Much like the versions that came before it, the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid Gore-Tex is a high-performing boot that scored well in most of our testing metrics. It is lightweight, and you can feel the athletic nature of the design, nimble and ready for a fast pace yet offering the same stability and support underfoot as a traditional hiking boot. The ankle and tongue are well-padded and grant lots of protection without excess bulk. Plus, the outsole is grippy on rock and scree, and the upper is impressively waterproof. What's not to like? This is a great all-around hiker we feel good recommending, as it performs well for day hikes, overnights, and moderate backpacking trips while maintaining a modest price tag, too.Editor's Note: This product review was updated on May 18, 2022, to add more product comparisons and insight.
Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid Gore-Tex - Women's Review
Cons: Doesn't fit all foot shapes, bulky laces
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|Pros||Waterproof, breathable, durable, relatively lightweight||Lightweight, comfortable, breathable, great traction, reasonable price||Wide toe box, lightweight, padded ankle support, durable lacing system provides stability, excellent traction||Lightweight, stylish, supportive, comfortable||Improved traction, great for a wide foot, inexpensive, well-padded ankle|
|Cons||Doesn't fit all foot shapes, bulky laces||Not as supportive as a traditional leather hiking boot||Pricier, 0mm drop heel takes some adjustment time||Lacks ankle support for extended backcountry travel||Lacing system lacks durability, not enough ankle support for heavier loads, Achilles isn't well padded, heavy|
|Bottom Line||A boot that held its own in all metrics, this model offers good performance for a wide range of hiking utility at a reasonable price||A lightweight, breathable, waterproof, and supportive hiking boot that excelled in multiple testing metrics and offers maximum control when moving through technical terrain||These hiking boots have a similar design and feel to your favorite running shoe while also offering a durable outsole, grippy lugs, and a spacious toe box||A sleek, stylish, and lightweight hiking boot that doesn't sacrifice backcountry performance, though is better for shorter trips||These boots offer improved traction and comfort right out of the box, though they underperform in terms of durability and support for extended backpacking trips|
|Rating Categories||Salomon X Ultra 4 M...||La Sportiva Ultra R...||Altra Lone Peak ALL...||Teva Grandview GTX Mid||Merrell Moab 3 Mid WP|
|Water Resistance (15%)|
|Specs||Salomon X Ultra 4 M...||La Sportiva Ultra R...||Altra Lone Peak ALL...||Teva Grandview GTX Mid||Merrell Moab 3 Mid WP|
|Weight (per pair)||1.63 lbs (size 8.5)||1.68 lbs (size EU 40)||1.60 lbs (size 8.5)||1.86 lbs (size 8.5)||2.06 lbs (size 8)|
|Upper||Synthetic, textile, rubber toecap||AirMesh, microfiber, TPU||eVent fabric||Leather, synthetic, textile||Leather, mesh|
|Width Options||Regular||Regular, Wide||Regular||Regular||Regular, Wide|
|Water Resistant Membrane||Gore-Tex||Gore-Tex||eVent||Gore-Tex||Waterproof membrane|
|Midsole||Molded OrthoLite sockliner||MEMlex||Altra EGO||EVA||Super Rebound Compound|
|Sole||Contagrip rubber, chevron lugs||FriXion XF 2.0 Rubber||DuraTread Rubber||Vibram Megagrip rubber||Vibram TC5+|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The X Ultra 4 is a versatile and well-constructed boot that works great in a variety of hiking environments and caters more to a wider foot shape. This is a refined version of the previous model with an updated upper and a stable, supportive midsole. Plus, the latest version of this boot is lighter than previous models.
These boots are not bad for long days with added weight and they are among our top choices for short day hikes in the heat. The X Ultra 4 is not as bulky and substantial as many of the more traditional boots we tested and not as futuristic as some of the more modern, highly cushioned options. Instead, they land right in the middle, providing comfort where it's needed without any excess. In this updated model, we noticed that the ankle is as padded, but it's not as bulky as the previous version. The ankle padding, wide toe box, and highly adjustable lacing system make these boots comfortable with a fit that is easy to fine-tune. Additionally, the padded tongue adds a lot of comfort to the top of the foot, while the heel is protected and supported with reinforced materials.
