Gear Review: Salomon X Ultra Mid II GTX Women’s Hiking Boots
Description: All the comfort of a running shoe with the stability of a hiking boot. Let me introduce you to Salomon X Ultra Mid II GTX Women’s Hiking Boots. These boots feature a Gore-Tex upper, breathable mesh panels and polyester lining to keep feet dry, no matter the weather.
Weight: 1 lb 10 oz
Materials: Gore-tex, leather/suede and rubber blend. Designed for wet, uneven terrain.
Circumstances of Review: I wore Salomon X Ultra Mid II GTX Women’s Hiking Boots for the first 1000 miles of my thru-hike. The grip and gore-tex material were perfect for the weather conditions of Smoky Mountain National Park. For a thru-hike, this style lasted longer than any of the other Salomon styles I wore during the Appalachian Trail.
Traction and Grip: The Contragrip rubber outsoles work on slick, rocky and even muddy terrain. I’m pretty clumsy and I really think the Contragrip made a difference. It rained for almost an entire month and the Salomon X Ultra Mid II GTX and these boots took on slippery terrain like a champ.
Mid-Cut Ankle Design: If a hiking boot and trial runner morphed into one shoe, the Salomon X Ultra Mid II GTX Women’s Hiking Boot is it. The mid-cut ankle offers support similar to a traditional hiking boot without the bulk or weight. On the other hand, I found the mid-cut ankle design to chafe my ankle if I wasn’t wear mid calf socks. If you are planning on wearing these shoes, make sure your sock covers this area to prevent hot spots.
Mud Guard: The toe box features a mud guard. This feature saved me from stubbing my toes on hidden roots and rocks. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I wasn’t looking and stubbed my toe on the Appalachian Trail. The mud guard lessened the impact but it still hurt. Overall, the mud guard and large toe box were comfortable. This is a lot coming from someone who normally wears mens shoes.
Warranty: As you can see in the picture, the mud guard is falling off the shoe. Consequently, the gore-tex fabric didn’t matter because water and mud were able to seep into the shoe through the broken mud guard. After contacting Salomon Customer Service, I was sent a new pair. If you purchase Salomon shoes, make sure you 1. take a picture and/or save your purchase receipt and 2. take a picture of the inside flap that has size and a special number you need. This will make your life 100% easier in the event you need to use the warranty while on the trail.
Waterproof/breathable is an oxymoron: In cold temperatures, these boots are great. Because, I’ve found waterproof and breathable gear is an oxymoron. The gore-tex fabric made my feet sweat and I’m pretty sure is the reason I had blisters for a bit. However, I was thankful for the gore-tex shoes in muddy weather, keeping my feet dry. Conversely, during heavy rain storms, my shoes ended up waterlogged. I didn’t wear gaiters but hiking in the rain all day every day for a month puts gear to the test.
Heavy: Unless I have to wear boots for mountaineering, I want to stick with trail runners for backpacking. At 1 lb 10 oz these boots are heavy. After switching to the lighter Salomon X-Mission 3 Trail Running Shoe at 1 lb 2 oz , I realized I preferred lighter shoes above all the roses the Salomon X Ultra Mid offers for the Appalachian Trail.
For $165 and over 1000 miles of use, these shoes are a great value for their price-point. Although Salomon X Ultra Mid lasted the longest out of the Salomon styles I tried, I would recommend trail runners over boots for the Appalachian Trail. Personally, I love the features of the Salomon X Ultra Mid but the weight really puts a strain on my feet. After switching to the Salomon X-Mission 3 , which are 8oz lighter, I felt bricks had been taken off my feet. Ok, I’m being dramatic but you get the point. For me, lighter is better for shoes. But, some people need and prefer gore-tex fabric and a hiking boot over trail running.
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