3 Best Salomon Hiking Shoes in 2024

Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto on
3 Best Salomon Hiking Shoes in 2024
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Are you looking for your next pair of Salomon hiking shoes? Make sure you choose from among our top picks.

There’s a lot to dig into here. After going through and actually trying 20+ Salomon hiking shoes out for a considerable amount of time, we present you the best kicks in a variety of categories. We give you a breadth of options to choose from—whether you’re into speedy escapades, summer-time adventures, or daily excursions in and around water.

How we test hiking shoes

How we review Salomon hiking shoes

The best Salomon hiking shoes don’t spring up on their own. With that, we test every pair, committing both time and effort to come up with must-haves that cater to all sorts of hikers. Here is how we approach our reviews:

  • Buy all Salomon trail shoes with our own money to stay transparent.
  • We put every Salomon shoe through rigorous testing in different conditions—both weather and terrain. We spend hours across multiple days to check each shoe’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • We get our hands dirty: we test and measure different parameters inside our lab! And yes, chopping up the shoes is included in the process. 

Best Salomon hiking shoes overall

What makes it the best?

We extensively tested a number of Salomon shoes both in the lab and out on the trail. The X Ultra 4 GTX took the top place as the best overall hiking shoe from Salomon because it is ultra-lightweight, versatile, and has perfect cushioning.

On our test hikes, our feet stayed completely dry even when we splashed through streams! Of course, we had to be careful not to go in over the ankle, but the X Ultra 4 GTX shows that it is possible to get impeccable waterproofing without piling on the weight. We weighed it in the lab and found it to be 13.3 oz (378g), 5% lighter than average for hiking shoes. This makes it a great choice for thru-hikes when we need to conserve energy and prevent blisters.

In the lab, we tested the softness of the midsole. Our durometer claimed the midsole measures 32.5 HA, the average for hiking shoes. We find this is the perfect middle ground between decent protection underfoot and a comfortable ground feel.

The shoe works wonders in the stability department. A shank in the midsole stiffens the midfoot, preventing our feet from rolling on rough trails. At the same time, we felt a distinct spring in our step, so in the lab, we bent the shoe to 90° using a force gauge. We measured 37.1N, making it 31% more flexible than average! This makes for a supportive and very comfortable shoe for long hikes.

Simulating winter temperatures, we put the shoe in the freezer for 20 minutes and tested it again with the force gauge. It becomes a whopping 75% stiffer in sub-zero temperatures, so we don’t recommend storing the shoes outside when winter hiking. They do not feel the same before warming up.

Pros

  • Instant comfort
  • Impeccable waterproofing
  • Very lightweight
  • Exceptional grip
  • Excellent support and lockdown
  • Stable platform
  • Roomy toebox

Cons

  • Quicklace is not for everyone
  • Too-high collar
Full review of Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX

Best Salomon hiking shoes for summer

What makes it the best?

The results are in: the best summer hiking shoe from Salomon is the X Ultra 4! Both highly breathable and lightweight, it combines the support of a hiking boot with the freedom and flexibility of a hiking shoe, making it a great choice for technical hikes on hot summer days.

At just 11.8 oz (336g), these shoes are 1.7 oz (78g) lighter than average. That adds up over the course of a long day hiking, and our feet still felt fresh and ready to go by the end of the day. We were impressed by how quickly these shoes dried after getting wet, too. We found they dried off quicker than our top half once wet, so we have to award bonus points for breathability!

The quick lacing system provides unbelievable lockdown, and our feet stay snugly in the shoe even when hiking up steep inclines. A plastic shank in the midsole lends itself to the superior stability we felt in this shoe. We felt confident hiking along rocky, uneven trails and our ankles felt protected from rolling.

In the lab, we tested the shoe for flexibility by bending it to 90° with a force gauge. It measured 24.9 HA, 57% more flexible than the average hiking shoe! We noticed this on our hikes, and we felt nimble as we hopped from rock to rock. We also measured the depth of the lugs, to get a feel for how they affect the grip. Our caliper showed a stocky 5.2 mm - 0.9 mm deeper than the average. It’s a match made in heaven - the midsole flexes and increases the surface area in contact with the ground while the lugs grip even harder. It’s no wonder we felt so confident on our backcountry hikes!

