Salomon 4D Quest GTX ReviewJuly 16, 2011
- Built on an athletic chassis to reduce weight
- Leather and fabric upper materials are flexible yet durable
- Waterproof (Gore-Tex)
- High collar prevents ankle from rolling, but has ample padding to soften impact on ankles and shins
- Shallow lugs reduce weight but also decrease traction, and soft rubber may wear down more quickly
- Lightweight midsole and outsole offer modest underfoot protection
- Feels good carrying about 40 pounds all day, but feet will strain under heavier loads
This is a great choice for backpackers who loath heavy, clunky boots, but need something that covers the ankle for greater and support, and also allows them to carry more weight than a low-cut shoe can handle.
For a lightweight backpacking boot, Salomon’s Quest 4D GTX is surprisingly tough and offers enough support to handle backpack loads up to 40 pounds.
While the Quest 4D GTX is not brand new (it hit the market in Summer 2011), we included it on our test because we rarely see a boot that is this lightweight and also so exceptionally sturdy.
The Quest 4D upper has an armor of thick nylon fabric and split-suede leather that repels sharp rocks and other debris that can rip a boot. Though these materials form a very protective shield, they are lightweight and flexible, so the boot didn’t feel heavy or stiff. These boots require little-to-no break-in time, and feel pliable right out of the box. The Gore-Tex liner makes them completely waterproof.
The midsole is tough but also nimble. Engineered much like a running shoe, the plastic-reinforced foam midsole adds little weight to the boot, but still makes it rigid torsionally (meaning it will keep your ankle from twisting). The wide heel-portion of the outsole creates a large platform to land on, adding even more stability, and a molded plastic plate surrounding the heel prevents the foot from rolling and absorbs impact.
Protective and tough, the Quest 4D offered a comfy ride for long hours of hiking. Overall, the fit was excellent. Though the boots worked best for medium-volume feet, one tester who has low-volume feet remarked that he appreciated the way the boots fit, particularly in the heel. While the well-shaped heel pocket prevented our feet from slipping upward, and lace eyelets set far back toward the heel aid in keeping the rear of the foot planted in place.
Though some people don’t like the way that high-top boots can bang against shins, we didn’t find this to be a problem with the Quest 4D. A plush cushion of foam lines the tongue and the collar, so we barely noticed that the boot goes over the ankle.