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Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX Review (2023 Hiking Shoe Test Results)

Home » Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX Review (2023 Hiking Shoe Test Results)

The Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX hiking shoes are the most current version of the X Ultra product line, which I’ve had a chance to test on the Doi Suthep Monk Hiking Trail in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX

Its protective mudguard keeps the sides of the boot from getting too muddy, and the anti-debris mesh uppers prevent debris from getting trapped between your foot and the footbed. 

Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid Hiking Boots.jpg

This hiking shoe does many things better than its predecessor, providing more stability, comfort, and agility. During my experience with it, the immediate changes I noticed were its durability, chassis build, heel, and toe box spacing, and unique lacing system.

Overall, I’ve gotten a lot of increased utility out of this footwear. Unfortunately, it has some increased weight, which may not appeal to some people looking for a lightweight hiking shoe.

However, the Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX still manages to push the boundaries of a traditional hiking shoe, even accompanying me on some hikes of moderate intensity.

Below, we’ll get into the specifics of what this hiking shoe does well, among other topics.


  • Outsole: All Terrain Contagrip
  • Chassis: Advanced Chassis
  • Midsole: EnergyCell
  • Outsole: Chevron lugs
  • Upper Material: Water Repellent
  • Sockliner: Molded OrthoLite
  • Lacing System: Quicklace
  • Membrane: Gore-Tex


  • The synthetic design makes the X Ultra 4 GTX adaptable enough to reduce the break-in period
  • EnergyCell midsole is made with EVA foam to provide maximum shock absorption
  • Advanced chassis gives more stiffness without decreasing flexibility or mobility
  • Gusseted tongue prevents trail debris from lodging inside footwear
  • Wide volume decreases the likelihood of a narrow fit


  • Somewhat heavier than past Salomon footwear
  • Quicklace system isn’t as customizable compared to traditional laces

Things We Tested When Reviewing Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX Hiking Shoes

1. Traction

Salomon X Ultra 4 Gtx tread

The Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX continues to improve on its already above-average Contagrip all-terrain outsoles.

This time, however, the X Ultra is designed with an outsole featuring Chevron lugs.

This lug style does an amazing job at gripping into soft mud, wet rock, and dirt.

During my hikes, even some descents down surfaces that would normally be risky due to slippage weren’t a problem.

I was also pleasantly surprised with how adhesive the outsole was.

Loose surfaces are usually a problem when hiking, but the lug depth and stickiness of the Contagrip outsole proved to be quite reliable [1].

2. Durability

The Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX is made with synthetic uppers and a textile lining, which defend very well against wear and tear damage.

As a running shoe, the Salomon X Ultra 4 is much sturdier than the average trail runner, and as a hiking shoe, it survives just as many impacts, sudden moves, and steep climbs as you’d expect from a well-designed product.

On solid surfaces, where the outsole of the shoe has to drag along rougher terrain, the Contagrip remains intact. I know some people don’t care for synthetic uppers, as there’s some concern that the material breaks down easily.

However, as someone who engages in a lot of intense physical activity and traveling, these hiking shoes show no sign of stress even after several months.

3. Comfort

The Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX is designed with a molded Ortholite insole, which contours to the shape of your foot.

Not only is the break-in period reduced, but the SensiFit technology, which makes use of the midsole and lacing system to cradle your feet, eliminates any foreign sensations that might make the shoe uncomfortable.

The advanced chassis and EnergyCell midsole also work together to cushion your pressure points and heels from hard impacts, rough terrain, and rocky trails.

Another notable difference is that even though it’s a lightweight low-top shoe, the collar extends slightly higher around the ankle, softly padding it in a way that a traditional hiking shoe doesn’t.

4. Breathability

a pair of Salomon X Ultra 4 Gtx

The Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX prioritizes water resistance over breathability.

Now, that’s not to say that the X Ultra 4 isn’t ventilated, but it’s not the same quality as what you might experience from a non-GTX hiking shoe.

Fortunately, I’ve been able to wear this shoe during the drier and colder months, so I haven’t experienced any issues with warmness or sweating.

