Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX Hiking Boots In-Depth Review

Last Updated: December 2020

The Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX Hiking Boots are a high-performing, lightweight, high-top backpacking boot that is the perfect companion for extended backcountry trips.

Quick Guide

Category: High-top Backpacking Hiking Boot

Weight: 2lbs 13.2oz / 1.3kg (Men's)

Upper: Nubuck Leather/Textile

Sole: Contagrip TD

What We Like: Reasonably lightweight; great traction; plenty of ankle support.

What We Don’t Like: Not very breathable; on the pricier side; overkill for most day hikers.

Best for: Backpacking with heavy packs.

Alternatives: Arc’teryx Acrux TR GTX  or Vasque St. Elias FG GTX

Final Verdict: Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX offers great stability on rugged terrain and exceptional ankle support.

The Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX is a high-performing high-top backpacking boot. It is the perfect companion for extended backcountry trips.

Salomon built the Quest 4D 3 GTX with stability in mind. It is a solid all-around choice for rugged adventures in the mountains. It is full of features that are sure to impress.

We know how difficult it can be to choose the right boot for all your hiking needs. With many different models out there, you'll be quickly overwhelmed with the options.

So, to get you started, we’ve put together this review of the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX. It's one of the most popular backpacking boots on the market today.

pair side view of salomon quest 4d 3 gtx mid

Who Are They Best Suited For?

Thanks to its high-top design, the Quest 4D 3 is primarily for backpacking. It provides ample ankle support, which is ideal for carrying a heavy pack in long distances.

But, the Quest 4D 3 is also light enough to double as a day hiking boot for people who want extra support around the ankle.

Despite the boot’s waterproof breathable membrane, it can get quite hot on warm days. So, the Quest 4D 3 is best used in moderate climates where heat isn’t much of a factor.

top view of salomon quest 4d 3 gtx mid

Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX Sizing & Fit

Salomon’s boots generally have quite a narrow fit. This means that the Quest 4D 3 isn’t ideal for people with wide feet. Like most European shoe brands, Salomon boots tend to fit smaller than expected.

This is because Salomon labels their boots in European sizes. They then convert to US sizes for the North American market. So, unless you know your European size, it’s best to buy a half size larger than you think you need with Salomon boots.

As far as break-in time goes, the Quest 4D 3's material is a mixture of nubuck leather and suede.

This means that the Quest 4D 3 requires less break-in time than full leather boots. Full leather can take up to 100 hours of use to break-in.

However, like any high-top boot, we recommend wearing the Quest 4D 3 around your house. Or on walks in your neighborhood for a few weeks before your first hike.

High-top boots tend to be quite uncomfortable for the first few uses. This is especially true as your ankles get used to the added friction and pressure of a high-top boot.

front view of salomon quest 4d 3 gtx mid

Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX Performance 

Even the best hiking boot in the world has some drawbacks. The Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX is no exception. Here are some things we like and don't like about how it: 

Reasonably Lightweight

At 2lb 13 oz, the Quest 4D 3 is a lightweight pair of backpacking boots. Compare to a full leather boot, like the Asolo TPS 520 weighing at 3lbs 8oz, the Quest 4D 3 is like feathers on your feet.

Despite their lightweight, the Quest 4D 3 manages to provide a lot of ankle support and stability.

We’re also quite impressed with how durable the Quest 4D is even though it has mesh paneling on its upper fabric.

Mesh paneling is often used to cut weight and add breathability. Unfortunately, it often does so at the expense of durability.

Salomon somehow managed to maintain a high level of durability while shedding weight.

Plenty of Traction

Even though the Salomon Quest 4D doesn’t use Vibram rubber, the traction you can get is fantastic. Salomon’s proprietary Contragrip rubber really challenges the ever so popular Vibram. It makes you reconsider if you need a brand-name rubber to get good traction with your hiking boots.

The Quest 4D 3 perform particularly well on scree and loose rock. Thanks to the V-shaped lugs on their outsole.

They also provide a lot of traction on muddy ground and summertime snow. Thus, it’s a good all-around pair of boots.

Lots of Ankle Support

As a high-top boot, we’d be pretty disappointed if the Quest 4D 3 didn’t provide a lot of ankle support. Thankfully, it lived up to expectations.

The Quest 4D 3's laces extend wider around the ankles. This means it keeps ankles secured and in place, even on tricky terrain.

Plus, the 4D chassis system adds stability to the entire foot. It provides more security and control on terrain where precision footwork is important.

Overall, the Quest 4D provides an exceptional amount of ankle support. This makes it an ideal choice for people who need supportive footwear in the outdoors.

Not Very Breathable

Although Salomon used mesh paneling in the Quest 4D 3, they aren’t very breathable. On hot summer days, they can feel too stuffy and too warm for comfort.

