Salomon X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex Review

The Salomon X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex is a very compelling hiking boot that offers a great combo of light weight, good foot support and great build quality.

Salomon X Ultra 4 MID Gore-TEX Hiking Boots for Women, Ebony/Mocha Mousse/Almond Cream, 5

Great news. These are also available in a men’s version.

Pros / Reasons to Buy

  • Light weight
  • Good build quality

Cons / Reasons to Avoid

  • Ankle cuff not as supportive as some others
  • Wider toes box may not suit those with very narrow feet

There’s a general rule of thumb with lightweight gear that it’s built to be light at the expense of other desirable factors – and with hiking footwear, that often means that you can’t expect it to be durable, supportive or to give good protection from the elements.

Somehow, though, Salomon’s X Ultra 4 boots manage to hit a very impressive weight point without compromising in other areas. Whilst they are not as tough as some of the other, heavier boots we’ve assessed, they are certainly not flimsy either and, coupled with their often-reasonable price point, these boots become a very attractive option.

Editor’s note: This article is part of our guide to the best hiking boots, be sure to check out the rest of this guide for our top buying tips:

Compare to Similar Products: 

Danner Mountain 600 Leaf GTX
Merrell Moab 3 Mid Waterproof
Salomon Quest 4 Gore Tex
Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped
Zamberlan 996 Vioz GTX 
Salomon X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex
Lowa Renegade GTX Mid
La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX
Hoka Kaha 2 GTX
Vasque Breeze Waterproof Hiking Boots
Danner Mountain 600 Hiking Boots for Women - Waterproof, Durable Suede Upper, Breathable Lining, Triple-Density Footbed & Vibram Traction Outsole, Chocolate Chip/Golden Oak - 5 M
Merrell Women's Moab 3 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot, Altitude, 5
Salomon Quest 4 Gore-TEX Hiking Boots for Women, Slate/Trooper/Opal Blue, 8
Columbia Women's Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped, Elk/Mountain Red, 9
Zamberlan Women's 996 Vioz GT Hiking Boot,Dark Brown,37 M EU/6 M US
Salomon X Ultra 4 MID Gore-TEX Hiking Boots for Women, Ebony/Mocha Mousse/Almond Cream, 5
Lowa Women's Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot,Stone,10 W US
La Sportiva Womens Nucleo High II GTX Hiking Boots, Oak/Topaz, 7
HOKA ONE ONE Womens Kaha 2 GTX Nubuck Black Black Trainers 5.5 US
Vasque Women’s Breeze Hiking Boot, Cappuccino, 6 Medium
Buying Options
Our Ratings
Best Overall Women's
Most Comfortable
Best for Mountain Walking
Best Budget
Best Waterproof
Best for Summer/Hot Weather
Best Leather
Best for Day Hikes
Pros
Extremely comfortable. Wears in quickly. Excellent fit for wider feet
Excellent comfort. Excellent durability
Sturdy and ready to take on anything. Good toe placement and great ankle positioning
Very comfortable, pretty much straight out the box. Great price point
Excellent build quality. Can be resoled
Low weight. Good build quality
Available in three widths and a variety of sizes. Extremely comfortable
Cutting edge materials, good breathability to waterproofing ratio
Extremely supportive and comfortable. Stylish.
Excellent durability. Rigid build
Cons
Not great for narrower feet. Sizing for buyers outside the United States can be limited
Slightly confusing product range. The design looks dated.
Break in takes a little while. Rigid.
Isn't as breathable. Could do with a more robust sole
Expensive. The design may be too utilitarian for some
Ankle cuff not as supportive as some others. Wider toe box may not suit those with very narrow feet. New
Expensive. Isn't visually that striking
Expensive for what they are. We don't find them suitable for longer treks
Expensive. Leather feels cold after walking through significant water.
Dated design. Stiff upper may not be to everybody's taste.
Traction
Excellent
Very good
Medium/deep thread pattern
Good - but not as good on technical terrain
Excellent
Excellent
Vibram outsole - excellent
Excellent
Excellent - uses Vibram Megagrip
Very good
Breathability
Good
Very good
Gore-Tex upper and well insulated
OK
Low
Good
Good
Excellent
OK
Very good
Ankle Support
Good
Very good
Excellent
Good
Excellent
Good
Excellent
Good
Excellent
Excellent
Arch support
Regular to good
Good
Average
OK
Average
Good
Average
Regular
Average
Average
Fit
Fits a little large, size down a half size if in-between, available in a single width
Fits true to size. comes in standard and wide widths
Suits normal to wider feet
Standard fit, runs small - best to go up a half size
Standard fit - runs small
Fits true to size. Comes in standard and wide widths
Comes in standard, narrow and wide fit options and wide range of sizes
Runs narrow
Standard fit
Runs a little small. Available in standard and wide fit
Materials
Grain leather upper, metal lacing hardware and synthetic/rubber soles
Synthetic and pig suede upper.
Leather and synthetic
Upper leather and suede and synthetic
Mostly leather with synthetic lining and rubber sole
Fully synthetic
Leather and synthetic
Leather and synthetic
Leather and synthetic
Nubuck leather and synthetics
Appearance
Modern hiking boot
Slightly dated design
Modern
Modern hiking boot with traditional feel
Traditional hiking boot
Modern hiking boot
Modern hiking boot
Modern hiking boot
Modern hiking boot/trail hybrid
Slightly dated design
Durability
Excellent
Very good
Excellent
Sole feels quite lightweight
Excellent
Excellent
Good
Average
Good
Excellent
Water Resistance
Gore-Tex membrane
In-house waterproof, breathable membrane
Gore-Tex membrane
Waterproof (Omni-Tech)
Gore Tex lining and water resistant coating
Gore Tex membrane
Gore-Tex membrane
Gore-Tex Surround membrane
Gore-Tex lining
In-house waterproof, breathable membrane
Weight (pair)
900g/2lb per pair
800g/1lb 12oz
1070g/2lb 6oz
791g/1.8lbs per pair
1.28kg/2lb 13oz
740g/1lb 10oz
950g/2lb
900g/2 lb. 1 oz
1015g/2.5 lbs
990g/2lb 2oz
Insoles
Standard insole
Padded insole
Padded insole
Standard insole
Padded insole
Padded. shaped insole
Standard insole
Standard insole
Standard insole
Padded insole
Break-in Period
Minimal
Minimal
Some break in needed
Very minimal
Some break-in required
Minimal
Minimal
Slightly longer than average
Minimal
Medium
Lacing system
Regular laces with metal lacing hardwear for durability
Standard laces
Standard laces
Standard/regular laces
Standard/regular laces
Standard laces
Standard lacing system
Standard/regular laces
Standard - eyelet with grip lacing around the ankle
Standard laces
Toe Protection
Rubberized toe rand
Rubber rand around toe and small toe cap
Rubberized toe rand
Rubberized toe rand
Substantially reinforced toe offers excellent protection
Rubber rand on toe and small toe cap.
Substantial rubber toe rand
Rubberized toe rand
Rubberized toe rand with reinforced stitching
Rubber rand around toe and small toe cap

