Salomon Quest 4D GORE-TEX Review

I got a shout from Snow and Rock’s media folk about reviewing some boots and as it was Salomons that were on offer I thought is was a good chance to update myself as the last Salomon’s I got sent up were the gripless Fastpackers.
Salomon XA trail shoes are still one of my all-time favourites, so it was with an open mind and tentative first step that I took the Salomon Quest 4D GORE-TEX on test.

1325g for a pair of size UK9’s with a bit of mud on them. Whatever that looks like on paper, they feel light in the hand and on the foot. There’s an unexpected feeling of the substantial about the Quests when you pull them on too, the upper is layered, but to my extreme joy there’s great flexibility as well.
That high ankle cuff is misleading, it looks like a shackle but it’s actually a water and crap repeller which matches up well with a softshell pant and has made the Quests my #1 choice for rangering in the Kilpatrick Hills. The flexibility around the ankle was okay out of the box and has loosened a little more with use, no feeling like my trail-shoe loving feet have been boxed into a corner of shin splints despair. The Quests are fit and forget, long days have been rub point and ache free as I’ve got just enough free movement to keep me upright and grinning.

The flexibility carries on to the sole unit, or at least the front half of it. The heel and arch are stiff-ish and the toe flex area is soft-ish which is perfect for me, just like the Montrails of my youth. We’ll, ten years ago anyway. I think this is a good balance between stability and control, the heel is cupped and secure and the toe can feel the ground as well as you’ll get in a boot. It makes for a comfortable long day rather than the desire to pull the boots off and wiggle my toes at every rock I pass. That stuff I will not do any more.
The outsole is surprisingly grippy. Really. It’s still a Salomon, so wet rock and the like is never going to be your best friend in the Quests, but compared the Fastpacker I mentioned above, these are so much better.
The sole pattern is quite open and deep cut while being quite flat at the same time, so they suit both hardpack and soft ground quite well and they clean on the move well enough. There’s a decent heel breast for downhill grip too, it’s a mountain sole for sure.

The upper is a mix of suede and fabric cut into trail shoe-esque go-faster aesthetics which does seem to assist a nice close fit as you pull the laces tight. This design also aids the flexibility of the upper, it moves without wrinkling or concertinaing (yes, I spelled that right).
The laces run through nice slidey lace hooks with bigger gripper types at the ankle pivot to stop the lace sliding. I was a bit worried about this at first as I had visions of the lace at this point crushing my foot, but it hasn’t happened and the laces just seem to stay secure. The full height gusseted tongue is well padded which is maybe part of it, padding is evident elsewhere too, it’s like pulling on a fluffy slipper in some ways as the light padding molds around your ankle. Kinda like they’re thinking of trail shoe users with whiny ankles?
Or dainty hill walkers.

There’s a Gore-Tex liner, the clue is in the title, which is still waterproof at the moment after maybe three months use. I really hope it lasts, we’ll just have to see, of all the other lightweight waterproof boots I’ve been sent none are still waterproof, the membrane is just too vulnerable in a constantly flexing boot or mid.
Maybe they should just give us replaceable form fitted Gore-Tex socks free with every boot which they could keep selling us through the life of the boot. But, I digress.

I love the shape of these, it feels very like the XA and below the profile of the toe looks very similar. The toe is rubber-randed (as is the heel) and pretty robust, these should make a useful light winter boot with spikes or light and bendy aluminium crampons. The ankle height definitely lends itself to snow repellency.
The footbed is Salomon’s own Ortholite variety which works fine, they’re light padded, subtlety shaped and take a good kicking. All of my Salomon’s have their original footbeds, nothing else ever seems to work for me, a sign of joined up thinking in the design maybe?

There’s a lot different influences in the Quest, I can see elements of trail shoe, alpine boot and trekking boot, but rather than trying to sit on the fence and falling between two stools, the Quest gets it just right for my feet. I was half expecting to be lacing two greased piglets onto my feet, but I found lightweight mountain boots that are comfy, definitely not gripless and I’m chosing them all the time.
All we need now are some bright colours, I mean have you seen some of Salomons trail shoes? Ach.


