Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX
$240, 2 lbs. 11 oz. (men’s 7)
Sizes: men’s 7-14, women’s 5-12
On a five-day, family backpacking trip down Paria Canyon on the Utah-Arizona border, these boots helped my teenage son safely negotiate a riverbed of shifting mud, ankle-turning stones, and the occasional plunge into quicksand (where, to be honest, your boots don’t matter); and when we weren’t in the river, he nimbly hiked the trail over rocky, loose ground, with occasional boulder scrambling. Salomon’s Quest 4D GTX stands out for having better-than-average support and protection from the earth and the elements for a midweight.
While my son (who weighs about 100 pounds) carried a pack weighing up to about 20 pounds, the Quest is a boot for hauling loads of 30-40 pounds. Salomon’s 4D Advanced Chassis provides a solid foundation for carrying a moderately heavy pack over rugged terrain, with a high cut, a molded EVA and urethane midsole for soft cushioning paired with substantial stability against turning an ankle outward or inward. Ample padding and breathable mesh fabric in the collar and the tongue soften the impact of high-cut uppers, which rise high enough to prevent laces from slipping over the tops.
The fit, good for medium-volume feet, delivers plenty of toe space, and locking laces at the midfoot allow you to loosen the upper boot—to cool your feet and get better flex on long uphills—while keeping the lower boot snugly tight, to avoid blisters. The uppers blend nubuck leather overlays on abrasion-resistant nylon mesh, and rubber caps at the toe and heel, for super durability. The Gore-Tex membrane kept water out when my son wasn’t more than ankle-deep in the river; but these midweight boots are warm, so they’re a better choice for cooler and wetter hikes. Salomon’s Contagrip outsole sports deep, widely spaced lugs to maximize traction on wet, muddy trail and loose scree.
Final analysis: This is a solidly built, sturdy, midweight backpacking boot for backpackers and dayhikers who want better-than-average support and reliable waterproofing for carrying 30-40 pounds—without bumping up to a heavyweight boot.
BUY IT NOW You can support my work on this blog by clicking this link to purchase the Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX boots at backcountry.com.
See also my stories:
“Why and When to Spend More on Gear: Part 1, Packs and Tents, and Part 2, Rain Jackets, Boots, and Sleeping Bags”
“The Simple Equation of Ultralight Backpacking: Less Weight = More Fun”
“Buying Gear? Read This First”
“My 10 Most-Read Gear Reviews”
NOTE: I’ve been testing gear for Backpacker Magazine for 20 years. At The Big Outside, I review only what I consider the best outdoor gear and apparel. See all of my Gear Reviews at The Big Outside.
Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, the creator of The Big Outside, recognized as a top outdoors blog by USA Today and others. I invite you to get email updates about new stories and gear giveaways by entering your email address in the box in the left sidebar, at the bottom of this post, or on my About page, and follow my adventures on Facebook and Twitter.
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