Reviews You Can Rely On

Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid Gore-Tex - Women's Review

A boot that excels in all metrics, this model offers exceptional performance for a wide range of hiking utility at a reasonable price
Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid Gore-Tex - Women's
Photo: Salomon
Editors' Choice Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $165 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Comfortable, waterproof, breathable, durable, relatively lightweight
Cons:  Bulky laces
Manufacturer:   Salomon
By Jane Jackson ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 30, 2021
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
84
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 16
  • Comfort - 25% 9
  • Support - 25% 8
  • Weight - 10% 8
  • Traction - 15% 9
  • Water Resistance - 15% 9
  • Durability - 10% 6

Our Verdict

Much like the versions that came before it, the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX is an insanely comfortable, high-performance boot that excels in all of our testing metrics. It is lightweight. You can feel the athletic nature of these boots, nimble and ready for a fast pace, while providing the same stability and support underfoot that a traditional hiking boot does. The ankle and tongue are still well-padded and grant lots of comfort and protection, without excess bulk. Plus, the outsole is grippy on rock and scree and the upper is impressively waterproof. What's not to like? This is the all-around hiker we recommend the most, as it shines at day hikes, overnights, and moderate backpacking trips while maintaining a modest price tag, too.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award  Best Buy Award  
Price Check Price at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
Check Price at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
Check Price at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
Check Price at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
Check Price at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
84
83
78
75
73
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Comfortable, waterproof, breathable, durable, relatively lightweightComfortable, durable, very cushioned, stable, supportive, lightweightDurable, stable, lots of ankle protection and supportComfortable, lightweight, durable, inexpensiveWell-padded, great for wide footed hikers, thick foam midsole provides comfort and stability
Cons Bulky lacesExpensive, take some time to break in, can be warm on hot daysHeavy, expensive, bulkyLacks support of larger, heavier bootsLacing system lacks durability
Bottom Line A boot that excels in all metrics, this model offers exceptional performance for a wide range of hiking utility at a reasonable priceWith thick foam soles and a durable leather upper, these boots stand out as the most supportive pair we've reviewedA burly boot designed to provide stability and support on long, rugged outingsThese are the right choice for folks looking to save a bit of cash while still getting a top-tier hiking bootThese lightweight hikers are designed like a running shoe with extra ankle support and a stiff, foamy midsole
Rating Categories X Ultra 4 Mid Gore-Tex Kaha Gore-Tex Quest 4 Gore-Tex Targhee III Mid Trailventure WP
Comfort (25%)
9.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
Support (25%)
8.0
10.0
10.0
7.0
7.0
Weight (10%)
8.0
6.0
2.0
7.0
9.0
Traction (15%)
9.0
6.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Water Resistance (15%)
9.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
Durability (10%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
5.0
Specs X Ultra 4 Mid Gore-Tex Kaha Gore-Tex Quest 4 Gore-Tex Targhee III Mid Trailventure WP
Weight Per Pair (Size 7.5, in lbs) 1.62 lbs 1.91 lbs 2.34 lbs 1.80 lbs 1.52 lbs
Upper Synthetic, textile, rubber toecap Full-grain leather split suede, textile Oiled nubuck leather Ripstop mesh
Width Options Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular
Water Resistant Membrane Gore-Tex eVent Gore-Tex KEEN-Dry eVent
Heel height (mm) 1.6 in 2.1 in 1.6 in 1.4 in 1.2 in
Shaft height (mm) 5.1 in 5.5 in 6 in 4.9 in 5.1 in
Midsole molded OrthoLite sockliner EVA OrthoLite Dual Density EVA Ortholite
Sole Contagrip rubber, chevron lugs Vibram MegaGrip Contragrip rubber Rubber Vibram

Our Analysis and Test Results

A versatile and well-constructed boot that works great in a variety of hiking environments and fits a wide range of foot shapes. The X Ultra 4 is a refined version of the previous model with an updated upper and a stable, supportive midsole. Plus, the latest version of this boot is lighter than previous models.

Performance Comparison


Comfortable and cool looking, the X Ultras walk the walk and talk...
Comfortable and cool looking, the X Ultras walk the walk and talk the talk.
Photo: Jane Jackson

Comfort


These boots are impressive in that they are both our go-to's for long days with added weight and our top choice for short day hikes in the heat. The X Ultra 4 is not as bulky and substantial as many of the more traditional boots in this review, and not as futuristic as some of the more modern, highly cushioned options. Instead, they land right in the middle, providing comfort where it's needed without any excess. In this updated model, we noticed that the ankle is as padded, but not as bulky as the previous version. The ankle padding, wide toe box, and highly adjustable lacing system make these boots extremely comfortable with a fit that is easy to fine-tune. Additionally, the padded tongue adds a lot of comfort to the top of the foot, while the heel is protected and supported with reinforced materials.


Like the previous versions we tested, the boots still seem to run a little bit big, so there's no need to size these up. They also have a wide toe box, which accommodates a variety of foot shapes and also allows for a quick break-in period. Again, like the previous models we tested, these boots do great when carrying weight and provide comfort all day long.

