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Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX - Women's Review

These boots are the ultimate in terms of durable, burly hiking boots; ankle support, water resistance, and durability are where these boots really shine.
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Price:  $230 List | $229.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 4 resellers
Pros:  Very stable, lots of ankle support, durable, water resistant, highly adjustable lacing system
Cons:  Heavy, bulky, restricts movement, expensive
Manufacturer:   Salomon
By Jane Jackson ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 7, 2018
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75
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 16
  • Comfort - 25% 7
  • Support - 20% 9
  • Weight - 15% 5
  • Traction - 15% 7
  • Water Resistance - 15% 8
  • Durability - 10% 9

The Skinny

If you are looking for a burly, durable, super supportive boot in the style of a traditional ankle-high hiking boot, then the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX may be the boot for you. These boots are the real deal — with a high ankle, incredible water resistance, and ample support. We found them to feel heavier than most boots in this review, though, and a little clunky on technical, scrambly terrain. But, for long trips with heavy loads and the potential to experience wet conditions, these boots are tough to beat.

For more nimble missions, check out the more versatile Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX, which took home our Editors' Choice Award. The Quest is your best friend when strapped down with a heavy pack, but for most hiking adventures, the lighter, more agile X Ultra's are preferred by our testers.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

Regarding durability and support, the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX have hardly any competition. However, these qualities also make them heavy and relatively stiff. It comes down to personal preference, but we can attest to the overall burly construction of these boots.

Performance Comparison


Breaking in the Salomon Quest 4D 3's in Tuolumne Meadows.
Breaking in the Salomon Quest 4D 3's in Tuolumne Meadows.

Comfort


As with other Salomon boots we have tested, like the X Ultra 3 Mid, the Quest 4D 3 is, overall, an incredibly comfortable boot. Though their size took us aback at first (they are the bulkiest boots we tested), the comfort they provide is substantial. The toe box is roomy, while the heel is tight enough to keep the foot locked in place. It is important to size these properly, though, as we started to develop some hot spots in the heel when wearing these in warm weather. We found them to fit similarly to the Lowa Renegade GTX, with both boots providing tons of support and comfort, but not very much breathability compared to models we tested with thinner uppers. The lacing system does provide ample adjustability, so folks with wider feet will be happy to find the Quest 4D's accommodating to all foot shapes.

Our only hold-up concerning comfort with these boots is their lack of flexibility in the ankle. We found that the boots restricted movement more than the Renegade or the La Sportiva Nucleo, which are both similar in design and stiffness.

Lacing up the Salomon Quest on a late summer day in the Sierra high country.
Lacing up the Salomon Quest on a late summer day in the Sierra high country.

Support


If stability is a major concern, the Quest 4D reigns supreme. The 4D Advanced Chassis and relatively wide forefoot make for an incredibly stable boot. Additionally, the high ankle shaft and highly adjustable lacing system make for a boot that provides lots of ankle support. For us, the stability provided from all of these features felt great when carrying heavy loads but felt limiting when trying to move in talus or off-trail. The ankle support is borderline restrictive for this kind of activity. This could also be due to the super stiff outsole, which provides so much torsional stability that our feet had a hard time adjusting to uneven terrain.

For a boot that provides a bit less stability, but more freedom of movement, we preferred the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid. For a similarly supportive boot, but in our tests slightly less stiff, try the Lowa Renegade GTX.

For folks who like stiffness and support  these boots are for you!
For folks who like stiffness and support, these boots are for you!

Weight


All that support comes at a cost, and weight is where the Quest 4D 3 GTX falls a bit short. These boots are the heaviest in our review, weighing in at a total of 2.5 pounds per pair. This is significant, as the majority of boots in this review weigh around 1.6 to 1.8 pounds. The extra weight is noticeable, but then again, so is the added durability and support. It is also important to note that these boots have the highest ankle shaft height in this review, which is another explanation for the additional weight.

Traction


Though we had a few complaints about the restriction of movement when wearing these boots, we did find that their Contragrip rubber soles provided impressive traction on rocky terrain. The tread pattern and lug depths make the soles self-cleaning, so mud, dirt, and rocks don't get stuck in between the lugs.

The tread pattern of these boots is fairly aggressive  making these boots top performers on rocky terrain.
The tread pattern of these boots is fairly aggressive, making these boots top performers on rocky terrain.

Water Resistance


The GORE-TEX membrane, mesh and leather upper, and reinforced toe cap make the Quest 4D an incredibly water-resistant boot. For moderately wet conditions, like hiking in rainy areas or trails where water may be encountered, these boots are great. Their added bulk and overall heaviness do make them a bit warmer than other, more breathable options. We found that the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid was a great middle ground — providing both protection from water and excellent breathability.

Durability


Like the X Ultra 3 and most other Salomon boots, the Quest 4D has many seams that make up the construction of the upper. The combination of leather and mesh provides breathability, but also means that there are more seams, which in turn means more weak points for wear to occur. Throughout our three-month test period, we did not notice these boots wearing out much at all, but any boot with seams in the toe box are notorious for blowing out over time. Boots with fewer seams tend to be more durable, so the Nucleos or the Renegades received our highest scores in this metric. That said, the seams are all reinforced and double-stitched, and in every other aspect, this model is burly and well-built.

Best Application


These boots are best suited for women who are planning on hiking long distances with heavy packs. For shorter hikes, hikes in warmer conditions, or those planning to travel mostly off-trail, the Quest 4D is not the best option. These boots are burly, durable, and designed for providing tons of ankle support stiffness underfoot. The additional weight that comes with added stiffness and support make these boots some of the heaviest in our review, so take that into consideration when selecting these boots.

Negotiating downed trees in the Quest 4D 3 was a challenge due to the stiffness of these boots.
Negotiating downed trees in the Quest 4D 3 was a challenge due to the stiffness of these boots.

Value


With a price tag of $230, the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX is no bargain. These boots are an investment. They are built to last a long time, but they are also designed for a fairly specific use. These are made for the experienced hiker who is looking for a boot that will provide extra support and stability on longer missions. If this use is what you are looking for, then most of the boots that are appropriate are around the same price as the Quest 4D, making them a product of reasonable value in comparison to similar options.

Some of the most supportive boots we tested  the Salomon Quest 4D 3.
Some of the most supportive boots we tested, the Salomon Quest 4D 3.

Conclusion


As we have reiterated over and over in this review, the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX is a substantial boot made for ladies looking for extra support underfoot and in the ankle. The lacing system is highly adjustable, making them a good option for folks with either narrower or wider-than-normal feet. The ankle shaft height makes these boots the tallest in our review, so be aware of that when considering these as you next hiking boot. The Quest is designed for long, rugged hikes with heavy loads, and specifically for women who are more concerned with stability and support than weight and freedom of movement.


Jane Jackson