Hands-on Gear Review

Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX - Women's Review

Price:  $165 List | $164.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 4 resellers
Pros:  Good traction, very comfortable, ankle padding, waterproof
Cons:  Runs big, extra padding in tongue feels bulky
Bottom line:  In terms of water resistance and light-weight comfort, the X Ultra Mid 3 are top notch.
Editors' Rating:   
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Boot Type:  Midweight
Weight Per Pair (pounds):  1.83 lbs
Upper:  Suede leather, nylon
Manufacturer:   Salomon

Our Verdict

Much like their predecessor, the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid wowed us with their robust and reliable design. These boots are made to last. Take them on rugged trails in the mountains or wet forest walks, and they will perform with ease. We especially liked the extra padding around the ankle and reinforced soles that proved extra traction in rough terrain. For a boot that feels like a light hiker, but performs like a solid, all-leather hiking boot when it comes to support and stability, the X Ultra Mid 3 takes the cake. Though the updated model is slightly heavier than the X Ultra Mid 2, it has an updated lacing system and a better tread pattern to improve traction. All in all, we loved the newest version of this tried and tested classic.



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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Jane Jackson
Senior Review Editor

Last Updated:
Sunday
May 6, 2018

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In our last round of testing, the Salomon X Ultra 2 Mid proved to be a great all-around hiking boot. They felt light on the foot but performed like a durable, sturdy boot. The X Ultra 3 Mid is the updated version and boy does it pack a punch! The 3 is slightly bulkier, more durable, and more substantial overall compared to the previous model. We liked the lightweight agility of the previous model, but if a more durable boot is appealing, then the X Ultra 3 Mid is a good choice.

For a boot that can handle any terrain  the Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 are one of our top picks.
For a boot that can handle any terrain, the Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 are one of our top picks.

Performance Comparison



Comfort


The manufacturer has changed the design of the X Ultra significantly from the previous model we tested. We found that the updated version was a bit less comfortable initially than the X Ultra 2 model. The X Ultra 3 felt like they ran big and we would suggest trying them on before buying a pair (or purchasing from a retailer that allows returns)! The same size boot in the 2 and 3 version of the X Ultra fit very differently; the X Ultra 3 Mid provides more support underfoot and more stability in the ankle. This makes them a good option for longer trips, especially when carrying heavy loads. Overall, though, the X Ultra 3 scored highly in the comfort metric (especially after breaking them in!) Comparable boots were the Ahnu Sugarpine and the Lowa Renegade GTX Mid.

The aggressive tread pattern of the X Ultra Mid 3 makes them a great option for rugged terrain  from loose rocks to scree to boulder hopping.
The aggressive tread pattern of the X Ultra Mid 3 makes them a great option for rugged terrain, from loose rocks to scree to boulder hopping.

Support


These boots provide plenty of support for long days on the trail. The X Ultra 3 Mid is a step up from the previous model when it comes to support and padding. The EVA midsole provides support under the arch of the foot, while Solomon's Advanced Chassis stabilize each step. The boots come up fairly high around the ankle, similar in design to the La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX. Both of these boots provide ankle stabilization and padding. The newer model of the X-Ultra lacks the fine-tuning that we loved in the X-Ultra 2 Mid because of this excess padding around the ankle. We experienced a similar thing with the Vasque Monolith UD. The ankle padding makes these boots comfortable, but we found ourselves having to stop and re-tighten the laces often because of all the excess padding.

The X Ultra Mid 3 have great traction and support for long days on the trail.
The X Ultra Mid 3 have great traction and support for long days on the trail.

Weight


The newest model of the X Ultra weighs in at 1.83 pounds. This surprised us as they weigh 0.2 pounds more than the Salomon X Ultra 2 Mid. On our feet, this weight difference was negligible, but for those counting the ounces, it matters! The Vasque Mesa Trek UltraDry weigh the same as the X Ultra 3s but feel heavier on foot due to their thicker soles. For a very lightweight shoe, check out the Teva Arrowood. These boots weigh in at 1.33 pounds, making them one of the lightest pairs in this review.

Traction


The new High Traction Contragrip sole is a step up from the previous model. The new soles that the X Ultra 3 tote have deeper lug depths and a more aggressive tread pattern than the X Ultra 2. Both models use Contragrip rubber, but the High Traction on the new model makes a noticeable difference. The Advanced Chassis also add to the overall stability of the boot. These add support in the heel and help you maintain traction, especially when going down steep, loose terrain. Another boot with equally impressive soles is the new Vasque model, the Vasque Breeze III. These boots provide great traction and support, at a lower cost than the Salomon models.

We like the X Ultra Mid 3 because of their breathability in warm conditions. This makes them a great option for the desert  while their water resistance also helps get through wet conditions with ease.
We like the X Ultra Mid 3 because of their breathability in warm conditions. This makes them a great option for the desert, while their water resistance also helps get through wet conditions with ease.

Water Resistance


Much like their predecessor, the X Ultra Mid 3 is an incredibly water-resistant model. These shoes will shed water, even after being completely immersed for minutes! The tongue is connected to the boot with a lightweight, water-resistant membrane, keeping this gap sealed in wet conditions. The X Ultra Mid 3 are comparable in this metric to boots with a more durable leather upper, like the Lowa Renegade and Oboz Bridger BDry. We were struck by Salomon's ability to combine a lightweight design with reliable water protection in this boot.

We like the X Ultra Mid 3 because of their breathability in warm conditions. This makes them a great option for the desert  while their water resistance also helps get through wet conditions with ease.
We like the X Ultra Mid 3 because of their breathability in warm conditions. This makes them a great option for the desert, while their water resistance also helps get through wet conditions with ease.

Durability


The PU-Coated leather and synthetic mesh that make up the uppers of these boots provide plenty of protection for the wear and tear of the trail. The toe box has a protective rubber cap, as does the heel, which protects the foot. The thicker, more durable sole that the X Ultra 3 Mid has set them apart from their predecessor. These new models are more on par with the Lowa Renegade GTX as a burly boot fit for any conditions. The thoughtful combination of leather and mesh make the X ultra-durable, yet breathable. Unlike the Oboz Bridger Mid BDry, the X Ultra is fit for warm conditions, while still providing long-term protection from the elements.

Even with a heavy pack  the Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 provide support and comfort underfoot.
Even with a heavy pack, the Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 provide support and comfort underfoot.

Best Applications


Since their greatest quality is their water resistance, the X Ultra 3 is our Top Pick for Wet Conditions. These boots combine the breathability of a lightweight boot, like the Hoka One One Tor Ultra HI –Women's, with the protection of a leather boot, like the Lowa Renegade GTX Mid. These boots are versatile too, making them a good option for both backpacking and day trips.

For a boot that can handle any terrain  the Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 are one of our top picks.
For a boot that can handle any terrain, the Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 are one of our top picks.

Value


Sold for $165, the X Ultra 3 Mid lies in the middle of the road concerning price. Because they are well made and durable, these boots are a good choice for a boot that will last a long time and perform well in many conditions.

Conclusion


Salomon has made a boot that impressed us with its durability, water resistance, and comfort. The updated version of the X Ultra is well-padded, easy to break in, and provides more traction and stability than its predecessor. We were impressed with how these boots performed in all types of terrain, especially loose rock and steep scree, where we were able to maintain traction and stay on our feet with ease.

Jane Jackson

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Most recent review: May 6, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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5 star: 100%  (1)
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