The Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX is a mid weight backpacking boot, and a good one at that. The third iteration in the Quest series, it’s designed for fast and light hiking on technical terrain – think trail hiking in the Pyrenees, scree skating in the Dolomites or scrambling in Snowdonia. Salomon say it was developed with running shoe-adapted technology, the evidence of this being a slightly flexible chassis and a low total weight. We’d say that’s where the running shoe comparisons end though.
Each boot weighs just 640g (men’s 10), but that doesn’t mean sturdiness is in short supply. The ankle is cut quite high for a fast and light boot, measuring about 6 inches from the insole to the top of the collar, and this gives an impressive amount of support without feeling too constricting. It’s a cut that reminds me of some of the via ferrata boots you can find by Salewa, Aku and Scarpa.
In terms of fit, I found the shape to be slightly narrow around the middle of the foot but then spacious at the toes with just the right amount of wiggle room. The smooth lacing system provides a good amount of volume adjustment flexibility, and the lacing eyelets are all made from a solid metal which are shaped to capture the laces securely – the middle eyelet even has little gripping teeth.
The upper is made from suede nubuck leather and a heavy Cordura-type fabric and both materials combine to provide a dependably thick and protective feel round the foot. There’s also extra protection at the toes thanks to the rubber bumper, and a standard Gore-Tex waterproof membrane lines the walls – more on that in a bit.
In the sole unit, there’s a removable Ortholite insole, an EVA foam midsole and then a Salomon Contragrip outsole.
I was really impressed by the outsole, the tread is aggressive and gives plenty of reliability on any slippery stuff, while it was also able to shed mud easily. I also liked the midsole design, finding that it gave enough shock absorption with a thick layering of EVA foam under the heel and just enough at the ball of the foot.