For years, the men’s Quest 4D gtx hiking boot has been at the top of the company’s backpacking lineup, and it continues to perform well in today’s market. While backpacking the rugged Huemul Circuit in Patagonia, we used the boot as a tool for the task. As with previous generations, the Quest offers excellent support and protection on challenging trails, while maintaining its aggressive stance and nimble feel. Our review of the salomom mens Quest 4D GTX hiking boots is below. If you’d like to see how it compares to the competition, see our article on the best hiking boots.
When you put on the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX, you can tell right away that this is a serious boot. It has a high collar and solid lacing system that keeps your feet and ankles secure, but ample padding around the ankles and along the tongue makes it very comfortable. With only a few short hikes under my belt before starting the Huemul Circuit, it was fitting like a glove. It’s stiff enough that I wouldn’t recommend taking it on a long trek right out of the box.
When carrying a heavy pack, the moderately thin construction underfoot of the old Quest 4D 2 left me with sore feet after long walks on rocky trails. After a strenuous four-day trek in the 4D 3 in precisely that situation, I can say the newer hiking boot does a better job of insulating your feet from the ground. While it’s hard to pinpoint the source of the improvement-the forefoot is more flexible than the old boot, making every step a little less painful, and the outsole’s rubber compound has a little more “give”-Salomon seems to have resolved this old nitpick.
Almost exactly the same weight as the previous model (just 0.6 ounces heavier than its listed weight), the Salomon Quest 4D 3 is almost exactly the same weight as its predecessor (bucking the trend of always going lighter in hiking footwear). In spite of its sturdy backpacking-ready credentials, the Quest is a little heavy. Salomon’s price is considerably lower than competitors like Lowa Renegade GTX Mid (2 lbs. 7 oz.) and Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX (2 lbs. 6.4 oz.).
In spite of that, I think the weight is well spent with a tall ankle height, robust protection, and class-leading comfort and support. The Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX (1 lb. 15.7 oz.) is a lighter and more flexible boot. Those who need support and want demanding trails should consider the Quest.
The Salomon Quest 4D 3 and its predecessor look very similar when upright, but flip them over and the outsole has been completely redesigned. With better spacing and softer Contagrip rubber, the old wave-like look and stiff rubber compound have been replaced.
My experience with the older Quest 4D 2s over the last few years hasn’t been great, but I feel the 3s have a little more bite on steep sections, particularly on wet surfaces (probably because of the more pliable rubber).
I can’t recall one misstep during the Huemul Circuit, which crosses rock-covered glaciers, up steep passes with hairy descents, and crosses numerous creeks (at least the ones shallow enough to keep my boots on). It is also important to note that the lugs have shown no signs of excessive wear with this tread design.
Stability and Support
There are several reasons to upgrade to the Quest over lightweight hiking shoes or boots. The heel collar sits higher than a standard mid-height boot like the Merrell Moab 2, but it’s the solid support that makes it stand out.
When carrying a heavy load on loose rocky terrain, I was impressed with how easy it was to trust my footing thanks to the semi-stiff structure.
For a casual, short-mileage weekend excursion, the Quest may be overkill, but for a technical hike in Patagonia it was a perfect match.
Its performance on rough trails is largely determined by the excellent lacing system that has been a hallmark of the Quest line since it was first released. While climbing long distances, I particularly appreciated the hooks at the ankle bend, which allowed me to lock in my heels. I haven’t experienced any problems with the laces slipping or loosening throughout very long days of hiking, even though Salomon did away with the two sets of locking hooks on top (the opening is a little wider).
Since I started testing the Salomon Quest 4D 3 in the middle of winter in the Pacific Northwest, I gave the Gore-Tex membrane a thorough workout right away. During my subsequent trip to Patagonia, I crossed more creeks (and rivers) than I could count, so I have a good understanding of its quality. My feet remained completely dry except for a misstep in a marshy section off trail, which allowed water to pass over the top of my boots.
My backpacking trip in Austral Summer was pretty mild overall, so I haven’t used the boots in hot weather, but they are breathable. From my experience backpacking in Utah with the old Quest 4D 2 and summer trips with a large number of Gore-Tex boots, I’m not expecting any miracles in the heat.
