such it is better suited to you if you are planning to hike through rougher terrain or uneven ground, where you may encounter rocks in your path or have a greater risk of tripping. The Quest has a shorter breaking-in time, needing only a few hours rather than the week or so needed to completely break in the Flagstaff. It is also slightly lighter, weighing approximately 3 oz less than the Flagstaff, although both are still praised as lightweight. Finally, Salomon’s footwear has a more classic hiking-boot appearance than the tennis-shoe-like Flagstaff, which will appeal to the style-conscious.
Compared to the Timberland Men’s White Ledge Mid Waterproof Ankle Boot, this product is more expensive. It has far more waterproofing ability. As with Hi-Tec’s Flagstaff, the White Ledge offers less ankle and toe protection. Both have been praised for their comfort, so both are a good choice for the trails. If, however, you expect to encounter very wet or uneven terrain, the Quest 4D is definitely worth the investment.
In a Nutshell
These boots offer some of the best features on the market, all of them geared at making you prepared to handle any situation and avoid discomfort and injury. In addition to meticulous ankle protection, a toe cage, and versatile traction, it is highly praised for its ability to guard you against cold, wet conditions. Quests may not be the best choice for hot or humid climates, as their nearly full-on leather exterior is less breathable than other brands; however, for almost every other temperature and terrain, they are the way to go.