Salomon Quest 4 GTX Review: The Best Hiking Boots For Men

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The Solomon Quest 4 Gore-Tex Hiking boot has been a favorite amongst backpackers especially, but also day hikers for quite a while now. The updated version boasts the same performance and comfort as its predecessor but weighs half a pound less.

Buy Salomon Quest 4 GTX on Amazon

Introduction to Solomon Quest 4 Gore-Tex Hiking Boots

Solomon Quest 4 Gore-Tex is our favorite hiking boot of the season for men. So the version of the Quest 4 that I own retails for $230. That’s definitely on the high side compared to some of the other boots I tested this season, but in this case, you get what you pay for.

They’re available in sizes 7 through 14 and only in a standard width, with no wide sizes options for this hiking boot. You can pick them up in three different color combinations. They offer Rubber-Black-Fiery Red, Olive Night-Peat-Safari, Desert Palm-Black-Kelp, and Magnet-Black-Quarry. Although when I was looking for my size, many were sold out, so you have to pick up what you can find. So in terms of weight, the Quest 4 look burly and heavy, and they are heavy.

So for those interested, I wear a size 13. I tested the size 13 on my scale; one shoe weighs one pound, nine ounces, or 713 grams per shoe. When I say one pound, nine ounces, or 713 grams, it’s hard to quantify what that feels like on your foot. Most people aren’t going to like that feeling, but you definitely feel them on your foot. I wouldn’t say they feel like bricks down there, but I know I have a burlier shoe on my foot when I walk around.

Design and Built Material for Salomon Quest 4 GTX

The Quest 4 is definitely a fully waterproof boot. Solomon uses Gore-Tex waterproof technology to keep your feet dry and allow a little airflow. The upper is constructed in part of full-grain leather. That’s the brown part all the way around. The full-grain leather helps with waterproofing as well.

So, as I just mentioned, the uppers are constructed with full-grain leather and traditional stitching. I like to see classic stitching on a hiking boot because it’s more durable. A lot of the new lightweight tech is to go with a welded construction rather than the traditional stitching. In this case, I appreciate the traditional stitching for better quality and reliability. So aside from the full-grain leather, we also have a synthetic foam material in the area that fills in the gaps between the full-grain leather.

You’ll notice we have a pretty beefy toe cap that is definitely going to protect against toe jams, rocks, and things like that during hiking. So in terms of lacing, you have traditional boot lacing on Salomon Quest 4 GTX. It starts with a piece of webbing down near the toe, and then it transitions between the full-grain leather and the metal eyelets all the way up.

Then you have three lace hooks working up the ankle. The lace hooks were annoying not to use but a little troublesome to use. Once I got them laced up, I appreciated the lace hooks, but the one, especially at the down part, it’s just a little hard to thread the lace through if you’re in a hurry. No big deal because you don’t have any additional eyelets or hooks in the upper part. You might be limited if you like to use custom lacing techniques. So just something to be aware of.

So we’ve got a pretty normal-looking midsole that provides shock resistance. You’ll notice the white part at the back; this is something that’s popping up on many Solomon’s boots and shoes these days.

This feature is called their 4D advanced chassis; if you push on it, it feels like plastic. Usually, for a midsole, when you push on it like an EVA compression midsole, they have a little cushion. This feels like hard plastic, designed to increase comfort, stability, and support when carrying a heavy pack.

So working down, let’s look at the outsole for Salomon Quest 4 GTX. So the outsole, like almost all of Solomon’s lineup of shoes these days, uses its contact grip rubber compound to help grip across various surfaces and materials.

Regarding construction inside the boot, we’ve got an OrthoLite sock liner. It’s supposed to mold your foot and add cushion and breathability to your boot. If you prefer to replace the sock liner with your insoles or a custom ortho-lite, you can remove the sock liner.

Performance for Salomon Quest 4 GTX Hiking Boots

So, I’ve covered the basic construction of the boot, and let’s talk about performance. That’s what you’re here for. So I just mentioned that the boot’s outsole uses Salomon ContaGrip rubber compounds. So let’s talk about traction. The Quest 4 performed well across most surfaces that I tested them on, and I tested them with a 20-pound pack, and I found it nice and grippy.

Everything a backpacking boot should be. It’s almost summer here in the Rocky Mountains, and that means a lot of dry, loose dirt trails, especially on the descents where loose dirt can get you. I didn’t have any problems, but we’ve also had a lot of rain here this summer, which is excellent.

