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  • 100 / 100 | Robust Spectrum Outdoors | | Level 1 expert

    So far, the Salomon X Ultra 3s--I give them a thumbs up.

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  • The Salomon X Ultra 3 bathes in the glory of its predecessor—the X Ultra 2—for possessing the features that made its older sibling great but with some welcome improvements. It is still a lightweight hiker thanks to its synthetic mesh upper. However, its stitched-on overlay covers slightly more upper area than the previous version. The engineers also found a way to make this shoe about 30 g lighter (a pair) than the X Ultra 2.
  • Lacing up with the X Ultra 3 is as speedy as before since it keeps the same Quicklace closure system that the second generation X Ultra had. This time, however, it features an additional pair of eyelets right at the collar line.
  • When it comes to cushioning, the shoe is given an EVA midsole. This cushy, shock-absorbing component is imbued with Salomon’s Advanced Chassis—a brace that maximizes mobility and makes every step responsive.
  • Salomon’s own outsole technology, the Contagrip, makes a triumphant return in the X Ultra 3. While its surface retains the multi-directional lugs that graced the outsole of the X Ultra 2, its heel part is now engineered with Descent Control technology—a feature the previous model lacked. As its name suggests, this technology gives wearers more control and secure footing while going down slippery slopes.

The Salomon X Ultra 3 is a hiking shoe catering to both male and female outdoor enthusiasts. It comes in standard width and fairly runs true to size. Purchasers from both genders can get the X Ultra 3 in whole and half sizes. Custom fit is primarily provided by the Quickfit lacing system. Its fifth and top-most pair of eyelets gives wearers extra lockdown security. Also, this proprietary closure system works in conjunction with yet another Salomon-owned tech called the Sensifit. This technology is embodied in the shoe’s overlay which grips the upper as more lace pressure is applied.

Contagrip, Salomon’s in-house outsole technology, supplies the X Ultra 3 with its much-needed traction. This outsole, which is a mixture of several compounds, is engineered to have zonal densities. The outer edges of the outsole are engineered to have a higher density to withstand wear and tear. The central zone of both the heel and forefoot zones, on the other hand, have a lower-density makeup for enhanced traction and flexibility.

Scattered across this grippy layer are aggressive lugs shaped like caltrops. The spiky architecture of these lugs bites into various surfaces, whether uneven or level. The Descent Control feature found on the outsole’s heel is comprised of gill-like ridges. Positioned and lined up at opposing angles, these ridges grant better overall maneuverability, particularly during descents.

The outsole also extends to the shoe’s toe box. This inconspicuous extension both reinforces the front end of the X Ultra 3 and guards against forefoot injuries.

Serving as the wearer’s primary source of cushioning and stability is the shoe’s injected EVA midsole. EVA or ethylene-vinyl acetate as the base material for this component gives the Salomon X Ultra 3 a kind of midsole that can bear considerable weight and withstand rugged use. Its tapered construction—a chunky heel transitioning to a slender forefoot zone—also allows for smoother foot rolls and toe offs.

Built into the shoe’s midsole, specifically at the heel section, is the Salomon Advanced Chassis. This additional component doubles down on what the midsole is there for, and thus contributing to the X Ultra 3’s overall stability, rebound, and shock absorption. It also gives users control when performing twisting maneuvers.

For extra underfoot comfort and support, the engineers gave this hiking shoe an Ortholite sockliner. Its cushiness is brought forth by a certain Ortholite foam while its supportive heel borders are made of EVA. Its resilient build is designed to endure stress and not wear thin over time.

With its mesh upper made of synthetic textile, the Salomon X Ultra 3 underscores lightness and breathability. It is layered with a stitched-on, synthetic coverage (overlay) for extra support and abrasion protection. The tongue and the contoured ankle collar of the shoe are padded for plush comfort. The back of the collar also has a pull tab for a speedy on and off.

Over at the shoe’s toe box is a rubberized layer which, along with the encroaching front tip of the outsole, protects hikers from bumpy hazards. A similar protective coverage is also seen at the base of the shoe’s heel.

Officially called Quicklace, the closure system of the X Ultra 3 uses sturdy cords for laces. They criss-cross through a combination of synthetic lace loops and plated eyelets and are secured using a clip mechanism made of a material resembling hard plastic. The remainder of the cords may also be tucked inside the shoe’s lace garage—a compartment akin to a stretchy pouch that is stitched onto the upper part of the tongue.

  • Salomon’s X Ultra 3 is also offered in a waterproof, Gore-Tex (GTX) variant.