by Diane Spicer
This Salomon womens hiking boots review was not requested by anyone.
I needed a new pair of boots, because sadly, every pair of hiking boots will wear out after enough tough trail exposure.
So after extensive research, and a few hours of trying on hiking boots and trail shoes, I purchased this pair with my own money.
As always, my motivation in doing a review is to share with you the features of the boots I found useful.
And to point out how these boots would work for you on the trail.
If you're looking for a pair of the best lightweight hiking boots for your feet, consider the following...
Let's get the specifications of these Salomon womens hiking boots out of the way first.
Read this boot buying guide for an explanation of why all of these features add up to a high quality womens hiking boot.
You can find even more specs at REI.
Update: Salomon has updated this boot, offering the Salomon Quest 4 GORE-TEX version, available from REI here.
Same great features, and here's what they look like:
I had three specific objectives in mind as I shopped for the best pair of womens hiking boots:
My foot constraints include:
Those constraints mean that I need a wide toe box, plenty of arch support, and a lacing system that guarantees solid footing without a lot of pressure across the top of my foot.
And I don't know about you, but as I age, I prefer lighter weight hiking clothing, boots and gear.
While I'm a big fan of KEEN boots (read why here), I was open minded about considering a pair of Salomon womens hiking boots for backpacking or rocky trails.
Because I love my Salomon trail shoes!
I don't know if this is a female trait or just my unique weirdness, but the color of my hiking boots (and my pack, and my hat, and...) really matters to me!
So after scoping out the specs (shared with you above) of many hiking boot candidates, I eliminated some of them purely on the basis of color.
There, I've admitted it: I'm a hiking gear color snob.
Please don't judge me! I have to look at these colors hour after hour, day after day, on the trail, so I think it's reasonable to want harmonious colors.
All this to say, the colors used on these boots are lovely.
See what you think of the color scheme:
I also paid close attention to the tread of these boots.
Most of the hiking I do involves rocky, steep trails, and a lot of off trail cross country travel.
As a hiker, you know that means roots, rocks, tree limbs, tufts of dead grass, gravel, talus, lichens, moss, stream crossings on logs, and all sorts of other slippery surfaces.
And unfortunately, the tread is the first "point of failure" on lightweight hiking boots - at least I find that to be true, given all of the abuse I heap upon my poor boots.
So I gave the bottoms of these Salomon womens hiking boots a very close inspection, and decided that not only would they serve well on the trail but the tread would last for at least 2 hiking seasons.
Maybe more, if I don't punish them too severely with lots of abrasive trails.
Can you see how much time I invested, even before trying on these boots?
I recommend the same approach if you're looking for serious hiking footwear.
Backpacking boots need to absorb the weight of your pack, cushion your feet from tough trails, protect you from water and mud, and last long enough to justify the monetary investment.
Don't just "settle" for the boots on sale, or the boots someone tells you are the greatest thing ever for hiking.
putting on these boots was a surprising (in a good way) event.
They fit the contours of my feet, but not in a desperately clingy way.
The arch support felt adequate.
The lacing system was fast and snug, yet allowed room for fine tuning.
And walking around in the boots assured me that I had plenty of room in the toe box for my rebellious little toes.
I kept the boots on for 15 minutes or so, and because I was at REI, I used their in store trail demo area to hop, skip and jump around in the boots.
Yes, I got some stares and smirks, especially from one particular little toddler who probably wished she could join me in my frolicking, but who cares?
For a few tips on how to size up any pair of womens hiking boots you're considering, read this.
After trying on several other brands of boots, and eliminating a few options based on poor fit, I decided to give these Salomons a try.
Here's what happened.
Sometimes you get yourself signed up for more than you bargained for, and that happened on the inaugural voyage of these Salomon womens hiking boots.
The trail descriptions I read the day before the hike left out the part about clinging by your ankles to a straight-up, root infested, muddy "by pass" route to the lake basin.
(Thanks to the building sized downed
trees, that is.)
It also failed to mention the extra 2 miles needed to get to a vantage point above the alpine lakes.
So all told, the round trip mileage was 14 miles, with trail conditions somewhere in the abysmal range.
In other words: These boots got a great work out right out of the box.
There were 2 surprises:
Back in the good old days of wearing heavy leather boots that weighed 3 pounds each and were stiff as concrete out of the box, I would have NEVER considered going for this kind of hike in new boots.
But the hiking boot world has evolved since the 1970s, dragging me along with it.
So I trusted the fact that lightweight hiking boots built the way these Salomons are will not need much break in time.
True! A marvelously true statement that was proven on my unexpectedly tough hike.
And the solid grip?
Yes, definitely solid. Of course, every boot sole has limitations, and no boot will perform flawlessly on a muddy downhill trail.
But I didn't slide much, and never fell into the mud.
So I'm anticipating good performance on dry but rocky terrain.
You know, I pride myself on being a tough critic of outdoor gear.
So I'm somewhat hesitant to admit that these boots had no downsides.
However, I need to caution you that I did my homework very, very thoroughly before ever putting them on.
That's why it might be no surprise that these boots fulfilled my expectations, and fit well.
One note on these Salomon womens hiking boots that I need to mention:
The sizing runs true.
However, I bought a half size up out of mild paranoia about not wanting my toes squished.
So why didn't I buy these KEENs?
But here's the tipping point in my decision:
My REI Co-op store didn't have them in a half size larger, meaning that I wouldn't have the luxury of extra room in the toe box.
And I was too impatient to wait for my size to be shipped to me, and not willing to drive to another store.
So, all in all, the KEEN Durand over-the-ankle boot would have been an equally good buy if impatience did not rule the day.
But it did give me a chance to try Salomon womens hiking boots, in effect expanding my boot horizons ;)
So if you're checking out these Salomons, also take a look at KEEN.
I'm somewhat surprised that these Salomon womens hiking boots are just as comfortable, just as trail worthy as my KEENs.
My list of best lightweight hiking boots just got longer!
But are they as durable?
Will they remain a good fit?
Can they handle wet fall and early spring hiking just as well as they have handled my mid-summer forays?
Time will tell, and then I'll tell you, via updates on this page.
Time for an update!
I've been wearing these boots for 2 seasons, in harsh conditions like the Northwest Territories (rocks galore) and Wrangell St. Elias mountains (dirt, mud, water, rocks: rinse and repeat).
These boots took everything I dished out and never let me down.
I applied waterproofing before each trip, and smiled as the water ran right off in the rain or after creek crossings.
They did get wetted out after several days of rain, but that's to be expected with this type of hiking boot. One of the pleasures of backpacking, right?
All in all, I heartily recommend Salomon womens hiking boots, and would be happy to answer any questions you have!
Salomon Womens Hiking Boots Review