The Salomon Cross Hike 2 Mid Gore-Tex pack high tech materials and cutting-edge design into a very lightweight and comfortable package.
Pros / Reasons to Buy
- Very lightweight
- Very comfortable
Cons / Reasons to Avoid
- Ankle support could be better
Salomon are a well-respected name in the outdoor industry – their footwear in particular is very highly regarded. The Cross Hike 2 Mid Gore-Tex boots are one of the highest tech offerings in their current line-up. We’ve been very impressed by their light weight, comfort and striking modern design, though we do think the ankle support could be a bit better and some may not like the speed lacing system. Overall, they’re a great hiking shoe and we were really impressed with their waterproofing. These boots would be a great choice for general hiking and even light enough to consider for trail running.
Compare to Similar Products
- Regatta Vendeavour Pro
- Danner Panorama Mid
- Adidas Terrex Free Hiker 2 GTX
- Related: 20 Best Waterproof Hiking Shoes
Get a closer look: Salomon Cross Hike 2 Mid Gore-tex
Analysis and Test Results
The Salomon Cross Hike 2 Mid Gore-Tex has impressed us. First of all, we think they look very cool, and as well as hiking, make a great pair of day-to-day shoes. However, where they really impress is on the trail. Their ultra-modern design and use of cutting-edge materials and construction methods means they are both lightweight – in fact they are the lightest mid high boots in our round up – and waterproof. We’ve found them to be incredibly comfortable too, with a minimal breaking-in period. The very modern design feels refreshing, and we also loved the speed lacing system. In fact, the only fault we could find – and this is a very subjective point, we should add – is that there isn’t as much ankle support as we’d expect from a pair of mid high hiking shoes. The boots command a high price, but if you’re looking for a high tech, comfortable and stylish option, we think they are a great choice!
The Salomon Cross Hike 2 Mid Gore-Tex hiking shoes feature a molded rubber sole with a relatively deep thread pattern. The thread pattern isn’t as deep or ‘aggressive’ as what you’d find on dedicated mountaineering boots, but it’s still at the deeper end in terms of products in this round up. The sole material is relatively soft, to help improve grip on surfaces like wet rocks. As with all footwear, there’s bound to be some conditions where the traction fails on the soles, however, we haven’t encountered that scenario yet with these Salomon boots and in use, we’ve found they give a sure and dependable grip on a variety of surfaces.
Outwardly, the Salomon Cross Hike 2 boots don’t look like they are very breathable. They have no obviously vented or mesh sections like some of the other products in this round up. However, this is where the high-tech materials Salomon have used come into play. Large sections of the upper of these boots are made from a tightly woven synthetic material. This is backed with a Gore-Tex membrane. This material feels quite thin (though it’s still pretty tough) and it allows a surprising amount of breathability. For sure, these boots are not as well ventilated as some of the other options in this round up, but they certainly don’t overheat either and we have never found them to get uncomfortably hot in use.
Ankle support is quite a subjective quality. Ankle support can be helpful if you trip or stumble in the trail and can help prevent twisted ankles, but on the flip side, it can make your shoes feel constrained or uncomfortable. Every individual will have their own take and preferences on this. Some – our reviewer for these boots included – will prefer footwear with a tighter and more supportive fit around the ankle whilst others will prefer the freedom of movement you get from less support. Generally, the reason you’d choose a mid-high boot like these Salomon Cross Hike 2 Mids over a shoe (and indeed you can get a shoe version of these boots) is because of the added ankle support and perhaps also because of improved water resistance. With all this in mind, our reviewer felt that the Cross Hike 2 Mids could offer better ankle support. We think this is partly due to the design of the lacing system which doesn’t allow you to tighten the ankle cuff as much as some other boots in this round up. Now, we don’t think this is a deal breaker with these boots, but if ankle support is very important to you, it’s well worth bearing this in mind.
The inner of the Salomon Cross Hike 2 Mid is slightly shaped to provide subtle arch support. As with ankle support, arch support is a very subjective and individual quality. We think that many people who wear these shoes (our reviewer included!) will be completely happy with the level of arch support they provide right out of the box – and in that sense, the ‘neutral’ option Salomon provides makes perfect sense. However the insoles in these boots are, as you’d expect, removable and, if you feel that the arch support is insufficient, it can easily be improved by swapping out the provided insoles for a more heavily shaped pair which are easily and inexpensively available. For some buyers, swapping the insoles can make a substantial difference to comfort, so if you feel that this is an area where your footwear lets you down, it’s an option that’s well worth considering.
The Salomon Cross Hike 2 Mid boots are available in normal and wide versions and offered in sizes from US 7M/ UK 6.5/ EU 40 up to US 14M/ UK 13.5/ EU 49.3. First of all, it’s great to see Salomon offering larger sizes as our reviewer – who wears larger shoes – has sometimes found manufacturers don’t offer hiking shoes in big enough sizes in the past (though we also recall a chat with a hiker once who told us how difficult he found it get hiking boots for his size 15 feet!). Our reviewer has slightly narrow feet and wore the normal width versions. These still felt slightly wide and when tightly laced, there was some surplus material evident in the fabric uppers. It’s important to note, though, that this did not impact the comfort at all.