However, this shoe slightly improves its breathability whereas the X Ultra 3 couldn’t.

The synthetic material that lines this shoe is thinner than what’s on the X Ultra 3, preventing heat from building too easily and allowing more cool air to pass through.  

5. Weight

The Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX hiking shoes weigh 1 lb., or more specifically, 11.2 oz. These are a little heavier than some past Salomon shoes, especially when you consider that the X Ultra 3 GTXs were 10.8 oz.

While the increase may not seem like that much, some people may want maximum flexibility and ease of movement over the increased padding and excellent protection that the Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX provides.

However, my experience with these shoes’ weight hasn’t been a problem. In fact, I like it a lot, because with more weight comes more stability and support, which is why I’ve been confident enough to take these shoes on some moderately difficult hikes.

6. Waterproofing

The X Ultra 4 is designed with a Gore-Tex waterproof membrane, like past products. The synthetic upper that lines this shoe is also coated with a water-repellant layer, which sheds moisture before it has a chance to seep inside the shoe.

Like other low-top hiking shoes, it’s not advised to allow your foot to go into deep puddles or to let any water seep over the sides of the shoe.

While the Salomon X Ultra 4’s Gore-Tex waterproof membrane is nearly impenetrable from the outside, whether it be light rain or shallow creeks, it’s not made to completely seal off the foot from other entry points.

Aside from that, the Gore-Tex membrane has done well in keeping my feet dry [2].

7. Support

back of the salomon x ultra 4 shoes waterproof

The Salomon X Ultra 4’s Advanced Chassis is a molded insert embedded within the shoe’s outsole. The insert gives more stability to the heels and ankle support, while also providing more flexibility to the foot.

This system is further improved by the X Ultra 4’s unique Active Support feature, which is mobile panels on the sides of the shoes that wrap around the foot.

On my hike, these panels secured my feet in place and even adapted to my movements, so I didn’t have to worry about adjusting or re-strapping them.

These added features almost make these hiking shoes comparable to some hiking boots.

When compared to the average hiking shoe, the increased support that the Salomon X Ultra 4 provides exceeds a lot of hiking footwear on the market.

8. Fit & Sizing

Salomon X Ultra 4 Gtx inside label showing the size

The Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX makes some improvements to its fit, lengthening the collar just enough so that the padding can wrap softly around the ankle.

Some hikers don’t enjoy this feature, because the collar rubs against the ankle in a way that could cause blistering.

However, with a protective pair of hiking socks, this hasn’t been an issue.

Like the previous version of this hiking shoe, the wide toe box offers a large volume of space towards the end of the foot for a less narrow fit.

Fortunately, due to the firm grip that the shoe has around the rest of the foot, along with the single-pull lacing system, the extra space doesn’t cause any looseness.

How Is Salomon X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex Different From the Previous Version?

side by side comparison between salomon x ultra 4 vs x ultra 3 hiking shoes

The Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX improves on its strengths by introducing the new Advanced Chassis and Active Support systems while decreasing the thickness of its synthetic upper to increase ventilation.

The Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX was already a well-designed product, but it didn’t have the same utility as its successors.

The chassis and support systems provide cushioning and padding to the feet in a way that surpasses what a trail runner is expected to do, making this hiking shoe suitable for much more than just one type of activity.

The ventilation of this shoe has also improved, which was a small issue I had with the previous model.

Unlike the X Ultra 3, which had a bit of a thicker design and traded breathability for increased water-resistance, the Salomon X Ultra 4 manages to have both without any real tradeoff.

How Does Salomon X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex Compare with Other Products?

1. Salomon Speedcross 5 Gore-Tex Trail Running Shoes

Salomon Speedcross 5 Gore-Tex

The Salomon Speedcross 5 Gore-Tex shoes are some of the best footwear products on the market when it comes to ultralight trail runners

. However, the Speedcross 5 doesn’t perform well on actual hikes.

At a weight of 7.2oz., the Speedcross 5 is lighter but doesn’t provide nearly as much support as the X Ultra 4 does on technical terrain.

In fact, if you tried a moderately difficult hike with the Speedcross 5, you’d more than likely ruin the outsole and cause discomfort to your feet.

