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Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Review (2023 Hiking Boot Tested)

The Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX offered an excellent balance between comfort and support on our day hike on the 5.5-mile Bryce Canyon’s Rim Trail, with good traction on muddier areas and rocks.

Our Verdict

Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX

Although the Gore-Tex lining was less breathable than I expected – we did test on a summer day – the boots are very effective on creek crossings and can face rainy weather and even a little snow.

  • Descent Control Technology
  • 100% Synthetic 
  • Gore-Tex Waterproof
Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid Hiking Boots.jpg

That said, let’s jump right in and see how these hiking boots did during our tests and what’s new about them compared to their previous version.

This is a discontinued product. For their most recent version, check Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid Gtx Review.

Product Specifications

  • Midsole: Injected EVA
  • Outsole: Contagrip rubber
  • Upper: Leather


  • The firm midsole offers good isolation from sharp rocks
  • Equipped with arrow-like deep lugs that claw well on almost all types of surfaces
  • Can successfully face rainy weather due to their waterproof design
  • Good balance between weight and stability
  • No break-in period thanks to the soft synthetic upper material


  • They have only 5 sets of eyelets that may not provide a secure fit for all users
  • These Gore-Tex boots are less breathable than their non-GTX version

Things We Tested When We Reviewed Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX

salomon x ultra 3 mid gtx unboxed

1. Durability

To build more lightweight boots, Salomon gave up leather for this model, replacing it with synthetic materials, which also dry faster.

While we appreciated the lightness and the shoes held up well on the tougher portions of the trail, we couldn’t help but notice that the fabric is less resistant to abrasion, so wearing these Salomon shoes on rocky terrain will eventually get them chewed up.

The stitching is strong though, and we also expect the GTX lining to preserve the waterproofing for a long time.

2. Traction

tread and traction of the boots

For the X Ultra Mid 3 GTX, Salomon uses a Contagrip sole with a multi-directional grip.

The arrow lug pattern is designed to clasp on different terrains like wet rocks, muddy paths, and uneven surfaces, while the proprietary Descent Control Technology adds more support downhill.

During our tests, these hiking boots provided great traction on the ground, even on sections with loose dirt, where I had good control over my movements.

However, compared to similar hiking boots, this model has a softer sole, which is great if you are heading on a long trail with light packs, but with my heavy backpack, I would have liked a little more torsional stability on the dry and slippery areas of the Bryce Canyon.

3. Comfort

The cushioning on the Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX is highly effective in reducing impact and providing support to the feet.

The shoe feels comfortable out of the box, with good ankle support and a soft tongue, designed to keep debris away.

Note: If ankle support is not something you are interested in, check our review of Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX where we analyze the low-ankle version of this boot.

We also found the toe box to have just the right width – not too narrow to make your feet scream after half an hour of hiking, but also not too wide to give you blisters.

Unfortunately, the soles are thin, and you will sense most of the sharp rocks that come your way.

4. Breathability

our boots sitting on their new branded box

This product is a waterproof boot that uses a Gore-Tex membrane to keep your feet dry in snowy or rainy weather.

From our experience, all waterproof boots with GTX lose a part of their breathability, and this model isn’t an exception.

For the first part of the hike, this great boot was airy enough, allowing perspiration to go through its membrane pretty well.

But as the temperature increased and I got more tired, eventually my feet became sweaty.

In cold weather, however, the waterproof membrane can be quite reliable in keeping your feet warm and dry.

5. Weight

At about 2 pounds per pair, these hiking shoes go easy on your feet. They are built with lighter materials than traditional leather hiking boots but are still not as light as a trail runner pair.

Although there was a small decrease in stability due to the lightweight design, this hiking footwear felt comfortable and light on the trail, reducing foot tiredness considerably.

Overall, these boots work great if you are heading on a multi-day backpacking trip or planning to do some speed hiking.

6. Waterproofing

It comes with a Gore-Tex liner, so they are safe to use on puddles and creeks.

These Gore-Tex boots also feature a protective toe cap and mudguard, which add an extra layer of protection against water and help you shed mud before it gets the uppers wet.

One thing I noticed about the waterproofing is that you must make sure the boots are properly laced and tightened. If the boots are too loose, water can seep in from the top, and it will take a lot of time to get the boots dry again.

7. Support

ankle support of salomon x ultra 3 mid gtx

This hiking boot has a mid-cut design that provides extra support and protection to the ankles, which is crucial when navigating rough terrain.

The padded collar is comfortable, although, on slippery surfaces and more technical terrain, we felt that this great boot is not as supportive as a high-cut model.

However, we appreciated that the boots feature a heel cap that locks your foot in place, preventing it from sliding forward when going downhill.

8. Fit and Sizing

In terms of sizing, this hiking boot fits true to size, which means you should order the same size as your regular shoes.

The boots come in both regular and wide widths, so you can choose the best option for your foot. If you have average-width feet like me, the wide option will provide a more comfortable fit.

When trying out the boots, I found that they were snug but not tight, a feeling that persisted throughout the hike. The lacing system is also easy to use, with metal eyelets that allow you to adjust the fit to your liking.

However, if you have flat feet or high arches, you may need to add an additional insole for more support.

