- Astonishingly light
- Comfy like a sneaker
- Excellent waterproofing
- Very durable build
- Soft and springy cushioning
- Low-to-the-ground platform
- Remains soft and flexible in cold weather
- Loose collar fit
- Not for technical terrain
Who should buy
Bridging the gap between tough hikers and lightweight trail runners, the Outpulse Mid GTX lets you be as nimble on the trail as you can be. Buy it if:
- you enjoy feeling fast on your feet
- you want a lightweight mid-cut boot for a day hike
- you need a waterproof boot with a Gore-Tex membrane
- sleek-looking hiking footwear is a must for you
Who should NOT buy
With its emphasis on lightness, the Outpulse Mid GTX falls short of support and stability for multi-day adventures with a fully loaded pack. If that's what you plan to do, we highly recommend the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX or the Salomon Quest 4 GTX instead.
You might as well prefer the X Ultra and the Quest if you hike in soggy conditions and need the best possible grip.
When a boot's name contains "GTX", it is a surefire sign that breathability is non-existent here. This premium waterproofing membrane doesn't let any air pass through.
This is clearly seen in our breathability lab test where we pump smoke through the boot's upper. But what helps to make the Salomon Outpulse Mid GTX more airy is the fact that it has a lower cut and a slightly loose-fitting collar. These factors help to invite more airflow inside the boot.
For that reason, we rated this Salomon boot's breathability as 2 out of 5 instead of the minimum 1.
Do not let that textile upper mislead you.
As our up-close microscope photos show, it is exceptionally tightly woven.
But if you do need a summer-ready version of this boot, have a look at the low-cut and breathable Salomon Outpulse hiking shoe.
|Outpulse Mid GTX||2|
On the other side of the coin is of course the boot's incredible waterproofing ability.
Crossing a creek or getting caught in a rainstorm is no biggie with the Outpulse Mid GTX. This pair really proved its effectiveness in our hike tests.
Just be careful to not let the water pour over the boot's collar. Because once it's there, you're stuck with damp feet until the end of the hike.
Seeing the Outpulse Mid's textile toebox, we had concerns about its ability to withstand the wear and tear of hiking. But the Dremel test made us feel much more reassured.
Pressing the tool against the upper at a 3.2N force, we held it for a steady 12 seconds at a 5K RPM speed.
And what we saw was quite surprising! The synthetic toe bumper played its part in protecting the fabric but the fabric itself proved to be quite sturdy!
Because the Dremel test didn't result in a see-through hole, we gladly rated the boot's toebox durability with a high 4 out of 5 score.
|Outpulse Mid GTX||4|
Heel padding durability
When it came to testing the boot's inner lining, we were pleasantly surprised once again.
After 4 seconds of drilling the fabric with a Dremel, we saw notably smaller damage compared to other hiking boots!
The difference between these two boots is bright as day, leading us to rate the Outpulse's heel padding durability with a high score - 4 out of 5!
|Outpulse Mid GTX||4|
Salomon boots have a stellar reputation for outsole durability. And the Outpulse Mid GTX is no exception.
One of the telltale signs of a durable rubber is its hardness. So, we used a durometer to check the firmness of the Outpulse's outsole. It turned out to be 87.5 HC which is exactly the same as the average of hiking boots.
|Outpulse Mid GTX||87.5 HC|
To further test the boot's outsole durability, we turned to our Dremel. This time, we turned up the speed to 10K RPM and held the tool for 22 seconds against one of the lugs in the heel.
We were quite happy to find that the damage was pretty minor. According to our tread gauge, it is only 0.9 mm deep. This is a standard dent depth among hiking boots that have gone through this test.
|Outpulse Mid GTX||0.9 mm|
The Outsole Mid GTX also comes with a sufficiently thick layer of rubber. Excluding the lugs, our caliper showed 3.0 mm of outsole thickness.
Putting all our findings together, we can assume that the Salomon Outpulse Mid GTX can last beyond one hiking season.
|Outpulse Mid GTX||3.0 mm|
With its shoe-like weight of 13.6 oz (386g), the Outpulse Mid GTX is ridiculously light for a hiking boot! It is as much as 5 ounces lighter than the average!
That's what makes the Salomon Outpulse Mid GTX feel SO agile! Hiking in it felt as though we had a pair of sneakers on. The boot is barely there at all.
This Salomon is even lighter than the popular Adidas Terrex Free Hiker 2 (15.0 oz) speed hiker.
|Outpulse Mid GTX||13.62 oz (386g)|
|Average||18.38 oz (521g)|
In the realm of hiking boots, the Salomon Outpulse Mid GTX is a very low-to-the-ground option. Based on our caliper measurements, its heel stack comes in at 30.2 mm which is notably lower than the average.
But having such a low platform makes the Outpulse what it is - an extremely light and nimble boot. It is most suitable for moderately challenging and fast-paced day hikes.
|Outpulse Mid GTX||30.2 mm|
Measuring the forefoot stack, we got 21.4 mm. This is only slightly lower than the average.
Having less cushioning under the toes allows you to feel the surface beneath a little better which helps to navigate tricky terrains.
|Outpulse Mid GTX||21.4 mm|
The height difference between the heel and forefoot stacks comes in at 8.8 mm in the Salomon Outpulse Mid GTX. Being lower than the average drop of hiking boots, it makes the Outpulse feel a lot like a trail running shoe.
A lower drop is ideal if you prefer a more natural underfoot experience and this Salomon boot offers just that!
|Outpulse Mid GTX||8.8 mm|
Hiking in the Salomon Outpulse was a great pleasure every time thanks to its amazingly soft cushioning! As far as hiking boots go, you don't often experience underfoot plushness.