To be critical, we think the lacing system could be improved on this...
To be critical, we think the lacing system could be improved on this model to be easier to cinch down. The X Ultra lacks a lace-locking mechanism could be helpful here. The laces themselves are also a little thick and bulky, which don't match the rest of this boot.
Photo: Jane Jackson

Support


The X Ultra 4 comes with an updated chassis, designed to reduce weight while still providing the stability and support that these boots are known for. We were impressed when testing lateral support, these boots hardly bent at all when twisted by hand. This test is specifically designed to assess the lateral support a boot offers. With this boot's lateral support, there's less of a risk of rolling an ankle when wearing these boots. It is impressive to find a boot that provides this much stability in the ankle without adding bulk. Under the forefoot, the boots flex significantly, but there's still enough of a supportive midsole that this doesn't affect the feeling of the boots on rough terrain. The wide forefoot also provides a stable base.


Similar to the previous model, the lacing system requires a little bit of extra love to cinch it down tightly. Initially, we thought this was due to the extra padding around the ankle, but since the problem exists in the updated model as well as the previous one, we think this is due to the thick laces that come with these boots. It is more difficult to get them as tight as some of the other models that come with thinner laces.

These boots made us feel very stable, giving us confidence while...
These boots made us feel very stable, giving us confidence while navigating this small field of boulders.
Photo: Alexa Flower

Weight


The X Ultra 4 Mid blows the previous iteration out of the water in terms of weight. These boots are significantly lighter than the previous iteration, the X Ultra 3, without losing any of the support and comfort that has become standard in these classic hikers. The X Ultra 4 weighs in at 1.62 pounds (size 7.5 US), which is 0.2 pounds (3.2 ounces) lighter than the previous version. This lightweight model lands on the lighter end of the spectrum when compared to the other models in this review. The weight loss makes this model feel even more agile and nimble than before.


Traction


While many boots provide exceptional comfort and support, it can be hard to find a pair that do this while still maintaining a high-performance, high-traction outsole. The X Ultra 4 does just that — they are extremely supportive while also toting one of the stickiest and most impressive outsoles in this review.


The aggressive tread pattern grips into scree, mud, and loose terrain with ease, while the ContraGrip rubber compound maintains traction on slabs and talus. We were impressed.

ContraGrip rubber makes the X Ultra a solid shoe for rocky, loose...
ContraGrip rubber makes the X Ultra a solid shoe for rocky, loose, and wet terrain. This outsole is a large part of the success of this boot.
Photo: Alexa Flower

Water Resistance


With more mesh and synthetic materials used in the upper than the previous model, the X Ultra 4 is more breathable than before. It still has a Gore-Tex waterproof membrane that keeps water out, but with less leather on the top of the boot, the X Ultra 4s are exceptionally breathable. We were impressed to find that these boots kept our feet completely dry even when fully submerged in water. Though they aren't the tallest boots in this review in terms of flood height, the X Ultra 4 still provides plenty of protection with a measured flood height of 130mm. While not the tallest boot in this review, the X Ultra lands in the middle of the road in terms of height, balancing weight and protection.


We tested these boots in warm spring conditions, where sweaty feet are a standard experience. In the X Ultra 4, however, we were pleasantly surprised by how comfortable our feet were.

This immersion test proved the X Ultra's water resistance prowess...
This immersion test proved the X Ultra's water resistance prowess. No water leaked in when the boots were submerged for 5 minutes. Our feet didn't even feel cold.
Photo: Jane Jackson

Durability


With the same burly outsole and reinforced rubber toe cap, the X Ultra 4 does not disappoint when it comes to durability. These boots are well-built — the seams are all reinforced and the sole is thick and durable, inspiring confidence.

The materials used in the construction of these boots are durable...
The materials used in the construction of these boots are durable and long-lasting. We've worn previous versions of this boot for years with no significant issues.
Photo: Jane Jackson

Though they are way lighter (by nearly a pound) than some of the more substantial boots in this review, the X Ultra can handle the same burly conditions and rugged trails and their more robust peers. All this packed into a lightweight package makes these boots some of the most impressive in terms of a weight-to-durability ratio. Lightweight, breathable, and durable is the name of the game with the X Ultra. That said, a boot with an entirely leather upper will inevitably be more durable in the long term than a mesh and synthetic model like the X Ultra.



Value


For such a durable, high-quality boot, the X Ultra 4 rings in at a comparatively moderate price. That said, they are still an investment and cost a fair amount. They will last a long time and are extremely versatile. From short day hikes to week-long backpacking trips in any conditions, the X Ultras will rise to the occasion. There are boots in this review that are more expensive and also more affordable, but no pair compares to the overall performance of this model, making it a high-value product.

Both water-resistant and breathable, these boots are great options...
Both water-resistant and breathable, these boots are great options for wet, spring conditions.
Photo: Jane Jackson

Conclusion


The latest iteration of the Salomon X Ultra remains the gold standard in hiking boot design. Salomon balances comfort and stability with lightweight performance, impressive traction, and a waterproof upper. These boots are comfortable and allow for freedom of movement while still providing ankle stability and a solid platform underfoot. The ankle and tongue are well padded and the sole is grippy on rock and scree. Additionally, these boots are high performers in wet conditions, while remaining breathable and light in hot weather. All of these factors add up to make the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid Gore-Tex our first recommendation for hiking boots to our lady trailblazers.

Jane Jackson