Our European hiking specialist Tony tested the Salomon Men’s Quest Origins GTX Hiking Boots over a period of four months straight out of the box. These are one of the top end boots in the Salomen hiking/ walking boot range for men and they certainly lived up to expectations. Tony was given free hand (and two feet!) to pick whatever brand/ boot he liked.
After selecting the Salomon Men’s Quest Origins GTX he gave them a real thrashing testing them out over a four month period on varied terrain, weather and two countries Wales (UK) and France. After clocking up over 400 miles we caught up with him before his next trek to give us the low down.
Why did you pick these particular boots?
I do a lot of walking and always research any walking gear thoroughly in addition to physically trying out any kit before making the purchase. These particular boots had excellent customer reviews particularly in respect of support and comfort. They just ticked all the right boxes for me in every respect.
I had four other makes and models on my list which I had also researched and although real quality with great attributes were not all-round as good as the Salomon boots. I tried a selection of boots and after putting them on and feeling how comfortable and supportive they were it was a done deal. Not only that they look really classy with the leather Gortex combination and the stylish red trim and laces!
What were they like on the first trek and where did you go to test them out?
The first wear was actually at home just pacing around the house which I would not recommend as it isn’t exactly the right terrain to break in a pair of boots and feels a bit unnatural on carpet and tiled floors!
The first real Trek was a fairly short 7 miler across the tops of one of the South Wales Valleys at a place called Man-Moel which is about 20 miles north east of Cardiff. I picked this because it has varied terrain with roads, moorland (with grass and craggy outcrops), streams to cross, plenty of mud, moss, rocks and tarmac to really give the boots a baptism of fire.
The boots felt as if I had worn them for months. There was no breaking in period at all! They felt like silk from the outset with firm support – quite amazing.
So no blisters on the first outing?
Not even a hint of friction between the boot and by hobbit like feet! I think the most impressive feature of the Salomon boot is the ankle and heel support. I have broken both ankles in the past thanks to playing volleyball when I was a fire-fighter and am really conscious about that.
The boots have excellent ankle and heel support and are fitted with an ankle pull lock, which a lot of boots don’t have. This allows the laces to loop around the pull lock and draw in the ankle support. A really great feature which I really like.
Where else have you trekked with the Salomon boots during the test?
In the UK I did several walks including the Brecon Beacons in Mid Wales and some Welsh costal footpaths. During a recent holiday to the Massif Central volcanic region that dominates the south of France to the west of the Rhône valley I really put the boots to the grindstone! There were several shortish walks and two main walks.
The first main was over spectacular volcanic terrain which was tough going over 12 miles and really tested the boots grip on rough and sometimes loose volcanic rock. I wanted to see how they performed against other boots I have owned in the past. In particular Meindl and Berghaus which performed really well. The Salomon Quest Origins GTX are superb on grip and I had no complaints there.
The second main walk was along the river (see above) in one of the valleys between the extinct volcanoes. This was a major trek of around 21 miles and again the boots performed admirably and apart from the usual fatigue of walking my feet felt remarkably fresh considering the distance and rocky terrain I had covered during that long days walk.
What was your overall opinion of the boots?
It is very difficult to criticise any aspect as the boots delivers in every way. The only small niggle that I have is that dirt can collect in the heel. It’s just the way they have been designed for grip with a splayed heel base. To be honest this is a minor moan and I am being really nit picky.
Overall they are superb and by far the best boots I have ever worn. After 4 months and around 400 miles they have shown very little wear at all and I believe these will last me for a few years to come.The best all around hiking boot!
Just out of curiosity what were your other choices based on your research?
When I went to the store to try out a range of brands I was considering four other brands including Meindl and Merrell but after seeing the quality and feeling the boots on my feet in store it was the obvious choice to go for the Salomon.
Than’s not decrying the other brands as I have worn them before and found them to be of a high quality. However it’s the same old story of personal preference and mine as you can see has been totally satisfied with Salomon and highly recommend them. I am really looking forward to 2016 where I have a number of major hikes planned and it’s nice to know that my feet and ankles will be well looked after!
Since this road test was published a fault developed on the toe of the boot after around 6 months. The rubber began to part from the body of the boot. Whilst this appears to be a rare problem (there has been one other instance noted by Tony) it would be remiss of us not to keep you informed.
The problem was reported to the supplier and an imediate replacement made.