What the brand calls their new Fuze Foam returned 18.8 HA on our durometer. It is 40% softer than other boots we've tested!
But in addition to softness, there is also a very tangible energy return in the Outpulse Mid. We think that it is granted by the boot's slightly curved shape and a stiff TPU Energy Blade running through the midsole.
|Outpulse Mid GTX||18.8 HA|
Difference in midsole softness in cold
Because many people would probably wear the Salomon Outpulse Mid GTX in colder weather, we had to check whether its cushioning is just as soft in low temperatures.
To mimic winter conditions, we kept the boot in the freezer for 20 minutes and then measured its foam once again. We found that it firmed up by 21.3% (which is average for hiking boots) but it was still on the soft side at 22.8 HA.
|Outpulse Mid GTX||21.3%|
The Outpulse features the crowd-favorite Ortholite insole. Even though it is only 3.7 mm thick (less than the average), it kept our feet cozy and pampered.
It also has a contoured shape that offers a touch of arch support.
|Outpulse Mid GTX||3.7 mm|
Lateral stability test
It would be a lie to say that this Salomon boot is very stable but we cannot call it wobbly either. The definite answer depends on the kind of hike you need it for.
Backpacking? Absolutely not. A single-day route on non-technical terrain with a light pack? Absolutely yes!
Thanks to its grounded platform and stiff shank, the Outpulse Mid GTX made us feel planted enough on a moderate hike.
As we mentioned above, there is a stiff TPU shank called Energy Blade embedded into the boot's midsole. It gives the Outpulse enough rigidity to prevent ankle rolls and wobbliness.
In a manual test, we could barely twist the boot with our hands. This convinced us to rate the torsional rigidity of the Outpulse with a high score - 4 out of 5!
|Outpulse Mid GTX||4|
Heel counter stiffness
We also felt a sufficient amount of rigidity in the boot's heel counter. It is an important characteristic of a hiking boot as it helps to create a very secure heel and ankle hold.
On a 1-5 scale, where 5 is the stiffest, we rated the Outpulse's heel counter as 3. It is slightly more pliable than average.
|Outpulse Mid GTX||3|
Midsole width in the forefoot
Intended as a more nimble hiking footwear option, this Salomon boot comes with a narrower-than-average platform.
We measured the widest part of its forefoot at only 109.7 mm which is on the slimmer side of the spectrum. But on foot, it felt steady enough on hard-packed trails with some rocks and roots.
|Outpulse Mid GTX||109.7 mm|
Midsole width in the heel
Putting our caliper against the widest part of the heel, we found it to be just average at 88.4 mm. No wonky business here!
|Outpulse Mid GTX||88.4 mm|
Where we missed support the most was the collar. The boot's lacing system just didn't seem to allow a more secure lockdown in this area.
There is only one pair of lace hooks at the top which resulted in too much extra space around the ankle. Being so used to a solid lockdown, we felt sloppy in this setup.
To make things worse, we also had small debris getting inside the boot through its loose-fitting collar.
Luckily, it doesn't feel so bad on light and moderate types of trails.
The nature of this Salomon boot is pretty flexible. Rolling from heels to toes, our feet bent effortlessly, almost like in a running shoe.
To put a number on it, we used a gauge to check how much force is needed to bend the Outpulse Mid to a 90-degree angle. Our measurements showed 27.0N which is 60% less than it takes an average boot!
|Outpulse Mid GTX||27.0N|
Difference in stiffness in cold
We were impressed to find that the shoe doesn't lose its flexibility even in low temperatures.
After spending 20 minutes in the freezer, this Salomon boot only stiffened up by 12.7%! Whereas most boots got at least 40% stiffer.
|Outpulse Mid GTX||12.7%|
Grip / Traction
If you wake us up in the middle of the night asking what the grippiest hiking boot brand is, Salomon will be the answer.
The Contragrip outsole of the Outpulse Mid GTX showed excellent traction capacity on roots, rocks, slabs, and downhills. But it's just not meant for anything more technical or soft (mud, snow). Measuring the boot's lug depth with a caliper returned 3.5 mm which is actually shallower than average.
If you need a more aggressive bite, you will appreciate the 5-mm deep treads on the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX.
|Outpulse Mid GTX||3.5 mm|
Size and fit
Toebox width at the widest part
With their streamlined profiles, Salomon boots tend to be very close-fitting. For our medium-width feet, the Outpulse Mid GTX had a one-to-one fit, so we cannot recommend this model for wide feet.
This experience was clearly reflected in our toebox measurements. In the widest part of the boot's forefoot, our caliper showed 100.3 mm. A little narrower than average.
|Outpulse Mid GTX||100.3 mm|
Toebox width at the big toe
But it gets dangerously narrower around the big toe. Our caliper measurements here returned 75.3 which is also on the narrower side of the spectrum.
|Outpulse Mid GTX||75.3 mm|
Tongue: gusset type
A fully gusseted neoprene-like tongue does an amazing job of keeping water and debris at bay. We found that it enhanced not only the boot's waterproofing capacity but also its midfoot hold.
|Outpulse Mid GTX||Both sides (full)|
The Outpulse boot has a reasonably padded tongue that is 7.7 mm thick. It is a little thinner than the average but still enough to keep us comfortable and protected from lace bites.
|Outpulse Mid GTX||7.7 mm|
The pull tab design on this Salomon boot is pretty funky! It not only adds a stylish touch but also proves to be quite functional.
It was quite easy to grip even with our gloves on. Given the boot's slim build, we found this add-on very handy for getting the Outpulse on.
|Outpulse Mid GTX||Pull tab|
For those who wear custom orthotics, this Salomon boot's insole is easily removable.
|Outpulse Mid GTX||Yes|
|Outpulse Mid GTX||No|