What’s It For?
Salomon describes the Quest 4D GTX as a ‘new generation backpacking boot featuring protection, comfort and stability designed from the most advanced trail running technologies’,
In other words, it’s a classic lightweight, three-season boot that we’d be looking at for anything short of crampon work.
The Techy Bits
The interesting bit about the Quest 4D is that it borrows sole and chassis technology directly from Salomon’s proven trail-running shoes and in particular, the classic XA Pro adventure-racing shoe. That makes a lot of sense because the Salomon running chassic is both light and stable.
The 4D Advanced Chassis is a thermoplastic urethane midsole support plate that’s designed to improve stability by reducing lateral flex and also to help protect feet from the sharp, penetrating discomfort of pointy, underfoot terrain. Well, where else would it be?
You also get dual-density, light but well-cushioned EVA foam mid-sole cushioning and, a small but welcome touch, there’s a lace-locking cleat between ankle and forefoot areas, so you can lace the boot differentially, say with a snug fore-foot fit and looser ankle or vice versa if you prefer.
How They Performed
These are some of the nicest boots we’ve used for ages, period. Salomon went through a phase of over-padding their boots making them feel soft and clumpy, but the Quests go back to basics with a snug fit and just enough 4D memory foam padding for instant comfort, but not enough to compromise precision.
Despite butch photo looks, they’re actually very light at 1300 grammes on the button, only slightly more than the CARN Storm Chaser Mid we recently reviewed. The difference is that Salomon’s 4D chassis developed in their trail-runing shoes, gives a fantastic balance between walking comfort and lateral stiffness and, along with the wide, flared heel section of the Contragrip sole unit and external heel counter, makes them very, very stable.
The fit is narrower than the likes of Scarpa say or Brasher and pays off with rock solid heel anchorage even on steep ground. No forward slippage heading down either as the discreetly padded uppers do their stuff. And yes, to drag out a mouldering cliché, they really are comfortable straight out of the box.
Underfoot cushioning on harder ground is good too and while the Contragrip sole unit isn’t as good as some on wet rock, it’s still not too bad and all-round grip is decent enough.
The Quest is cut high on the ankle for a lightweight boot, but it keeps rubble out and protects your ankles during clumsy rock moments and we soon got used to it, partly because the locking lace eyelet at the top of the forefoot allows you to keep fit snug low down, but leave the ankle area looser for comfort.
Last but not least, a Gore-Tex liner keeps your feet dry during shallow stream crossing expeditions, though it may get a tad warm on really hot days.
We reckon the Quest 4D GTX is far and away the best three-season boot that Salomon has come up with since the long lamented X-Adventure 7. It has a beguiling combination of lightness, stability, comfort and precision that works for hiking, backpacking and scrambling.
The running shoe technology works brilliantly, though only time will tell on the durability side of things. If they fit your feet – think medium-ish volume, snug heel – then these are excellent, lightweight, three-season boots.
Buy if you want a lightweight boot for below the snow-line use that combines comfort, precision and stability in a high-ankled package and, of course, if they fit your feet.