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Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX Hiking Boot Review: Lightweight and Versatile

CEO Tinh Phung
Are you in search of hiking boots that offer comfort, durability, protection, and traction? Look no further than the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX. This mid-height boot is a part of the legendary X...

Are you in search of hiking boots that offer comfort, durability, protection, and traction? Look no further than the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX. This mid-height boot is a part of the legendary X Ultra lineup and has been revamped for spring 2021.

Comfort

Despite its lightweight design, the X Ultra 4 Mid GTX offers surprising all-around comfort. The snug heel pocket and padded collar provide a secure and comfortable fit. The lacing system ensures a secure fit without the need for constant readjustments. What sets this boot apart is its nimble feel, which is more akin to a flexible hiking shoe than a stiff boot. This allows for easy maneuvering across various terrains.

Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid hiking boot (hiking over wet rock)

However, the thinness of the sole may lead to foot soreness when carrying a heavy pack over hard and rough surfaces. Nevertheless, the protection and cushioning are sufficient for day hiking and most backpacking trips, as long as you keep your pack weight down.

Weight

Weighing in at just 1 pound 11.5 ounces for a men’s size 9, the X Ultra 4 Mid GTX is incredibly lightweight. Salomon has done an excellent job of retaining the boot's best qualities while trimming down the overall weight. Compared to its competitors, the X Ultra 4 is a clear front runner. It outperforms similarly built models like the Asolo Falcon GV and La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX in weight, comfort, and durability.

Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid hiking boot (low collar at ankle)

Traction

The X Ultra 4 Mid GTX features Salomon's in-house Contagrip outsole design, known for its exceptional traction. The chevron-shaped lugs provide excellent grip across a variety of terrains, including muddy and slippery surfaces. Whether you're hiking on muddy trails or encountering wet conditions, the X Ultra 4 will keep you surefooted.

Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid hiking boot (traction)

Stability and Support

While the X Ultra 4 Mid GTX offers decent stability and support, it is not as sturdy as traditional hiking boots. The collar sits just above the ankle, providing sufficient support for lightweight backpacking trips and day hikes. The boot's design includes a wing-like strap that integrates into the lacing system, providing additional ankle support and reducing rolling to the outside.

Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX (backpacking between ferns)

Waterproofing

The X Ultra 4 Mid GTX is equipped with a Gore-Tex bootie. It offers reliable waterproofing, keeping your feet dry even in wet conditions. However, due to the low ankle height, caution should be exercised while crossing deep puddles or creeks. The water-resistant upper and Gore-Tex protection perform exceptionally well, making this boot a reliable choice for wet hiking conditions.

Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX (opening stove lid)

Breathability

Given its waterproof design, breathability is a tradeoff. While the X Ultra 4 Mid GTX may run warm in hot conditions, it offers sufficient comfort in a variety of temperatures. The waterproof membrane traps heat and provides warmth, making it suitable for colder temperatures. However, if you frequently hike in hotter conditions, a non-waterproof design may be more suitable.

Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid hiking boot (tread pattern)

Toe and Ankle Protection

The X Ultra 4 Mid GTX provides adequate toe and ankle protection. The cushioning covers the heel and runs up and over the ankle, offering protection against trail obstacles. The rubber toe cap is solid and withstands impacts from roots and rocks. While the upper is thin, it is less likely to come into contact with sharp and abrasive obstacles.

Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid hiking boot (front of boots)

Build Quality and Durability

Salomon's X Ultra line is known for its impressive build quality and long-term durability, and the X Ultra 4 Mid GTX is no exception. The boots have a solid and well-made feel, with no signs of premature wear during testing. The tread shows minimal signs of wear, and the upper material has minor fraying, which is expected after extensive use. In terms of durability, the X Ultra 4 performs admirably.

Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid hiking boot (closeup of upper)

Fit and Sizing

The X Ultra 4 Mid GTX has a slightly narrow fit, making it suitable for those with average feet. It fits true to size, and the solid lacing system allows for minimal heel slippage. Additionally, Salomon offers dedicated wide sizes, ensuring a good fit for most individuals.

Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid hiking boot (lacing up on log)

Other Versions of the Salomon X Ultra 4

Salomon offers a range of variations within the X Ultra 4 lineup. Apart from the Mid GTX version, there is a low-top GTX variation, which is lighter and more affordable. The X Ultra 4 is also available without waterproofing, further reducing weight and cost. Salomon also offers women's versions of the X Ultra 4, with slight differences in fit and colorways. Lastly, there is the X Ultra 4 Mid Winter, a winter-ready boot with additional insulation and waterproofing features.

What We Like

  • The X Ultra 4 is impressively light and nimble, making it suitable for long hikes and backpacking trips.
  • The boot offers exceptional grip across various surfaces, including muddy and slippery trails.
  • The toe and ankle protection are solid, considering the boot's lightweight design.
  • The X Ultra 4 is available in dedicated wide sizes, ensuring a good fit for most individuals.
  • It offers solid value at an affordable price point.

What We Don't Like

  • The relatively thin padding may lead to foot soreness when carrying a heavy pack over rough terrain.
  • The low collar height may allow trail debris and water to enter more easily than higher-cut designs.
  • The boot's stiffness falls short of more robust options, making it less suitable for highly technical approaches with heavy packs.
  • The X Ultra 4 is only available in a waterproof Gore-Tex version, which may be too warm for hot summer hikes.

The Competition

While the X Ultra 4 Mid GTX stands out as an excellent lightweight hiking boot, there are other options worth considering. Merrell's Moab 3 Mid WP offers generous cushioning and isolation from the ground, making it more comfortable for long hikes. However, the X Ultra 4 outperforms the Moab in terms of weight, modern design, and premium materials.

Danner's Trail 2650 Mid GTX is another lightweight option with a sleek and modern look. However, it falls short in terms of support and stability compared to the X Ultra 4. The Vasque Breeze LT NTX also offers a lightweight design but sacrifices durability. The X Ultra 4, with its sturdy build, outshines the Vasque in this aspect.

Lastly, Salomon's own Quest 4 GTX is a burlier option designed for demanding hikes and heavy loads. However, its weight and stiffness make it less suitable for fast and light adventures, unlike the X Ultra 4.

Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid hiking boot (sitting on steps)

In conclusion, the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX hiking boot offers unbeatable comfort, durability, and traction in a lightweight package. Whether you're embarking on day hikes or multi-day backpacking trips, the X Ultra 4 is a well-rounded option that won't disappoint.

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