Salomon Quest Prime GTX
£130 / 1170g (size 43)
We've just got a pair of these in for a look and thought you might like a quick preview. The Quest Prime - not to be confused with the Quest Origins or Quest 4D - is an 'athletic backpacking boot', it says here.
It's designed to be lightweight, which it is, think 1170g for a pair of size 43s, but also long-term comfortable. It's also £30 per pair cheaper than the Origins and £30 cheaper than the 4D version making it, well, cheaper actually.
Compare it to its Quest brethren and the main obvious difference is the underfoot structure. Both the others use the 4D Advanced Chassis based on running shoe technology, while the Prime has the simpler Advanced Chassis.
It also uses suede rather than Nubuck leather along with fabric for the uppers. Plus the boot's cut slightly lower at the ankle than the other two Quests. Finally, base on our scales at least, it's around 30g per boot heavier than an Origin.
But Still The Same...
The basics are still there though. Salomon's medium width, medium volume fit that suits loads of British feet. The locking ankle lace hook so you can tweak lace tension to suit. Contragrip rubber outsole. Toe and heel protection. And the lightweight reinforced 'Mud Guard' protection that runs right around the base of the upper.
Inside the boot has the Ortholite footbed, while the upper is lined with a waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex membrane to help keep the water at bay.
Salomon Quest Prime GTX: First Impressions
We've already had a few short moorland walks in the boots and first impressions are positive. The boots have Salomon's classic fit, which suits our feet well. Snug on the heel, but with enough space in the forefoot for wider feet without swimming pool-type excess slack.
They're actually, we think, a little more generously lasted than the Quest 4D or Origin, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. There's plenty of ankle support for such a light boot and they have a decently solid feel to them.
'As you can see from the main shot up top, the Gore-Tex liner coped capably with splashing through puddles and paths disguised as streams...'
Cushioning is somewhere in the middle ground between running shoe-style 'bounciness' and traditional solidity. They feel about right for all-round use with plenty of support from the sole unit, but with an easy walking action.
The one issue we did have initially was with the ankle padding on the lefthand boot rubbing uncomfortably on our ankle bone. It's not an issue we've ever had before with a Salomon boot and the right foot seemed fine.
Why? The base of the handy locking lace hook sits right over the bone of our foot, which may just be bad luck and a fit issue. It's not, for some reason, a problem on the other foot. We'll give things a chance to settle down and see how they work out.
Finally, as you can see from the main shot up there, the Gore-Tex liner coped capably with splashing through puddles and paths disguised as streams...
Overall we're thinking a chip off the old Salomon block. Light but supportive and durable in feel and with reassuring coverage around the ankles.
The outsole isn't quite as toothy as its more expensive counterparts and the fit slightly less 'running shoe', but then they're 30-odd quid cheaper. They look good too. The only fly in the Quest Prime ointment is that odd sore rubbing on the left inside ankle.
Watch this space. Full take on the boots to come once we've used them a little more.