I had a pair of full grain leather boots for years, and when they finally died over the summer, I wanted to get something a little different to lower the weight on my feet. I have worn these boots for 4 months now and love them. I feel odd about reviewing boots, as your feet are different than mine - but I'll try my best to give you a good idea anyways.
What I look for in a boot -
Waterproof/breathability (no duh. Who likes wet or sweaty feet?). I sacrificed some breathability in the full grain leather, but the Quest boot works like a charm. I have used them primarily with light hiking socks from Icebreaker, and no issues whatsoever about letting water in or sweat out.
Fit - my foot is different than your foot. That said, these fit terrifically on my narrow-ish, long feet (my arch is somewhere in the middle as well). I automatically throw a pair of green Superfeet in every pair of footwear I own, so I can't review the stock footbed... but I can say that with Superfeet in these guys, my heel/ankle have never been more stable. The toe box seems to be nicely proportioned, too... my toes aren't banging into the front of the boot on steep downhills (I've worn the same size from other manufacturers, and on big downhill days gotten blisters on the front of my toes).
Durability - My last pair of boots lasted me three years. I've abused these guys a bit, but can't really speak to long term durability as I've only owned them for four months. Short term durability (i.e. cosmetic and waterproofness) seems to be terrific. Boot materials don't stain even if you leave mud on them for a while - soft brush and a bucket of water and they look brand new again. The laces at first struck me as a little on the thin side, but haven't really had any issue with them. One potential snag I can see with the laces is the lacing system - the 'd-ring' sort of loop at the ankles catches the laces (on purpose). This is actually a great feature. I have found that on breaks, I just undo the top of my boots, and the little ridges inside the d-rings prevent the bottom of the boot from loosening up. Lets the feet rest a bit without having to undo and then tie back up your whole boot... really nice for those five to ten minute water breaks. However, I've also thought about if the laces ever break (which they will), would the d rings still catch as effectively if it were a different thickness lace? Nit picking a bit there, but we will see in the future.
Overall, these are great boots. I was a little hesitant from moving off the protection of a full grain leather boot, but I haven't looked back once these hit my feet. I know people say they feel great right out of the box, which they do... but they still require break in (all boots do). It doesn't seem to take as long as other pairs of boots I've owned, but you can tell how much more comfortable they are after a couple of weeks of steady use as versus when you put them on right from the box.
Solid boot, lightweight & stable
The Salomon Quest boot is an excellent all-around hiking boot. I was having ankle roll-over problems and my traditional/heavier full-leather hiking boot was somehow aggravating my ankle problems (REI Spirit III's by Raichle).
The Salomon boot has helped me overcome the ankle support issues. Its high ankle support really makes a difference!
Before writing this review, I wanted to put in a number of hikes first. I have day-hiked 4 hikes in this boot now, all ranging between 4-8 miles over a variety of terrain, mostly in the Cascades outside of Seattle. Trail conditions have been rocky and typical elevation gains for each day-hike is approx 2K-4K feet.
The one thing that I didn't like about the boot and which prevented 5 stars was that I could occasionally feel the rocks underneath the sole of my boots. While it wasn't a show-stopper, ideally, my hiking boot fully insulates my feet from the feel of the rocks on the trail. (I also put in Spenco Backpacking insoles after-market).
If Salomon could put in just a bit (~10%) more protection in the soles, the boot would be five stars.
The key advantages though do outweigh the rock/outsole issue:
STABILITY- really excellent in the Salomon Quest, I NEVER felt like the boot was going to roll-over on me. That's worth it just by itself!
LIGHTWEIGHT- after a day of hiking, the weight of the boot really makes a difference, both in your fatigue level and in how you recover from the hike. (Okay, I'm 50-something and after a hard day-hike, my body and feet sometimes takes some recovery time...)
SUPPORT: really great support,
The one question that's still lingering is how durable they will be. Overall, I don't think they'll be as durable as a full-on traditional, full leather hiking boot, but given its advantages (and no ankle/foot problems wearing them), these have become the boot of choice for nearly all of my hiking. I haven't used them up at Mt Rainier yet for hikes and don't know how they'll do on the snow, but Salomon has made an excellent overall boot.
Happy hiking and get outdoors!!
The Best Boot I've Ever Worn
This pair took me from GA through a Duncannon, PA as part of a full AT thru.
Over all I put ~1100 miles on them before they blew out completely. They were probably only 900 when they started to truly deteriorate.
They did start showing their age around 700 miles.
To be fair, I didn't really hit rough terrain until they were 800 miles old (pretty much everything through MD is flat and soft).
They lost their water-proofing around 600 miles. Right around this time one of the laces started to burn into the gore-tex portion of the tongue.
I dearly loved these boots. They were far and away the most comfortable boots I have ever worn. These boots are perfect for day use, light winter use, and short and mid-range backpacking treks.
They also do excellently for long-distance backpacking, but they are certainly not your full-weight trekking boot, nor should they be misconstrued as trail runners. They are a good alternative for those looking for a light weight shoe but ankle support.