A premium membrane won’t keep you completely cool, but the Quest’s quick-drying upper material (my boots dried completely overnight after the marsh experience) and quality hiking socks make them a decent ventilator for a waterproof design. The membrane has also kept me warm while snowshoeing and hiking down into the mid 20s Fahrenheit during the winter months.
Ankle and toe protection
As a result of its high ankle height and burly rubber toe and heel, the Quest offers plenty of foot protection. The boot sits just above my ankle, and with plenty of padding all around, it felt secure even over technical sections. Salomon did trim down the rubber toe cap along the sides just a little compared to the previous version, but it still covers all of my toes without causing pain. For off-trail and technical use, the Quest provides plenty of security unless you need approach shoe levels of grip and protection.
Durability and quality of construction
The boot’s rugged look and feel have been backed up by solid durability so far. It has sustained a lot of bumps and scrapes from hitting rocks and branches, but the leather/textile upper isn’t too bad. The lacing system is the same: a few eyelets have had paint scraped off from trail debris, but the laces are still strong and in place. The sole shows a few lugs on the underside, but they’re small, and there are no chunks of rubber missing or signs of premature wear.
Fit and Sizing
The 4D 3 is a continuation of the previous versions (they even have removable Ortholite insoles). I ordered a men’s 9 and it fits perfectly. On the relentlessly long descents on the trek, there was enough room for my toes to not get jammed, and the snug heel and secure lacing system kept my feet in place securely. It has a wide toe box (a bit more than Salomon’s lightweight X Ultra 3 ), which allows your feet to swell throughout the day, but it’s not too wide to negatively impact stability. Salomon does not offer narrow or wide sizes of the Quest, as Lowa does with the Renegade GTX Mids for those with hard-to-fit feet.
The Salomon Quest in other versions
Men’s Quests were put through their paces on Patagonia’s Huemul Circuit, and women’s Quests are available for the same price. While the women’s Quest 4D 3 GTX is around half a pound lighter and available in different colorways, it retains the same Gore-Tex waterproofing, upper and midsole construction, and Contagrip rubber outsole as the men’s version.
Besides the Quest Prime GTX, Salomon also makes the 4D Forces 2, a tactical variation that uses reinforced (read: more durable) materials, and the Quest Prime GTX, a slimmed-down and lighter-weight version of the 4D 3. In contrast to other hiking boots, the Salomon Quest 4D 3 does not come in non-waterproof, low-top, wide, or narrow sizes.
Salomon Quest 4 GTX
Despite being the same price as the model we tested here, Salomon recently released the Quest 4 GTX , with a couple of key differences. The shoe has been lightly updated to be more modern and streamlined, and a new chassis has been added to increase stability and support. Although the latest 4 is lighter than the 4D 3, the design is very similar. My men’s 9 weighs 2 pounds and 11.2 ounces.
What We Like
- This pack provides superb support and comfort when carrying it over rugged terrain with a full load.
- There is a good grip on wet and muddy trails as well as loose dirt.
- On long climbs and descents, the excellent lacing system keeps your feet in place.
- Despite rough use, the boot is holding up very well.
What We Don’t
- On easy trails, the Quest is overkill-lighter, more flexible boots are available.
- In hot climates, it will run warm due to its Gore-Tex material.
- There are no wide or narrow sizes available.
|Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX||$230||Midweight||2 lb. 13.2 oz.||Yes (Gore-Tex)||Nubuck leather / mesh|
|Lowa Renegade GTX Mid||$240||Midweight||2 lb. 7 oz.||Yes (Gore-Tex)||Nubuck leather|
|Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX||$269||Midweight||2 lb. 6.4 oz.||Yes (Gore-Tex)||Suede leather|
|Salewa MTN Trainer Mid GTX||$250||Midweight||2 lb. 15.2 oz.||Yes (Gore-Tex)||Suede leather|
|Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX||$165||Lightweight||1 lb. 15.7 oz.||Yes (Gore-Tex)||Suede leather / nylon|
|Vasque Breeze AT Mid GTX||$190||Midweight||2 lb. 11 oz.||Yes (Gore-Tex)||Nubuck leather / mesh|