While some people don’t care about sweaty feet, those that do might find it to be a major no-no for their boots.

If you live in a moderate climate, you might not notice any breathability concerns with the Quest 4D 3.

To combat the breathability issue, we recommend pairing it with a good pair of socks. Among our favorites is the Darn Tough Merino wool. Check out our in-depth review of why we love Darn Tough socks.

Overkill For Most Day Hikes

A backpacking boot like the Quest 4D 3 is durable and rugged. This is great for longer hikes with a heavy pack but is a bit much for most day hikers.

Learn more about other options for casual day hikers such as Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP or Keen Targhee III.

Unless you need a lot of ankle support, you’ll only use the Quest 4D 3 on backpacking trips. That means you’ll need to buy a second pair of hiking boots or shoes for use on shorter outings.

While having many pairs of boots is fine for some, if you’re on a budget, it’s less than ideal.

Are the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX Good Value for Money?

There are no two ways about it: the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX is an expensive boot.

With a $230 list price, the Quest 4D 3 is not within everyone’s budget. Indeed, the high price is one of the things that we don’t like about these boots.

However, the Quest 4D 3 is a very well made boot that’s designed to last. So, it’s hard to argue that this boot isn’t a good value.

If you compare the cost of two pairs of less durable boots to a single pair of the Quest 4D 3, the Quest is going to be the cheaper option in the long run.

The Quest 4D 3 is an expensive pair of boots. But, when it comes to value for your money, they are worth the price.

sole view of salomon quest 4d 3 gtx mid

Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX Construction

The Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX is a durable boot. They are surprisingly lightweight, thanks to its unique construction.

Here’s some information on what makes the Quest 4D 3 so special:


Built with nubuck leather and textile upper, the Quest 4D 3 has a sturdy, durable upper. The uppers of the Quest 4D 3 look like they’re designed to last, and they live up to that expectation.

Salomon also incorporated mesh paneling into the Quest 4D 3. This is to cut weight and add breathability. While the mesh helped give the boot some weight savings, we don’t know how much it did for ventilation.

Salomon’s waterproof boots and shoes struggle when it comes to breathability. This is particularly true with their 3D and 4D line up of boots and hiking shoes.


The midsole of the Quest 4D 3 uses dual-density EVA foam. This is pretty standard stuff for hiking boots, so there’s nothing too surprising there.

However, the Quest 4D 3 also features Salmon’s 4D Advanced Chassis system. They built the chassis system into the midsole. This offers more underfoot stability and control.

It also provides underfoot support and stiffness. This is to prevent foot exhaustion after a long day on the trail.


Salomon put a molded OrthoLite insole in the Quest 4D 3. They claim that the Ortholite provides lots of cushioning and comfort, but it’s a thin piece of foam.

To be fair, though, the vast majority of shoe manufacturers slack off when it comes to insoles.

 Ultimately, if you want a quality insole, you need to buy one separately. Companies like Superfeet make fantastic insoles. They are affordable and can fit in your boots.

close up sole view of salomon quest 4d 3 gtx mid


Unlike most boot manufacturers, Salomon do not use Vibram rubber for their outsoles. Since Vibram rubber is some of the best in the world, this might seem like an odd choice to omit.

However, the Contagrip TD outsole on the Quest 4D 3 does not disappoint. The Quest 4D 3’s outsole has large, aggressive lugs for the greatest traction on tricky terrain.

At the same time, there are sensitive underfoot for better control on exposed ridges. This is hard to find in a backpacking boot.

Waterproof Breathable Membrane

Salomon put a Gore-Tex waterproof breathable membrane in the Quest 4D 3. Gore-Tex’s membranes are some of the best in the world. So, a boot as expensive as the Quest 4D 3 is more or less expected to use Gore-Tex as its waterproof liner.

As far as water-resistance goes, the Quest 4D 3 are top performers. The Gore-Tex membrane does its job and keeps water out.

Plus, the high-top design is effective at keeping your feet dry - especially when walking through puddles and small streams.

These boots also have a gusseted tongue, which helps keep water away from your feet.

Recommended Alternatives

While the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX is an excellent pair of boots, it’s not for everyone.

If you’re looking for a more supportive boot that’s a bit more affordable, the Vasque St. Elias FG GTX is a relable option.

Alternatively, if you want a boot that’s lightweight and more breathable at a similar price point, the Arc’teryx Acrux TR GTX is a great choice.

See more recommendations in our buying guide  - Best Hiking Boots – Find the Right Pair for You or check out all our in-depth reviews.

Final Verdict 

The Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX is a top-of-the-line backpacking boot for use in rugged, remote locations.

They offer a whole lot of ankle support and traction for movement over difficult terrain.

The major drawback to the Quest 4D 3 is their price. However, if you have the budget for these boots, they’re a solid pair of shoes for a variety of outdoor adventures.

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