Salomon is perhaps our favourite maker of walking boots and shoes. The French maestros of bog-trekking footwear consistently produce great products, with everything from fairly traditional-looking yomping shoes to cutting-edge excursions into laceless, waterproof future-chic.
Its new Quest 4D 3 GTX boots fall more into the former, (literally) more down-to-earth category, but that's no bad thing. They're built to be so comfortable and fatigue-reducing, that hiking in them is actually less tiring than typing out their name in full.
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Why does the Quest 4D 3 GTX have such a long name? To break it down, the Quest part is what you do whilst wearing them (specifically, it's for backpacking), the 4D refers to Salomon's sole and chassis tech, which is designed for maximum stability. Speaking as someone who recently tried to go up and down a very steep Welsh hill in 3 feet of snow, I can confirm having footwear that lacks stability is VERY BAD INDEED.
Oh, and the 3 is because it's the 3rd iteration of this boot, and the GTX bit means it goes really fast. No, not really, it means it's made with Gore-tex. There's a nubuck upper with a membrane made of the waterproof-yet-breathable miracle fabric.
There are models for men and women – very progressive – and the keyword here, other than stability, is comfort. The cushioning is adapted from running shoe technology, but with the extra support you need for backpacking.
The boots are light at 640g for men and 575g for women, in an average size, and the updated 4D advanced chassis, "guides the foot and enables more forefoot flexion for a smoother ride that flows from step to step."
Meanwhile, the outsole has also been improved with "redesigned lugs" and now boasts High Traction Contagrip for lizard-like grip on all surfaces. The cuff has also been redesigned to further improve comfort and fit.
Meanwhile, "smaller details like the rubber heel and toe protection… and the gusseted tongue help to make life easier and more comfortable when exploring the outdoors." And finally, a Lace Locker should mean you never need to do up sopping wet laces with freezing cold hands in 3 feet of snow, not that I did or anything.