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.
Breaking in the Salomon Quest 4D 3's in Tuolumne Meadows.
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. The lacing system provides 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.
Lacing up the Salomon Quest on a late summer day in the Sierra high country.
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 folks who like stiffness and support, these boots are for you!
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.
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 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.
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.
Negotiating downed trees in the Quest 4D 3 was a challenge due to the stiffness of these boots.
The Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX is 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.
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 your 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.