I would recommend these for long distance for those new to long distance or those looking for one step up in durability/comfort/protection from trail runners.
I have marked these as "No Break-in" but all boots have some break in. These are just much shorter than the average boot.
Also, "No Break-in" does not mean that you won't blister! Blistering is nigh unavoidable on a shoe or activity change. The only way to "prevent" blistering is to blister early and have the time to go easier on blistered feet.
After these boots I transitioned to trail runners because I wanted to drop ounces and my ankles were strong enough, yet I would have happily purchased another pair or two to finish the trail.
I purchased Salomon trail runners, which were also excellent.
I have three pairs stock piled in case they stop producing the boot.
Excellent trail hiking boots!
I first received these and wore them to and from work a couple of times and around the house a few days before hitting the trail with them. I am stationed in Pearl Harbor and hike often here, it is usually a misty rain 90% of the time I hit the trail, usually it will mist for a few minutes then stop for a bit then repeat that cycle (tropical rains).
Break in was nothing more than me getting used to the feel, the support is a little bit stiff and that took some getting used to but wasn't a problem or a "con" either, just took some getting used to. The last hike I went on with these was a little over 5 miles round trip, point a to point b and back. the trail started at 800 feet in elevation and ended at almost 3000 feet in elevation with muddy red clay trail and damp exposed roots on the wooded parts. There was a group in front of me and I could see where their feet slipped in the mud on many occasions, after seeing this time and time again I decided to give the boots a test! I placed my feet at the point where the slip mark started and these boots grabbed with ease. I was also carrying a 5.11 tactical, RUSH 72 pack with around 40 pounds of gear, no problems with arch support, traction or my feet staying dry! There are parts of this trail that you holding onto a rope to climb steep grades on a muddy trail, never lost traction once!
Worth the money, I will always own a pair of these! I purchased these after seeing that these are the preferred boots of some of our "Special Operators" and many prefer these while in "other" countries doing business in rough terrain!
so far... so good!
After years of being cheap towards my feet and the treads I put on them, I finally realized that sore feet = bad trip. So I spent a lot of time researching these boots online and finally decided to make the 50 mile jaunt over to my local REI and try em on! At the store, I was really torn between these and a pair of similar Asolo's, and I walked all over the store in each pair trying to make a decision. After weighing all the similarities, I went with the Quest on the simple but important factor that the toe box is roomier on them. Don't get me wrong, the Asolo's were darn nice! It's just that the toe was a lil pointier than my foot, and I could feel slight pressure... blister causing pressure!
I bought them last week and have already put probably 20 light trail miles on them so that I can get them broken in before I decide to take em out. Only problem is, I do not think they even NEED to break in for me!! They are like a dream! I honestly kinda hope that they never do if they are gonna change how they feel! I know I've only had em a short time, and so who knows what the first weekend trip will hold! So far though, I've hiked gravel, muddy hills, rock faces at the quarry, and gotten them submerged plenty of times to give them an opportunity to fail me on the waterproofing, and so far I have not been disappointed!
I know that every persons feet are different, so you may try these on and think I'm crazy for liking them. All I know is that I have never owned such a comfortable pair of boots in my life. Good luck and happy trails folks!
I finally found a great hiking boot
Best hiking boots I've ever owned and the most expensive, but in this case you really do get what you pay for. At 6'2 230 lbs hiking steep rocky mountain trails, it's a hard life for a boot. These boots are up to the task, without a doubt.
In addition to meeting or exceeding all the standard expectations (Gortex and Vibram soles, baby), Salomon employs ingenious locking hooks above the instep that keep the laces as tight as you like so as to prevent your foot from sliding forward on the downhill runs and mashing your toes 'til they turn black and blue.
If you (follow the instructions and) jam the laces in the lace-locks properly, you can leave the lacing above the locks as loose or as tight as you like for comfort. The lacing over the foot is essentially independent so it stays where you put it until you physically jerk the laces sideways out of the locking jaws. It's the bomb, I say!
So (as the instructions warn you) it's a bit rough on the affected portions of the laces, but that's a cheap sacrifice for such a big benefit. I'm still on the original laces so forgeddaboutit.
I've put well over 100 miles on these boots and have not had the laces below or above the locks come loose yet, which is a pleasure given my experience with the last pair of boots I returned to REI whilst nursing my sore toes. Waah. I'm buying another pair of these Salomons before my first pair wears out.
NOTE: I live in the Phoenix metro area and haven't hiked below 45 degrees yet so I can't comment on their cold weather performance, but they've been excellent in the 90's using medium weight Smart socks.