I’ll take the rain over the wildfires any day, but that means I’ve had some slippery wet trails and snow-covered talus fields. The boot performed well across all aspects. It’s really grippy, and if you’re doing a lot of scrambling on slabby stuff, you might want something where you can feel the rock a little better, but in terms of grip, these boots are top-notch.

For waterproofness, they stayed dry walking in wet grass and wet mud, and I had them out in some spring rain showers, and the Gore-Tex has not failed me yet. Salomon Quest 4 GTX has great waterproofness, as advertised with the Gore-Tex liner.

So the Quest 4 was stiff right out of the box, but honestly, after about one five-mile hike with a 20-pound pack, they’re about as broken in as they’re going to be. The full-grain leather in the upper can take a little while to mold to the foot. Overall they broke in pretty quickly, and I love that.

The sole is pretty firm. It doesn’t have a ton of flex, but they are a little more flexy than some of the boots I’ve tested this season. I prefer a little flex in my hiking boot and feeling the ground. The upper design on Salomon Quest 4 GTX is a little soft, compromising stability just a little bit.

Salomon Quest 4 GTX is a moderately stiff boot compared to others out there. Overall, I prefer this type of stiffness to something slightly stiff. Of course, the stiffness that this boot does have lends itself self to the stability that this boot offers when carrying weight.

The Quest 4 is stable in all aspects. The boots perform well in uneven terrain and loose dirt and are sturdy enough for backpacking. This boot is designed for that, and the advanced chassis I mentioned earlier actually helps. I noticed it with lateral stability, so stepping side to side, my foot didn’t slide around. It felt nice and locked in. I felt like I could feel the ground, and I liked that.

So the Quest 4 is cut higher than most. This is technically in a mid-height category, but these are a little taller, which will help with backpacking, carrying weight, and locking in that ankle—stability, another high point of this boot. So the Quest has plenty of support for backpacking long trips, especially the ankle bit. It’s soft enough to be comfortable but firm enough to hold your ankle in place and offer the support people need when carrying heavy loads across uneven terrain, especially in terms of cushion.

The midsole provides a moderate amount of cushion on this boot, protecting your foot from rocks and sharp things, but it’s firm enough not to feel squishy. The tongue is comfortable and stays in place. It’s fully gusted. It looks a little sloppy when it’s all buttoned or tied down, as the gusset doesn’t fit into the boot as it does on other boots.

The performance is excellent. It looks a little sloppy to me, and that’s a personal preference, not a big deal. So the Quest 4 is beefy, and I found it to have good protection on sharp rocks. The full-grain leather protects your forefoot from rocks. The tow cap is insane and will save you from everything. The advanced chassis plastic part will also help, as the darker brown below is even more protection around the heel.

Boot Fitting

So I want to talk about fit for a second, but I also want to recognize that my foot shape will be different from your foot shape, and what works for me isn’t necessarily going to work for you. So take my boot fit assessment with a grain of salt. Firstly, try them on and see if they’re right for you. These run a little large. I have several pair of Solomon shoes. I’ve tested other Solomon shoes and boots this season, and for whatever reason, Salomon Quest 4 GTX runs a little large.

I usually wear a size 13. I tested the size 13, and if I had to do it again, I’d like to try on a size 12 and a half to see if that fits me better because I got a little heel slip. After all, I found it significant, and fortunately, I could correct all that with different lacing, but something to be aware of.

I have wide feet, and the width of Quest 4 is much appreciated. They’re a wider boot, and they definitely have a wider toe box. Whether you like a wide-toe box or a narrow-toe box, the toe box is all personal preference. A shoe with a wide toe box allows your foot to move slightly.

You can spread your toes, and it really helps with stability. A narrow toe box will lock your foot in place, help with the descent, and prevent your toes from bashing into the front of the boots when you’re going downhill. Again, I prefer a wider toe box on Salomon Quest 4 GTX, so thumbs up for me.

I touched on lacing a little before, but I want to add some noteworthy points to the lacing. It is standard and easy to lace, but the corner lace hooks are hard to use if you’re in a hurry. It is not a huge deal, not too infuriating, but just something I want you to know.

Comparison to Salomon X ULTRA 4 MID GTX

These are two similar boots from a fantastic company that makes super, super quality boots. I have had both the previous versions of Salomon Quest 4 GTX and X ULTRA 4 MID GTX, and I have loved them.