We don’t recommend this shoe to hikers who want a plusher feel in their shoe. We measured the softness of the midsole with a durometer and found it to be 51.5 HA at the heel, 56% firmer than average.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Exceptional breathability
  • Excellent grip
  • Comfortable midsole
  • Great ankle support
  • Insanely protective

Cons

  • Lacing system is not adjustable
  • Some issues with rubbing at the ankle
Full review of Salomon X Ultra 4

Best Salomon hiking shoes for speed hiking

Salomon Outpulse
85
Great!

What makes it the best?

No slowing down here with the Salomon Outspulse – not a loss of balance, not a loss of footing, and not even the irritating sweating of feet. Out of all the Salomon hiking shoes we took out on our trips, Outpulse really stole the show with its responsive cushioning that turned our strides into more efficient ones.

We felt unstoppable on any kind of terrain that the wilderness had thrown us, primarily because of the shoe’s superb traction. Falling down from muddy or other slippery surfaces was something we got to avoid with the Salomon Outpulse. With just that, maximized hiking time!

Salomon Outsole also showcased a well-perforated upper that kept our feet ventilated all throughout our treks. Easy, next-tier comfort achieved! We also loved how this shoe’s bouncy foam preserved our energy in each of our steps, sparing us from fatigue even during extended on-foot journeys. 

The durability of the Salomon Outpulse was a letdown, though. We found that longevity is not its strong suit. So, we suggest taking it easy on this one.

Pros

  • Grippy and durable lugs
  • Extremely breathable
  • Lighter than average
  • Protective and bouncy midsole
  • Great for long hikes
  • Speedy and tenacious
  • Comfortable and high-quality upper construction
  • Secure lockdown
  • No break-in required
  • Performs consistently in the cold

Cons

  • Not ideal for wide feet
  • Tongue slippage
Full review of Salomon Outpulse

Salomon has been outfitting outdoor enthusiasts since the 1940s. What started as a small company in the heart of the French Alps has grown into one of the most well-known companies in the outdoor sports industry.

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Since its inception, Salomon has continually evolved and enhanced their equipment. Nowadays, Salomon is one of the best options for hiking footwear. So if you are considering a pair of Salomon hiking shoes, you have come to the right place.   

How to decide which Salomon hiking shoe is best for you

We’ve done our absolute best to help you by reviewing and coming up with the best-in-class in various categories.

But what else is important to consider when selecting which Salomon hiking shoe you intend to try?

  • Terrain type
  • How much weight you carry
  • Duration of your hiking efforts 

Terrain type

One of the most important questions you can ask yourself when shopping for Salomon hiking shoes is, “What terrain will I be hiking on the most?”

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For example, do you enjoy easy trails, technical trails, or hiking off-trail the most?

  • Easy to moderate trails are characterized by stable and relatively even surfaces, like fire roads and well-maintained single-track trails. These trails are typically found in larger open spaces, such as valleys and prairies.
  • Technical and advanced trails are characterized by uneven terrain, including rocks, roots, steps, off-camber terrain, and steep hill climbing. These trails are found in mountainous areas with lots of undulating geographies.
  • Hiking off-trail is characterized by uneven, unstable, steep, and highly technical terrain. You may need to climb over obstacles, carry out water crossings, and use your hands for scrambling. This adventurous terrain is found deep in the backcountry and away from well-established trail networks.

Lightweight, flexible, comfortable shoes may be your best bet for easy to moderate trails. These shoes prioritize cushioning over stiffness.

Example: Salomon Outpulse

On the other hand, stiffer and more stable shoes may be better for technical terrain. Similarly, shoes with extra reinforcements, like heel protectors and rubber toe caps, enhance the shoe's durability for harsh terrains.

Example: Salomon X Ultra 4

Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX

Weight of your load

Another item to consider when selecting a pair of Salomon hiking shoes is the typical weight you carry. For example, do you enjoy carrying a day pack with lots of food and water? Are you buying shoes for a multi-day unsupported backpacking trip? Or is most of the hiking you do light and fast where you only carry your phone and car keys?

Consider a more flexible hiking shoe for lighter loads, so long as the terrain allows it. On the other hand, with heavier loads, you may prefer a stiffer, more stable shoe to give you more ankle stability.  

