If you are a backpacker who wants the comfort of a light trail runner, but can't bring yourself to forego the stability and structure of a hiking boot, then the Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX is the perfect compromise for you. Built on the same Advanced Chassis as the venerable XA Pro 3D GTX, a staple in Salomon's trail running collection, the X Ultra Mid 3 wraps around your foot and ankle with the same performance fit and padded comfort, but delivers additional support in a mid-top height. This boot is not the lightest that we reviewed, that distinction goes to our Top Pick for Lightweight Hiking winning Hoka One One Tor Ultra Hi WP, but since it weighs only an ounce more but costs $70 less, it is a good deal. Those on a budget would do well to consider the Keen Targhee II, our Best Bang for Buck Award winner.
Less expensive boots exist in our reviews, such as the Merrell Moab 2 Vent Mid or the Keen Targhee II, but we kept gravitating back to the Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX for its lightweight, on trail performance and out of the box comfort. Read on to find out why we liked it so much, and be sure to look at our Buying Advice Article to help you decide if a lightweight hiking boot is right for your needs.