Slide into the Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX and your feet will almost take off without you. We tested the X Ultra 2 in the past, and the latest version is just as gnarly while shaving off a few ounces. This shoe is good looking and performs at the top echelon. The fit is snug like a trail runner, and you'll be awarded for picking up the pace in this model, especially in the flats or heading downhill. Fear no rough or sloppy terrain in these shoes, they eat up trails in all conditions. The X Ultra 3 withstood our waterproofing tests, and despite its stiffness (which does soften over time), they are comfortable for long stretches with or without a pack.Some people might not enjoy the Quicklace system, but we liked its convenience. The main drawback of this system is that it can, over time, lead to holes in the upper where the laces rub the synthetic textile.
If you're taking off on longer backpacking trips and want a bit more support, take a close look at our Editors' Choice Award winner, The North Face Ultra 110 GTX, which provides more ankle stability and costs $30 less. If you place low weight above all else, consider the Adidas Terrex Swift R GTX, the lightest model reviewed but less comfortable. However, if you're moving light and fast and don't want to miss out on comfort, this Top Pick for Aggressive Hiking might just be what you're looking for.
For $165, Salomon brings you the Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX, the mid-top version of one of our favorite hiking shoes. You can expect the same top-performing qualities of the shoe we tested, including its excellence in wet conditions, combined with a higher ankle rise for days when you need a little more support. If you find yourself intrigued by our review of the X Ultra 3 GTX but know you need a little more love around the ankles, look no further than the X Ultra Mid 3 GTX.