Features Quest 4 GTX X ULTRA 4 MID GTX
Price $230 $175
Weight 655 grams 425 grams
Midsole Height 27.5mm/15.5mm (12mm Drop) 24mm/13mm (11mm Drop)
Upper material Leather / Synthetic Textile / Synthetic
Waterproofing GORE-TEX GORE-TEX
Lacing system Regular laces Regular laces
Designed for Hiking/Backpacking Hiking
Breathability 3/5 4/5
Lightness 3/5 5/5
Protection 5/5 4/5
Stability 5/5 4/5

Buy Salomon Quest 4 GTX on Amazon

Buy Salomon X ULTRA 4 MID GTX on Amazon

We will lay out a couple of the features that are different between them. The first price is $165 for the Ultra 4 and $230 for the Quest 4. So they’re both waterproof. If you’re looking for waterproof boots, you’re definitely in the right place. I’ve never had any issue with the Gore-Tex waterproof in these boots.

I used them mainly for hiking, whether backpacking in Colorado or on Fourteeners this summer. And then, quick trips to the mountains, you know where I need that lighter boot. Ultra 4 weighs about 450 grams, and Quest 4 about 630 grams. I love wearing Ultra 4 on Fourteeners, the kind of lighter-weight boots. I’ve worn trail running shoes from Solomon on Fourteeners, and they’ve done great.

Sometimes I want more stability through that ankle and a more durable boot and better grip, so Quest 4 is what I will be using for the day trip to the mountains for photography, making a video, and stuff like that. Quest 4 is burlier and heavier than Ultra 4. However, Quest 4 provides more stability, comfort, and support for those hiking with heavy packs. That is what this boot’s for.

You’ve got the Contra-Grip on both boots, a fantastic compound Solomon used. It got a little deeper lugs on the Quest 4 and a little higher boot than the Ultra 4. So you’ve got more ankle locked down, waterproofing, and a little heavier.

Quest 4 is perfect for hunting, camping, car camping, and the off-grid stuff where I’m not hiking multiple miles. That is my preference as I don’t need this much of a boot, and I’d rather be lighter when hiking for quite a long distance. So, you need to go through and see what you will be doing with these boots.

If you want more ankle locked down, go for the Quest 4. If you want a quicker, lighter boot, go with the X Ultra 4. But I always see the comments asking which one’s best, and the best is purely up to you guys and what you will use it for. These are both fantastic quality boots.

My Verdict on Salomon Quest 4 Gore-Tex Hiking Boot

So let’s wrap things up. The question is, who is this boot for? What type of hiker does it suitable for? These boots will fit the bill for day hikers doing long and rugged hiking. I wouldn’t wear these out on a flat trail or for a couple-mile walk because they’re so burly, heavy, and warm, but Salomon Quest 4 GTX will be a perfect backpacking boot.

I think that’s what these are designed for, and I think that is definitely the target market for this boot because of the support, stability, and versatility. Quest 4 is a backpacking boot through and through, so for any backpackers, I strongly encourage you to check out the Solomon Quest 4 Gore-Tex hiking boot.

What do I really like about it? I think this boot excels in most areas. It has excellent grip, support, and stability when carrying weight. It’s comfortable and waterproof. Everything works well, but of course, this isn’t the perfect hiking boot. There is some issue with it and some room for improvement.

The main issue I had with the boot was just the fit. With it being a little large, I frequently have that heel slip problem. I felt fit to be a little sloppy, and I had to concentrate on how I was lacing the boots to prevent my foot from sliding around. And because I have wide feet, I don’t usually have the issue of heel slip in boots, so I was surprised.

Again, you can correct that with lacing, but that will be my main complaint with the Salomon Quest 4 GTX. If you like this review again, please like and share it. And if you have a pair of Quest 4 and you think we got something wrong or agree with my assessment, please let us know in the discussion, as it will help other hikers to get more information before buying one.

Lastly, if you want to buy a pair of Salomon Quest 4 Gore-Tex, we’ve added a link to purchase them below; they are affiliate links, so we do get a small percentage from each purchase, um, but it doesn’t cost you anything, but it does help me to review more products in the future.

Buy Salomon Quest 4 GTX on Amazon

We’ll see you next time. Happy hiking.