The X Ultra 4 GTX, however, at 11.2 oz., has enough durability and padding to manage all trail runs and some hikes.

2. Merrell MQM Flex 2

Merrell MQM Flex 2 hiking shoe

The Merrell MQM Flex 2 is another product that can be used for all-terrain purposes.

Like other trail shoes on the market, when compared to the X Ultra 4 GTX, it suffers from a lack of protective cushioning due to its lightweight and singular design.

Since these aren’t intended to be used outside of simple running trails, its fragile design becomes apparent when signs of premature wear and tear start to reveal themselves.

The Merrell MQM Flex 2 is more flexible than the X Ultra 4 GTX, but the Merrell Quantum outsole starts to break down after short periods of consistent use, unlike the Salomon’s Contagrip outsole.

3. North Face Ultra 111

North Face Ultra 111 hiking shoe

The North Face Ultra 111 is a lightweight trail runner designed with its own DryVent waterproofing technology.

When compared to the Gore-Tex waterproof membrane, the DryVent decreases breathability even more.

This means that the shoe will heat up much faster than the X Ultra 4 might, especially during warmer months. Another advantage that the X Ultra 4 has over the Face Ultra 111 is that it weighs less.

The Ultra 111 weighs in at 14 oz., which is a significant increase when you start comparing that to the weight of more efficient and less bulky hiking shoes.

Where Does the Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX Perform Better?

salomon hiking shoes

The Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX performs better on technical terrain. While they can be used on simple trails or for day hiking, you’d get maximum utility out of this shoe in rugged and rough environments.

Additionally, since the shoes were built with increased comfort in mind, you can get even more mileage out of the Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX than you could with previous models.

In another article, I stated that the X Ultra 3 GTX could support a person up to 15-20+ miles and beyond on an average run or day hike.

However, with the X Ultra 4 GTX, you could be on a trail for even longer than that before feeling exhausted.

The outsole is made to dig deeply into tricky surfaces and control your ascents and descents, all while making use of the shoes’ increased cushioning to protect your feet from the stress of a hike. All in all, this shoe performs well almost anywhere.

Check out our Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX review if you’d want to see how we felt about the mid-cut version of this shoe.

Custom Reviews

Although we mostly rely on our testing processes, we nonetheless wish to give some Salomon X Ultra 4 Waterproof web reviews.

Do We Recommend the Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX For Hiking?

Given the improvements to Salomon’s build quality and performance of the X Ultra product line, we highly recommend the Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX for hiking. This latest model has been one of the best lightweight trail runners I’ve worn consistently.

Like I said previously, these shoes do run heavier than some past Salomon models, but it’s a small tradeoff when you realize that the X Ultra 4 is almost as reliable as some traditional boots on the market.

In the end, these shoes did extremely well on the Doi Suthep Monk Hiking Trail’s uneven, wet, and rocky terrain.

Salomon X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex

These shoes are way more comfortable than the X Ultra 3s were, and the fact that my feet can breathe in them, despite having a Gore-Tex waterproof membrane, is a significant improvement compared to before.

Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX


What Is the Difference Between the Salomon X Ultra 3 and 4?

The difference between the Salomon X Ultra 3 and 4 is that the X Ultra 4 GTX comes with an improved ADV-C Chassis and Active Support system. These two new features work together to increase the overall stability and flexibility of your heels and ankles.

Does the Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX Run Small?

The Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX does not run small. All Salomon brand shoes are true-to-size and properly scaled to prevent tight or narrow fits, in addition to including large, open spaces for the toes.

Is the Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX Waterproof?

The Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX is waterproof. The Gore-Tex waterproof membrane wicks sweat away from the foot and repel moisture, including water from sources like rain, shallow creeks, and muddy puddles.

Christina Utz

Christina Utz

Christina Utz is a professional writer, mountain addict, and hiking enthusiast. She successfully finished a rock climbing class and a wilderness survival course, and by the age of 24, she hiked more than 1800 miles and finished over 260 different trails! Her expertise in hiking and outdoors helped numerous people to fulfill their adventurous spirit!

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