On the rocky trails of the Grand Canyon, these boots performed very well, not only showing increased support, stability, and performance but having lighter weight savings as well.
Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX
The Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX hiking boot is a mid-height boot made to traverse technical terrain, provide better ankle support, and serve as a lighter alternative to the previous model in the X Ultra product line.
Unfortunately, the protective cushioning on the underfoot leaves a little to be desired, but these hiking boots feel comfortable when traveling long distances.
That said, let’s jump into the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX review and see how well this hiking boot did during its testing phase.
- Upper Construction: Gusseted tongue
- Chassis: Advanced Chassis
- Midsole: EnergyCell
- Outsole: Chevron lugs
- Upper Material: Water Repellent
- Sockliner: Molded OrthoLite
- Lacing System: Regular Laces
- Membrane: Gore-Tex
Things We Tested When We Reviewed Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX
The Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX is designed with a Contagrip MA outsole.
This is an all-terrain rubber outsole made to handle wet, dry, and loose surfaces.
With a decent number of multi-directional lugs and a deep depth, this hiking boot gave me a firm grip on surfaces that any other hiking shoe or boot would’ve failed at.
As with most Contagrip soles, I appreciate that I can wear them in any trail conditions without a loss of performance, or feeling like I need to bring an additional pair of footwear.
The Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX is made with PU-coated leather and textile upper material, making it both flexible and durable. Strategically, the leather lines the parts of the hiking boot where wear and tear usually occur for most hikers, significantly increasing its lifespan.
However, what I really enjoyed was the fact that the toe box provided a lot of protection. The canyons are filled with rocks and jagged edges, which I scraped against constantly, but these boots survived the whole trip.
The Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX uppers are flexible enough to prevent stiffness and constriction when putting on the hiking boot.
The X Ultra 4 Mid easily conforms to the shape of the foot, has great heel padding, and has a soft ankle collar.
Sadly, because it’s made with lighter materials, it lacks the necessary underfoot protection to manage heavier backpacking loads.
These boots work well for most day hikes and backpacking trips but expect to feel more of the trail under your feet along the way.
As with most hiking boots that come with a waterproof Gore-Tex liner, the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid is no different. Despite its thin and lighter design, it still has the same tradeoff between water-resistance and ventilation that most other boots and hiking shoes have.
However, while you can expect these to run warm in hotter weather, they function well in cooler weather due to their ability to retain some heat. They were handy to have with me, especially for Arizona’s cold weather.
Weighing 1 lb. 14.4 oz., the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX trims some weight compared to previous versions .
As one of the lightest hiking boots in the X Ultra product line, these boots have enough padding to cushion your foot on moderate trails but are still thin enough to have a noticeable decrease in protection on rocky terrain.
However, because of its weight, the X Ultra 4 Mid also accommodates people who want to feel like they’re wearing a lightweight hiking shoe, but without the build of a traditional hiking boot.
The Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX uses a Gore-Tex waterproof breathable membrane. The membrane was very resistant to water, as all Gore-Tex membranes usually are. These boots have kept my feet dry for many hikes and the uppers don’t absorb any water.
The mid height collar on the X Ultra 4 has a pretty good flood barrier, so you can move through stream crossings and rainy conditions without any real issues. However, always be aware of your depth before your foot is submerged in water to prevent overflowing.
The Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX has an ADV-C Chassis System and Active Support bands. Despite resembling a lightweight hiking shoe, the X Ultra 4 is extremely stable. As mentioned before, the collar is very soft and has great ankle support.
The insoles also have excellent arch support, which is great if you suffer from flat arches like me.
Finally, the lacing system ties everything together with a classic closure style, instead of the single-pull system that some others dislike. Overall, excluding the thin midsole, the X Ultra 4s support features are ideal for most situations.
8. Fit & Sizing
The Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX has a snug fit.
Combined with the locked-in heel and traditional lacing system, I haven’t experienced any areas of slippage anywhere in the boot.
Originally, I was worried that the thin cushioning would make things a little loose, but this hasn’t been a problem.
Even the forefoot of the boot is properly spaced, allowing room for the toes to breathe.
The Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid is offered in a wide version to accommodate wide feet, but even a normal fit shapes well around a narrow foot, so anyone should be able to find a boot in their size.
How Has it Evolved Over Time?
The Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX was a well-rounded hiking boot, but compared to the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX, its flaws are more obvious. The X Ultra 4 Mid integrates an improved ADV-C chassis, giving it more stability and control on rough terrain.
The X Ultra 4 Mid has also been trimmed down to 1 lb. 14.4 oz., compared to its predecessor’s weight of 1 lb. 15.6 oz. The decrease in weight is accompanied by more toe space and a larger volume in the forefoot.