I finally settled with these boots after trying over a dozen different pairs. I'm almost in love with these boots! These boots have exceptional ankle support and the lacing system is the best I've ever seen. These boots can be laced and adjusted for any situation. I took them on a grueling 10 mile, 3,500 ft elevation ascent in the first 1.5 miles, elk hunt/hike, the first trip. I was able to really synch up the ankle for the support I needed and also to keep my heels from slipping. The boots performed flawlessly. I would rate at 5 stars however, my feet were hamburger when I finally made it back to the truck. I've never had a boot that didn't hurt my feet after this hike. (Lots of side hilling, climbing over down timber, rock scaling and 7,000 feet of elevation change in just 8hrs of hiking) So, when I find that boot; it will get 5 stars!
The following day I subjected the boots to freezing rain and snow conditions on a mountain front antelope hunt. The boots persevered knee high, wet, frozen grass/sage brush and two creek crossings. They were completely frozen solid and covered in mud. Not once did my feet get cold or wet!!! They even got covered in blood after two successful harvests. A quick wash in the last creek crossing on the way out cleaned them up nicely even though they re-froze!
Boots fit true to size for me. I have average-to-narrow toes with narrow heels that are prone to blistering. No blisters for me! My only complaint is that the arches are a little higher than most boots but not abnormally high. It took a good day of wearing around town for my feet to adjust.
Highly recommended boot!!!
Good for the last 8 months !
Bought them in early march, after trying out several types of boots, these one came near perfect, as far i am concerned.
The fit it's good, but i had to buy them a 1/2 size larger, to prevent toe banging. The lacing system is good, but the laces are very long and need some atention when lacing up.
The waterproofness is higher than other boots that i have, i walked in a mountain river with them and i was bone dry and good as new.
The wear level is good, a bit high, but good giving the fact that Salomon build comfortable shoes but not very long lasting, but hey they are a pair of boots not a car, so if they hold longer than 1 year i'm happy with the.
Mine's are grey (Autobahn), i wanted the brownier ones, but weren't available in my country.
They are good for rough terain and off the path walking, including a day's of walking in scree.
The leather have suffered some scratches and scufs, and discoloration, but it holds well and after a treatment, they regained the're color.
The're bad at driving, due to the're width, in a small european car (i.e. Citroen C2 VTR), exist the danger of depressing two pedals at a time.
As a wrap, the'y good for a person that wants a light and comfy hiking boot, don't mind the durability and high price.
The next pair to be bought, to be used in light terrain, will be the Salomon Wings Sky GTX in orange flavour, they look like a fast sportscar and if they act like the XA Pro 3d Ultra GTX's that i have, will be money spent well.
Hiking boot-trail running shoe hybrid
This boot has the cushioning of a trail running shoe, the lightness of a hiking shoe, and the ankle support of a hiking boot. I hiked the Whitney Trail in these in October. After 22 miles and 13,000ft total gain and loss, my feet had no blisters, and my ankles and knees felt a whole lot better than when I hiked the grand canyon in my hiking shoes.
As you'd expect, the boots are great on maintained trail, and they provide great grip for off-trail rock scrambling. They were solid enough to kick steps into snow higher up on Whitney, although don't have the same heft, or as stiff a sole as a boot like an Asolo - so probably wouldn't perform as well on more compacted snow. My microspikes fit perfectly on these books, and made for the perfect combination on the moderate snow slopes of Whitney. They were easily warm enough for the temps I encountered - lows in the high 20s maybe.
But these boots really came into their own on the descent. The combination of cushioning + ankle support meant a more pain-free descent than what I was expecting. The lacing system has eyelets that "lock onto" the lace at the articulation point on the ankle, keeping your foot firmly planted in the boot, so no slipping or sliding around in the boot when descending.
I have had the boots for only a few months, so can't comment directly on long term durability, but these are probably not the boots you'll keep for 10+ years like an Asolo. But if you are looking for a light, comfortable hiking boot to minimize wear and tear on your feet and joints, these are the perfect choice.
Foot/Boot love affair
I've used these on a 9 night and a 5 night pack with starting weight of 60-70lbs, and several Sierra day hikes including the 21 mile Mt Whitney hike. The only break-in needed was that it felt a little stiff against my shins[these are tall boots]. I have a low volume foot, but need a square toe box to avoid rubbing on the pinky toe. These aren't perfect in that regard, but the only boot I found with a more square toe were the Keens, and with those my foot felt like it was swimming in the boot and my heel moved around. After 2 trips and 5 hours of trying eveything REI had I got these 1/2 size larger than any shoe I've worn.
The inner sole is about average for this style of boot, before backpacking I replaced them with the thickest product SoftSole makes. Take off/ put on is easy with the 3 pair of lace hooks. The outer sole hits a sweet spot of good-exellent traction in wet and dry conditions while not showing much wear. This summer's hiking has been on mostly rocky trails; the sole distibutes weight nicely when steping on a hard edge with a heavy load. The dry weather prevented a good waterproof test, though I would often walk through the creeks rather then stay high and dry on the rocks. Never felt a hint of wet. The fabric will look wet on the outside, but the coating on the leather made the water bead up and roll off, even after weeks of use. The generous rubber toe gaurd is a big plus in protecting the leather.