Analysis and Test Results

Salomon are a well-respected brand in the hiking world and their X Ultra 4 is the latest incarnation of one of their key product families. We’re assessing the mid-high boot version here, but these are also offered as shoes – the Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX Hiking – which we’ve reviewed too – and were very impressed with. These boots offer a fantastic combination of light weight, good foot support, excellent durability and water resistance.

Those looking for boots for more extreme weather conditions or for more technical terrain may well favor more rigid and heavier alternatives, but for general hiking (that could include some more challenging terrain), nature walking and even a bit of trail running in more temperate weather, these boots make for a very compelling choice.

Performance Comparison

salomon x ultra 4 gore-tex

Traction

The X Ultra 4 comes with Salomon’s in-house sole that features a medium-deep, aggressive thread pattern. As we’ve come to expect from Salomon’s footwear, this offers excellent grip on a range of different surfaces, with the slightly softer rubber the soles are made from helping out on wet, slick surfaces. Whilst the soles are grippy, there are always some conditions, like muddy grass, very smooth, wet rocks and, of course, ice, that can prove too much for even the best gripping soles.

traction salomon x ultra 4

Breathability

These boots feature large areas of finely-woven synthetic mesh in their upper section and this, whilst not specifically ventilated, does contribute towards these boots maintaining good breathability. If you are after the ultimate ventilation for hiking in very warm and dry conditions, then there are probably better, more specialized options out there, but for hiking through the hotter months of the year in more temperate locations, the ventilation these boots offer is more than adequate.

Remember too that wearing socks made from a naturally moisture-wicking material like Merino wool can make a big difference to the comfort of your feet.

Ankle Support

We’ve assessed the mid-high version of the X Ultra 4 (it’s also available as a shoe). Whilst this is a mid-high boot, the ankle cuff is not as high or supportive as some of the other boots we have assessed.

However, the support offered by the ankle cuff is still absolutely there and it’s noticeably better than what you get from a hiking shoe. Adjusting the tension on the top two pairs of lace eyelets gives you some control over the ankle support.

Arch Support

The Salomon X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex comes with a shaped insole that offers gentle arch support – in this regard, they offer slightly more than some of their competitors, but the arch support is still fairly neutral – though most buyers will likely be totally fine with it as is. If you do need more arch support, then the supplied insoles can easily be swapped out for an after-market or custom-made alternative.