How It Evolved?

a comparison of salomon x ultra 3 mid gtx vs previous version

The X Ultra 3 Mid GTX hiking boot is the newer version of the X Ultra 2 Mid GTX, and it comes with small but noticeable upgrades.

The X Ultra 3 has a more durable outsole, which provides better traction on slippery surfaces. It also has an improved heel design, which gives better stability and support.

Another difference between the two boots is their weight. The X Ultra 3 GTX is slightly lighter than the X Ultra 2 Mid GTX, making it easier to wear for long periods.

Both boots come with the GTX membrane and a reasonable price, which turns them into some of the best hiking boots for women for regular hiking and trekking.

How Does It Compare with Other Products?

1. Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP

Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP is a versatile hiking boot suitable for various activities, including hiking, backpacking, and trail running.

While waterproof as well, it doesn’t feature the GTX membrane, so its waterproofing is considered less reliable.

It is also heavier than the X Ultra 3, but this is due to its leather construction which is more durable on rocky trails.

Additionally, the Moab 2 Mid WP’s Vibram outsole is made from a more rigid and durable compound and has deeper lugs, so this model is a better choice for muddy roads.

For a full product description, check our review of Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP.

2. Keen Targhee III Mid Waterproof

KEEN Targhee III Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

The Keen Targhee III Mid Waterproof is a more stable hiking boot than the X Ultra 3 GTX. It has a stronger construction and can withstand rough terrain better.

This makes the Keen boots a better choice for more challenging hikes.

On the other hand, the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX hiking boot is lighter than the Keen Targhee III Mid Waterproof, so it is more comfortable to wear for extended periods, as it puts less strain on your feet.

Both boot models are waterproof, but the Targhee III Mid Waterproof uses the patented Keen.Dry system. While the GTX is more popular, we noticed no important differences regarding the water resistance level.

For more information, see our review of Keen Targhee III Mid Waterproof hiking boots.

3. Salomon Quest 4 GTX

Salomon Quest 4 Gore-TEX Hiking Boots

The X Ultra 3 is a set of cheap hiking boots compared to the Salomon Quest 4. The Quest 4 is designed for long expeditions, with premium materials like full-grain leather and thick EVA foam.

These hiking shoes have a high-cut design that offers extra protection on long distances and a great all-around fit.

We also felt that the gusseted tongue of the Quest 4 is tougher and provides better water resistance when crossing creeks.

Both models come with an advanced chassis design and provide good lateral support and great cushioning, but the Quest 4 is a better choice if you are adventuring out in bad weather or on a difficult trail.

Check our full review of Salomon Quest 4 GTX if you want to find out more about this product.

Where Does It Perform Better?

hiking in ubud bali through the rice fields
Courtesy of Dan Nguyen

Added to our best hiking boots for beginners guide, these hiking shoes from Salomon are a good choice for non-technical terrain with rougher portions they can handle well. Their Sensifit system with the comfortable Ortholite insole ensures a proper fit and prevents blisters during day hikes.

Lighter than most traditional hiking boots and provided with good cushioning, the X Ultra 3 offers good performance on a long hike. Plus, these boots resemble trail runners, so they are not overly stiff and need no break in period.

Where Does It Fall Short in Performance?

While the X Ultra 3 is an excellent hiking boot, it does have a few shortcomings.

One area where it falls short in performance is breathability. The Gore-Tex membrane, although excellent at keeping water out, can also trap heat and perspiration inside the boot, leading to discomfort and foot odor.

This can be especially noticeable in hot and humid weather conditions or during high-intensity activities.

Another area where the boot may not perform ideally is durability. While the boot is built with good synthetic materials that make it super light, it wears out faster than leather.

Do We Recommend Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX for Hiking?

As we walked in the wide version of these Gore-Tex boots on the Bryce Canyon’s Rim Trail, they proved supportive, and there were only a few sections of the path where they struggled to maintain traction.

With great water resistance and a lightweight design, the X Ultra 3 will keep you going on long days without feeling the foot fatigue that comes with heavier models.

Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX

Overall, the X Ultra 3 GTX is a good boot that performs excellently both in dry and wet conditions.

Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX


Is Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Waterproof?

Yes, the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX hiking boots are waterproof. They are equipped with Gore-Tex technology, which is a breathable membrane that blocks water from entering the shoe while allowing sweat to escape.

How Much Does Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Weigh?

The weight of the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX hiking boots varies depending on the size of the shoe. However, on average, they weigh around 2 pounds and 8 ounces per pair. This weight is considered to be relatively lightweight compared to other hiking boots on the market.

Do Salomon X Ultra Run Small?

Salomon X Ultra shoes typically run true to size, but some people may find them slightly narrow. It’s always best to measure your foot and check the brand’s size chart before purchasing any shoes online. If you’re between sizes or have wide feet, we recommend going up half a size or considering a wider option.

Is Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid Gtx Wide Fitting?

The Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX’s standard version tends to run narrow for users with wide feet. However, the brand also offers a wide-width option that is roomier in the toe box area.

Jennifer Strom

Jennifer Strom

Jennifer Strom has been a writer for over 20 years and an outdoor and hiking enthusiast for most of her life. After spending much of her career in the corporate world, she decided to freelance to spend more time with her family and explore new places. You will find her always looking forward to her next weekend adventure and writing guides that help others make the most of their own hikes and time outdoors.

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