Duration of the effort 

Deciding if a hike is long or short is somewhat subjective. Your fitness and experience level dictate whether something is short and easy or long and challenging. For example, a one-hour hike on easy terrain may feel long and hard for one person and easy for another.

Nonetheless, these parameters are essential to consider. Typically we recommend a lighter, more flexible shoe for more accessible and shorter efforts and stiffer and more stable shoes for more prolonged efforts.

What’s the deal with Salomon’s waterproof hiking shoes?

Salomon’s waterproof hiking shoes rely on a Gore-Tex membrane sewn into the upper’s interior to keep moisture out of the shoe. In most cases, the hiking shoe will also be treated with a durable water-repellent coating on the exterior.

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Gore-Tex has long been heralded for being the best waterproof fabric. It’s made of extended polytetrafluoroethylene, or ePTFE, for short. Gore-Tex’s ePTFE materials are windproof and waterproof, and breathable.

How is that possible? The microporous material consists of small pores to keep moisture out but large enough to let dampness from your feet (sweat) evaporate. So it’s the best of both worlds.

Salomon’s waterproof hiking shoes that utilize Gore-Tex, abbreviated with GTX in the shoe's title, will keep your feet drier than non-waterproof models.

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However, it is important to mention one fallback that plagues all hiking shoes, not just Salomon’s hiking shoes– the low-cut cuff.

If the water or mud is deep enough, it may flood over the top of your hiking shoe and soak your feet. Unfortunately, a Gore-Tex membrane cannot protect against this disadvantage. The only way to eliminate this possibility is to avoid terrain and climates that might have deeper water or select one of Salmon’s hiking boots with a high-top cuff.

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Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX

Quicklace: Salomon’s unique closure system

The Quicklace system functions like a conventional lacing system. However, instead of working with two independent laces and tying a knot, you only have to pull on a single strand to tighten the shoe.

To tighten the Quicklace system:

  1. First, starting at the bottom, pull on each arm of the lacing system to get the shoe to fit your foot uniformly. 
  2. Pull the single lace at the top of the shoe as tight as you want.
  3. Slide the buckle down to your foot.
  4. Tuck the excess lace and buckle in the pocket on the shoe's tongue. 

To untie:

  1. Remove the excess lace and buckle from the pocket. 
  2. Secure the end of the lace, and pull it away from the shoe, so it remains taut.
  3. Squeeze the button on the lace and slide the buckle away from the shoe.
  4. If necessary, loosen the remaining arms of the lacing system to remove the shoe.

For some, the verdict is still out on the Quicklace system and whether or not it functions as well as a conventional lacing system. For example, we have found the Quicklace system to work perfectly fine with shoes that fit naturally.

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However, if you have wider or narrower feet requiring specific adjustments, you might not like the Quicklace closure system because it’s less customizable. 

Trying on Salomon hiking shoes

Trying on hiking shoes is more than just putting on a pair of shoes, lacing them up, and calling it quits. Here are a few pro tips to remember when your new shoes come in the mail, and it’s time to try them on.

  1. Try your shoes on with the hiking socks you always wear. This sounds obvious, but if you’re like us, you may get excited when the shoes arrive and put them on the second you see them without changing your socks.
  2. You shouldn’t be able to feel any obvious pressure points or hot spots on your feet. If you do, then the shape of the shoe doesn’t match your foot, and breaking them in may never solve the problem.
  3. If you can wait, try your Salomon hiking shoes on at the end of the day. The reason is that your feet swell throughout the day, as they would during and after a hike, so it’s best to consider that when trying a shoe.
  4. If you fall between sizes, we recommend selecting the bigger size for the same reason– your feet swell. Plus, if the shoe remains too big, you can solve that with a new insole. The other way around is not an easy fix.
  5. When buying online, buy multiple pairs of hiking shoes. It’s easier to return the second pair that doesn’t fit than to return and re-order a different size. Double-check the marketplace's return policy to ensure you stick to their guidelines.

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Author
Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto
Over the past 20 years, Paul has climbed, hiked, and run all over the world. He has summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races as well as 6 marathons. On average, he runs 30-50 miles a week in the foothills of Northern Colorado. His research is regularly cited in The New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, etc. On top of this, Paul is leading the running shoe lab where he cuts shoes apart and analyzes every detail of the shoes that you might buy.