See the Salomon X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex in more detail: 

Fit

The Salomon X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex absolutely falls into the category of modern, trainer-inspired hiking boots. As such, they are inherently comfortable and feel a world away from the chunky, rigid hiking boots of the past. Whilst they do fit like trainers, they are still slightly rigid – nowhere near as much as the Zamberlan Vioz 996 we’ve assessed elsewhere – but still, more rigid than some other trainer-style boots and enough so to make your feet feel well supported and protected by the boots.

They are offered in sizes ranging from US 5/UK 3.5/EU 36 to US 11/UK 9.5/EU 44 in both regular and wide fit versions. Sizing is generally true and it’s worth noting that even the regular width version has a generously wide forefoot.

Materials

In common with an increasing number of hiking boots, these are fully synthetic. The choice of synthetic materials is certainly a major factor in how Salomon are able to achieve the excellent combo of low weight and ruggedness these boots provide.

materials used Salomon X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex

Appearance

These are thoroughly modern looking hiking boots and it’s clear that they take as many of their design cues from the world of trainers and sports shoes as they do from traditional hiking footwear. We think these are good looking boots – modern without being too in your face. Salomon makes good use of playing off contrasting material textures in their design. Salomon offers these boots in a number of colorways and uses more muted versions of what could easily be very vivid or garish combos to good effect.

Durability

Lightweight hiking gear is often criticized for lacking durability. In many cases, there’s a lot of truth to this, but looking at these X Ultra 4 boots, we think that Salomon have managed to strike a good balance between low weight and durability.

Whilst it’s true to say that these boots are not as absolutely tough and durable as some of the more traditionally styled leather hiking boots we’ve assessed elsewhere – like the Zamberlan Vioz 996 or Danner Mountian 600 Leaf GTX – their durability gives us no cause for concern. The synthetic materials used are tough and the general build quality is very high.

Sustainability

At the time of writing, Salomon do not publish any specific sustainability data on these boots. however, the company has a range of sustainability commitments including reducing waste and maintaining high standards of worker welfare.

Water Resistance

As the name suggests, the Salomon X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex features a Gore-Tex membrane – designed to keep water out whilst still allowing the boots to be breathable. They also feature gusseting on the tongue to help keep the boot waterproof up to just below the ankle cuff. The result of all this is that these boots offer great water resistance. They’ll keep your feet dry in heavy rain and will also keep the water out if you need to cross a shallow stream. Do remember, though, that water can still enter the boots via the ankle cuffs or soak in via your socks.

Weight

Weight is one area where these boots excel. Coming in at 740g/1lb 10z for a pair, these are certainly light boots and what’s even more impressive is that they achieve this weight without sacrificing durability or coming in at a very high price point. Low weight has often meant compromising in other areas, but these boots seem to get the balance right and as such, we can see them appealing to a wide range of hikers.

Insoles

These boots come with a pair of cushioned insoles – Salomon calls them ‘Ortholite’ insoles – that offer gentle arch support. We think that most buyers of these boots will be more than happy with these, but, if you want to add deeper cushioning to the boot, extra arch support or fine-tune the fit, then swapping out the insole is an easy and (usually) inexpensive way to achieve just this.

After-market options are readily available and it’s also possible to have insoles custom-made to precisely fit your foot.

Break-in Period

These boots were comfortable straight from the box and, whilst we would argue that no footwear is completely without a break-in period, our reviewer felt that these boots were good to go on a long hike after just wearing them around their home for a couple of hours. They are certainly a world away from how breaking in hiking boots used to be – as we’re sure some of our readers will remember!

Lacing System

These Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid high boots use regular laces. It’s interesting to note that the shoe version of the X Ultra 4 uses a different ‘Speed Lace’ system – we wonder why this did not make it over to the boot? Whatever the reason for this, we’re not unhappy to have regular laces as they allow you to fine tune the fit of your boots by adjusting the tension at different pairs of eyelets. You can also experiment with different lacing patterns to further refine the fit of your boots.

lacing system solomon X Ultra 4

Toe Protection

These boots feature a reinforced rubber rand around the toe and the sole also extends up to form a small toecap. Whilst this won’t give the same level of protection as heavier duty mountaineering boots, it’s still more than enough to soak up many of the bumps and knocks your feet will encounter if you kick into a rock or trip on a root.

toe protection Salomon X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex

Conclusion

Salomon have come up with a winning combo in the X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex. Those who do more intense technical hiking might rather choose an all-over more rigid boot, but for many hikers, this will tick all the right boxes as it offers a great mix of low weight, good foot and ankle support, durability and water resistance. They may not be suitable for the absolute coldest of weather, but for those in more temperate climates, they could be a great choice for year-round do it all boots and could well be the only pair of hiking boots you need.

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