14 thoughts on “Salomon Quest 4D GORE-TEX Review”

  1. i’ve got the cosmics, similar but doesnt have the leather reinforcing in the uppers and the nylon fabric is different, aparently the cosmics are prone to material failure at the front where the toes flex, i’ve got the older model. the newer model has thinner nylon and is at least as prone to failure.
    no reason to belive the quests will fail with the leather reinforcing at the point here the cosmics are failing, ironical since the cosmics are sold as their top of the line boot…
    the tread lasts really well. i’ve done a couple of hundred miles in mine on a lot of rock around the new zealand mountains. and minimal wear.. i’ve had no issues with holes in the fabric yet. touch wood i won’t… i seem to keep ending up in salomon footwear, certainly comfortable although some of their stuff isnt at the robust end of the durability scale. i’ve go some x ultra’s for summer hols to get something lighter, but i’m not expecting them to last as well as the cosmics, definitely a much lighter built boot. still i’m pretty happy with salomons they fit my feet well. i try other brands and am less happy with the fit. all i’be been wearing for the past ten years has been salomon boots, also have salomon shoes but i mix up the brands with my shoes…

  2. I resurrected an old pair of non goretex Salomon Exit Low Mid’s (late 1990s) for my recent trip to the Yorkshire Dales/Howgills. They hadn’t had much use though 15 years old. Two miles into the first day both soles parted company with the boot.
    Luckily I had brought younger boots with me but had an interesting walk back to get them from the car walking only on the insoles.
    After three days of using GTX boots in 28C heat I could stand it no more and bought a pair of TNF Sieve 3 mesh trainers for £52. My feet were happy for the rest of the trip.I’m normally a boot man and don’t mind GTX but that recent heat was just too much.

  3. My Quests gave up on me towards the heel after what I added up to be around 1,000 miles walking. It was grit inside the boot that punctured the liner and they started to leak.

    I replaced them with the Cosmics, the 1st version, which lasted less than 300 miles when the fabric at the sides of the toe box creased and split and started leaking. I was ever so slightly p!ssed off. Tiso and Salomon did a good job and I got a replacement pair under warranty, the newer version which has a synthetic reinforcement where the fabric was on the originals.

    500 or so miles, including the Skye Trail, the An Stac screes and the Great Stone Chute amongst others and they are still going strong.

    The Cosmics are better :)


  4. +1 for the Cosmics. They do seem fragile, but have stood up to some fair abuse. I’ve had them just over a year and are great boots. The onlt wear is the sole coming away a little at the edge under the ball of my foot, on both boots. It doesn’t seem to be getting worse, but may be a point of concern if it comes away ant more. Time will tell.

  5. Interesting about the Cosmics,I liked the look of those too as they’re a little closer to the XA’s than the Quests.

    It’s good great concept though, growing alight boot out of a trail shoe chassic, I really can feel the difference.

    Fatwalker, on the Slioch trip that I did I was going to wear these but the extreme heat made me switch to my old XA’s in the car park. It was a good call.

    Fragility and high rates of wear on light/flexible boots is always going to be an issue. Why can’t we have a kevlar and suede resoleable 300g trail mid?

  6. the new cosmics are essentially the “conquest” uppers . or a higher version of the x ultras with more tread contacting the ground and a stiffer footbed.
    friend of mine used the x ultras for the tgo challenge, says they were the best boots he’s ever used but not for everyone, no rigidity in the forefoot, not so good with a heavy pack, he went ultralight. just had a trailstar tarp.

  7. HI Had the cosmics for about a year including doing the c2c in them, which wore a hole in the fabric some how, fair play to Salomon they refunded my cash when i sent them back.

    I really did love them but the grip was terrible! unlike the speedcross 3 and XA’s that they were replaced with.

  8. A soft fore foot is great if you’re used to it wayno, but can be damned tiring if your feet aren’t ready for it.

    The XA’s are grippier than they look, a black magic shoe :o)

  9. yeah im wondering when the no’s of followers of ultralight walking will drop off when they get sick of sore everything…
    xa pro’s are good as they have some stiffnes in the sole. wish they’d combine them with the chunky sole of the x-ultras
    the soles of my xa pro’s just don’t last, i do a lot of coast walking and the rock just eats them up…

  10. I just wish I hadn’t bought the XA’s with the membrane. I got through 2 pairs within a year (Salomon replaced them) and after recieving the third pair I never bothered using them for anything other than washing the car.

  11. to some extent waterproof footwear has become a marketing gimmick, often if they arent waterproof then they have mesh outer material that lets in dust and mud…. hard to find the right shoe with the happy medium… i know people living in aus who just tear their hair out over the footwear selection, heat and dust are their biggest issues…

  12. I guess something with a water resistant outer rather than mesh? The only shoe I can really think of off the top of my head is the salomon fellcross but I’m sure there are plenty out there which have high WR, and therefore would keep out most debris, whilst not being a sweat swimming pool membrane shoe.

  13. Just been scree running on Skye in an old pair of XA’s.

    Not a mark on them and I though they’d be destroyed.

    No sense to lightweight shoe longevity at all.

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