The Salomon Cross Hike 2 Mid boot is fully synthetic and makes use of high-tech materials to help keep their weight down and also to maintain breathability. The boot uppers feel very thin in places, but they also feel very durable too. Some high-tech materials can seem almost ‘impossible’ in this regard, especially if you’re used to more old-fashioned heavy-duty hiking boots where bulkier equaled better.
The Salomon Cross Hike 2 Mid are certainly striking looking boots! Our reviewer’s first impression was that they reminded him of Michael J Fox’s self-lacing shoes from Back to the Future Part 2. The boots certainly have a very modern yet minimal look, emphasized by the fact that they lack traditional laces. If you prefer more traditional boots, the looks of these Salomon boots may be a bit too much, but we really like them. We think they look really good in fact, and we could well imagine many people who never set foot on a hiking trail buying a pair as good-looking day to day fashion shoes. Salomon offer these boots in a number of color ways. All are fairly muted and our review pair – pale grey upper with an orange sole – is about as bold as the colors get. All in all, we think they are good looking boots that offer style in an understated way.
If you are used to traditional, heavy-weight hiking boots, some modern designs – especially those that utilize high-tech lightweight materials, can outwardly seem to be quite flimsy. It’s true to say that in places the uppers of these Salomon Cross Hike 2 boots feel very thin. However, modern technical fabrics have also been around long enough to prove their durability on the trail. Some of these materials can seem almost impossible – tough and lightweight – but that’s genuinely how they are. These Salomon boots are not going to be as durable as heavy-duty B-rated mountaineering boots, but then, that’s not really what they are aiming to be. They certainly don’t give us any cause for concern with their long-term durability and we’re sure that they’ll be able to stand up to many years of use. They’ve certainly stood up exceptionally well to our rigorous testing outdoors, especially in very wet conditions.
The Salomon Cross Hike 2 Mids weigh 826g/1lb 13oz for a pair. There are lighter pairs of footwear in our round up, but these boots are definitely towards the lighter end, and they are definitely the lightest men’s boots we’ve assessed. Even if you don’t normally buy the lightest gear possible, lightweight footwear makes good sense as you feel weight on your feet disproportionately to when it’s carried elsewhere – indeed there’s truth to the old saying that ’one pound on your feet equals five on your back’. The boots feel light on the feet and aside from general hiking and trail walking we think these boots would also be suitable for trail running for some users.
The Salomon Free Hike 2 Mid boots come with a fairly generic pair of removable cushioned insoles. These are fairly unremarkable – just like the insoles most manufacturers provide – but we also think that they’ll do just fine for the vast majority of people who buy and wear these boots. However, the key thing is that the insoles are also removable and swapping them out for something else is a great and inexpensive way to fine tune the fit and comfort of your shoes. This can be a great way to add extra arch support or deeper cushioning, for instance. For some people, this modification could make a substantial difference to the comfort of the shoes.
No shoe or boot is without a breaking-in period, and if you’ve had any experience with more traditional hiking boots, you’ll know that this could be a lengthy and painful process! However, more modern boots using more flexible high tech materials make this process much less painful. We found the Salomon Cross Hike 2 Mid boots very comfortable straight out of the box. They didn’t rub our feet and they certainly didn’t cause blisters. After a few short local walks we were confident to take them out for longer days on the trail. They’ve worn in to be an incredible comfortable pair of hiking shoes.
The Salomon Cross Hike 2 Mid boots use a speed lacing system. This is essentially a draw-string closure that follows a conventional lacing pattern. The actual lace is a very thin and durable cord – we have no worries that it would snap – and it’s tightened with a plastic toggle. The system is really quick and there’s an elasticated pouch in the boot’s tongue to tuck excess the excess laces into. As the speed lace system follows a conventional lacing pattern, you still have some control over tension in various areas of the boot, but the control is not as precise as you get with a multi-zone conventional lacing system. However, lacing and unlacing is very quick indeed and the dexterity needed to tie conventional laces is not required here – that could well be a bonus if you have mobility issues in your fingers.
In common with most of the other shoes and boots in this round up, the Salomon Cross Hike 2 do not have a specifically reinforced toe – that’ snot unusual at all for a general hiking and walking boot. However, the front section is definitely more rigid, and the sole does extend up to provide some extra protection. All of this will be helpful if you stumble or stub your toe on the trail.
Hiking Shoes v Hiking Boots
The choice of boots versus shoes is very personal. For more demanding trails – the kind you might find in the deep back country or when mountaineering – more rigid boots make absolute sense as they provide better physical protection for your toes, feet and ankles (plus they can generally accept crampons). However, for most general hiking or leisure walking the choice is much more personal and really comes down to what you prefer. Our reviewer favors boots over shoes as he likes to have some ankle support – even if it’s just a little bit – but your tastes might well be different. Shoes do offer slightly better ankle mobility – even if this is more based on the wearer’s perception rather than anything that’s actually measurable. At the end of the day, this one is a matter of taste – so the best advice we can offer is to follow your own preferences.
We’ve been very impressed by the Salomon Cross Hike 2 Mid Gore-Tex Boots. They are certainly not the cheapest, but they pack a lot of high-tech material, cutting edge design and manufacturing techniques into a very lightweight and above all else comfortable package. With a very minimal breaking in period, we were confident to wear these on long hikes very soon after receiving them and we’ve found the boots to be extremely resilient in wet conditions too. We think they’re a stylish contender that will last you a long time.
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