Like the previous versions we tested, the boots still seem to run a little bit big, so there's no need to size these up. They also have a wide toe box, which accommodates a variety of foot shapes and allows for a quick break-in period. That said, if you have a narrow foot, the sizing and wide toe box can create too much movement in the inner boot, creating enough friction to lead to blisters and hot spots. However, these boots do a good job when carrying weight and provide ample comfort for a wider foot.
The X Ultra 4 comes with an updated chassis designed to reduce weight while still providing the stability and support that these boots are known for. We were impressed when testing lateral support; these boots hardly bent at all when twisted by hand. With this boot's lateral support, there's less of a risk of rolling an ankle. It is impressive to find a boot that provides stability in the ankle without adding bulk. Under the forefoot, the X Ultra 4 flexes significantly, but there's still enough of a supportive midsole that this doesn't affect the feeling of the boots on rough terrain. The wide forefoot also provides a stable base.
Similar to the previous iteration of this boot, the lacing system requires a little bit of extra love to cinch it down tightly. Initially, we thought this was due to the extra padding around the ankle, but since the problem exists in the updated model as well as the previous one, we think this is due to the thick laces that come with these boots. It is more difficult to get them as tight as some of the other boots with thinner laces.
While many boots can provide comfort and support, it isn't easy to find a pair that do this while still maintaining good performance within a high-traction outsole. The X Ultra 4 does an excellent job as they are supportive while also toting a sticky and impressive outsole. The aggressive tread pattern grips into scree, mud, and loose terrain with ease, while the ContaGrip rubber compound maintains traction on slabs and talus.
With more mesh and synthetic materials used in the upper than the previous model, the X Ultra 4 is also more breathable. It still has a Gore-Tex waterproof membrane that keeps water out, but with less leather on the top of the boot, the X Ultra 4 is exceptionally breathable. We were impressed that these boots kept our feet completely dry even when fully submerged in water. Though they aren't the tallest boots in this review in terms of flood height, they still provide plenty of protection with a measured flood height of 5.1 inches. The X Ultra lands in the middle of the road in terms of height, balancing weight and protection.
The X Ultra 4 Mid blows the previous iteration out of the water in terms of weight. These boots are significantly lighter than the X Ultra 3 without losing any of the support that has become standard in these classic hikers. The X Ultra 4 weighs in at 1.63 pounds for a size 8.5 US, which is 0.2 pounds (3.2 ounces) lighter than the previous version.
While these boots are relatively burly and feature a reinforced rubber toe cap, the X Ultra 4 isn't as durable as other lightweight, agile hiking boots featured in this review. However, all the seams are reinforced, and the sole is thick and durable. And, even though these are way lighter (by nearly a pound) than some of the more substantial boots in our review, rest assured that the X Ultra 4 can handle the same rugged trails as their more robust peers. The durability of this lightweight package makes these boots competitive in terms of a weight-to-durability ratio. That said, a boot with an entirely leather upper will inevitably be more durable in the long term than a mesh and synthetic model like the X Ultra.
Should You Buy the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid Gore-Tex?
The Salomon X Ultra 4 remains an excellent choice for a modern hiking boot. Salomon balances comfort and stability with lightweight performance, great traction, and a waterproof upper. These boots are comfortable and allow for freedom of movement while still providing ankle stability and a solid platform underfoot. The ankle and tongue are well padded, and the sole is grippy on rock and scree. These boots are high performers in wet conditions while remaining breathable and light in hot weather.
What Other Hiking Boots Should You Consider?
There are other Salomon boots in this review that are more expensive and also more affordable, and both pairs offer great performance. However, for a similar style of lightweight hiking boot that scored well over every metric, check out the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX. Or, if you're seeking more comfort, we recommend looking at the Altra Lone Peak ALL-WTHR Mid and the Hoka Kaha 2 GTX All Gender.
— Jane Jackson and Trish Matheny
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