The Good: Comfort of trail shoes in a more stable and durable package, great ventilation, good traction in all conditions.
The Bad: Low cut design offers less stability than most hiking boots, use of synthetic mesh on the upper reduces waterproofing.
The Verdict: If you don't want a full leather hiking boot, Salomon X Ultra Mid 2 GTX is a great value for the money option.
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Salomon X Ultra Mid 2 GTX is a modern take on a hiking boot with upper made mostly of synthetics and some leather elements. It's a crossover between a trail shoe and a full sized hiking boot that offers some advantages of both worlds. Salomon X Ultra Mid 2 GTX is great for light hiking or backpacking and gives you comfort and feeling of running shoes in a more robust package.
The upper on this boot is made of a synthetic mesh and leather joined in a way that allows your feet to breathe. The leather reaches up toward the tongue in spikes, giving the eyelets a strong foundation. The synthetic mesh is well padded and connects with the tongue in a way that reduces the amount of dirt and debris that gets inside the boot. One of the highlight of this model is the rubber insert placed at the tip of the boot, around the toes. Unlike most other toe caps of this type, this one actually works.
The traction is great, both in dry and wet conditions, with sizable lugs that will help in muddy terrain. The sole however is not Vibram, but it does the job well. Salomon used Gore-Tex for waterproofing, but due to the mesh construction of the upper, it doesn't keep the water out for long. Salomon X Ultra Mid 2 GTX is a low cut boot, which gives you flexibility but also allows for debris to find its way into the collar more easily.
Comfort and Stability
Salomon X Ultra Mid 2 GTX are very comfortable mainly because of their design that shares many solution with lightweight trail shoes. These boots are not light however, and are actually heavier than some full leather models on the market. The upper is well padded all around, and snugly fits around your foot. The midsole offers good arch stability, and you will feel like you are actually wearing running shoes.
Support is one aspect of these boots that leaves lot to be desired. Due to their low cut design, there is almost no ankle support as the collar doesn't reach too high. The materials used make Salomon X Ultra Mid 2 GTX a very soft hiking boot. For this reason Salomon X Ultra Mid 2 GTX is not recommended for anyone carrying a heavy or medium load, or hikers navigating slipper terrain. If you are not careful, or have weak ankles, you could easily injure yourself in these.
Protective Rubber Toe Cap
Salomon X Ultra Mid 2 GTX offer the comfort of trail shoes with additional protection and stability. They are a great compromise for those who don't want to go for the full leather hiking boot, and especially those who prefer fast and light hikes. For a model that has a lot of synthetics used in the upper, Salomon X Mid 2 Ultra GTX is fairly durable. These boots have their benefits and flaws that can give you a great experience if you use them in a right application.