This bestselling boot has built a solid reputation that is fully deserved. It delivers great out-of-the-box comfort yet also feels supportive and stable, even on tricky terrain.
Good out-of-the-box comfort
Heavier and more cumbersome than many trainer-style, mid-cut hikers
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Salomon Quest Prime GTX: first impressions
One of the bestselling, and on the market, the Salomon Quest Prime GTX is a common sight on the feet of hikers and hillwalkers. That’s no surprise, since although it occupies a not-cheap-but-not-outrageously-expensive-either kind of middle ground between the best budget hiking boots and the best hiking boots, it still delivers a lot for your money. That includes a Gore-Tex lining for reliable breathable waterproof performance.
The uppers are a mix of suede and fabric, with additional synthetic rubber overlays including a robust toe cap and a wraparound heel section. This offers decent durability while shielding the foot from trail impacts.
Fit is obviously subjective, but the men’s version seems to fit most people well straight out of the box. Locking lace-hooks (an unusual feature for a mid-cut boot) enable you to dial in a fairly precise fit.
• RRP: $190 (US) / £150 (UK)
• Weight (per boot): 570g / 20.1oz
• Materials: Suede leather uppers with Gore-Tex liner, EnergyCell Injected EVA / Advanced Chassis midsole, Contagrip MD outsole
• Colors: Phantom & Black / Balsam Green
• Compatibility: Three-season hiking and backpacking adventures including easier hill and mountain walks
Salomon Quest Prime GTX: on the trails
We noted a fair bit of flex at the forefoot, but liked the roomy toebox that allows your toes to splay. Still, this is undoubtedly a boot, not just a trainer with a slightly higher ankle cuff. As such, you get solid ankle support and plenty of padding too – ideal for carrying heavier hiking packs or crossing broken ground.
The outsole is made by Salomon-owned sub-brand Contagrip, employing their most durable MD compound. This has been proven to wear well, without sacrificing too much contact grip, even on slippery rock. Traction is aided by a beefy sole pattern with a multi-directional mix of angled lugs, chunky blocks and wavy sipes, reminiscent of car tyre treads. All in all, we’ve found it to be a solid performer.
As the quintessential hiking all-rounder, it offers plenty of protection and great out-of-the-box comfort for its weight. It’s certainly burlier than most fabric hikers, whilst still boasting great cushioning underfoot that draws on Salomon’s trail running heritage, with an EVA midsole ‘chassis’.
The sheer popularity of this boot ought to attest to its quality, and we can’t disagree with the thousands of hikers who’ve bought it. This is a well-balanced and versatile walking boot that offers a superb blend of comfort, protection and reliability.
An outdoors writer and editor, Matt Jones has been testing kit in the field for nearly a decade. Having worked for both the Ramblers and the Scouts, he knows one or two things about walking and camping, and loves all things adventure, particularly long-distance backpacking, wild camping and climbing mountains – especially in Wales. He’s based in Snowdonia and last year thru-hiked the Cambrian Way, which runs for 298 miles from Cardiff to Conwy, with a total ascent of 73,700 feet – that’s nearly 2½ times the height of Everest. Follow Matt on Instagram and Twitter.