The last major improvement to the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX is its Contagrip MA outsole. While the previous boot also used a rubber outsole, the Contagrip MA is meant to be more adhesive in all environments, including dry, wet, and loose rock.
Overall, the X Ultra 4 has managed to pack in a lot more versatility than most heavier hiking boots.
How Does it Compare with Other Products?
1. Salomon Quest 4 GTX
The Salomon Quest 4 GTX has a much heavier build compared to the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid. At 2 lbs. 14.4 oz., the Quest 4 is much bulkier, making it more suited for hauling heavier loads on backpacking trips.
The level of protection is also superior, providing better underfoot comfort than the X Ultra 4. However, the X Ultra 4’s most impressive feature is its lightweight design.
Whereas the Quest 4 is made to handle off-trail hiking and more advanced paths, the X Ultra 4 excels as a lightweight hiking boot for moderate paths.
2. Vasque Breeze LT Mid GTX
The Vasque Breeze LT-Mid GTX hiking boot is made with a Vasque-exclusive Vibram Megagrip outsole.
This outsole is responsible for a 25% decrease in the boot’s overall weight, and manages to retain the same reliability and traction usually seen with a Vibram outsole.
Weighing 1 lb. 11 oz., the Vasque Breeze LT is a little lighter than the X Ultra 4, but it’s built with a very durable, abrasion-resistant microfiber mesh.
Overall, the Vasque Breeze has even better weight reduction than the X Ultra 4, but similar on-trail performance.
So, the choices between these two boots ultimately come down to personal preference, but keep in mind that the X Ultra 4 is a few dollars cheaper than the Vasque Breeze LT.
3. Merrell Moab 3 Mid Waterproof
The Merrell Moab 3 Mid Waterproof is a solid boot that has decent support, protection, and good performance on the trail.
Despite being made with recycled materials and having a mesh lining, which is prone to premature wear and tear, the Moab 3 manages to be durable, while also balancing support, comfort, and protection.
While it doesn’t necessarily excel in any one area, the Moab 3 is meant to be versatile. However, the X Ultra 4 has more of a nimble and snappy feel.
Additionally, it combines the features of a hiking shoe, making it ideal for hiking conditions that the Moab 3 may not be as reliable to use. In the end, your skill level and hiking routines will play a role in which of these boots are the better choice.
Where Does the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX Perform Better?
The Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX performs better on well-maintained trails while hauling light pack loads. If you’re stepping over small sticks, branches, or walking over uneven surfaces, the sole has enough protection and durability to manage without breaking down.
The PU-coated leather is also resistant to most trail hazards, so it can take a pretty rough beating. The weatherproof material that lines the X Ultra 4 Mid is adaptive to moderate trail conditions, allowing you to hike in nearly any climate.
Additionally, the ActiveSupport bands and cushy SensiFit technologies, make it easier to hike for longer distances without stressing your heels, arches, or toes.
We’ve also tested the low version of this shoe so feel free to check our Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX review.
Where Does the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX Fall Short in Performance?
The Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX falls short on rough terrain, specifically areas where the trail has jagged surfaces or a lot of trail debris that could stress the underfoot.
The X Ultra 4 Mid shaves off a lot of weight, which unfortunately decreases the amount of reinforcement the hiking boot can give in certain conditions.
The other downside is that, unlike other Salomon brand shoes, the X Ultra 4 only comes in a GTX version.
Since the Gore-Tex version of this footwear can run hot in warmer weather, using this for long hikes in the middle of the spring or summer could result in sweat buildup and consequently, slippage issues.
Although we largely depend on our testing procedures, we nonetheless want to offer some Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid customer reviews.
Do We Recommend the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX?
While the canyons were a little more than these boots could handle in some areas, they felt really good and comfortable on the trail otherwise. A big reason why we like this footwear so much is that the design doesn’t fully commit to being a hiking boot or a hiking shoe.
It gives the wearer a blend of both, so even though you don’t have the full protection of a boot, the X Ultra 4 compensates for this with its lighter weight and improved mobility.
All in all, we recommend the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX for hiking.
GTX in Salomon shoes means that the footwear is designed with a Gore-Tex waterproof breathable membrane. This seals off the inside of the boot from water while also allowing for some ventilation.
The Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid Gore-Tex women’s weighs 1 lb. 11.2 oz, which is 3 ounces less than the men’s version. Due to the differences between men and women, some footwear requires less padding than others, lowering the weight.
Salomon shoes are designed to be snug and form-fitting, but they should never be tight enough to make you feel uncomfortable. If you feel that your shoe is too constrictive or that your toes don’t have enough room, try sizing up.