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Usually, when I write a boot review, I have only owned the boots for a couple of months and I am giving you my first impressions as much as I am giving you a review. This review for the Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX Mid boots is a bit different. I’ve owned these boots for over three years and I’ve walked hundreds of miles in them, across a huge variety of terrains and in all weathers. It’s safe to say that I know this pair of boots very well by now and can give you a review based on a lot of experience.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you will have already seen a pair of Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX boots somewhere. Either someone you know owns a pair or they’ve caught your eye in a shop or online before. I know this because these boots have been one of the most popular pairs of hiking boots of the last few years and pretty much every outdoor shop in the country has stocked them and sold them well.
Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX Mid Review
So why write a review now when there are thousands and thousands of pairs out there and the boots are probably nearing the end of their manufacturing run?
Well, because this boot still seems to divide opinions and I still see people asking about them in Facebook groups on a weekly basis, so I wanted to share my honest thoughts about the Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX boots.
The Elephant in the Room
Dive into the comments section on a Facebook thread about these boots and it won’t take you long to start seeing horror stories of wet feet and full refunds. There are dozens and dozens of people out there who will tell you, in no uncertain terms, that these boots are not waterproof and that they failed almost immediately when met with rain, puddles or even just wet grass.
Facebook groups can be a bit of a breeding ground for sarcastic comments and customer service rants, we all know that. But this many people can’t be wrong and there is clearly a problem somewhere along the line.
In contrast, I’ve been wearing these boots in all weathers for three years and I’ve never experienced a problem. I’ve looked after them fairly well, cleaned them when they’ve gotten particularly muddy and sprayed them with Grangers Repel after each clean, but I haven’t gone out of my way to prolong the life of the boots or keep them dry. They’ve walked hundreds of miles and are starting to look a bit battered and worn, but they still keep my feet dry.
Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX Boots – Pros and Cons
Straight out of the box, the Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX boots are as comfortable as your favourite trail running trainers. That’s no accident, of course, as much of the same technology that goes into Salomon’s market-leading trail running shoes has gone into these boots too. Add that comfort to a boot that’s supportive, waterproof and durable and it’s really no surprise that they’ve sold so well over the years. Salomon were always going to be onto a winner with this one.
Honestly, for me, there haven’t been many negatives with these boots and when they do reach the end of their life, which won’t be far away, I won’t hesitate to buy another pair. My only slight criticism of the boots is that they aren’t quite as grippy as some other boots that I’ve worn. On wet rocks, there have been a couple of occasions that my foot hasn’t stayed as planted as I would have hoped. That’s me being pretty picky though, and after three years I don’t think that’s bad going.
Who Are the Boots For?
This boot is definitely something of an all-rounder and it’s going to suit a lot of people. For the average adventurer who likes to get out to the hills and mountains at the weekend, this boot is going to be effortlessly comfortable and will perform well. It’s going to cope well with the vast majority of hiking conditions that we experience in the UK and will provide ample support for your feet and ankles.
For the more experienced hiker, the ones doing a lot of scrambling and the ones heading out in the very worst weathers, there are boots that will be more suited to that kind of hiking – the Salomon X Ultra 3s big brother, the Salomon Quest 4D, for example. But for most people, the lightweight and comfortable nature of these boots makes them a perfect choice.
Should You Buy These Boots?
Should you still buy these boots? Yes, without a doubt. But where you buy them from is important here.
All of those people commenting that their boots have leaked can’t be wrong, even though I’ve never had any problems myself. My advice is this; if you’re buying the boots online, read the returns policy very carefully and understand what you would need to do if you needed to return the boots. Likewise, if you’re buying the boots from a shop, ask about their returns policy. Most good outdoor shops will refund or exchange without argument if your boots leak within a set amount of time. Big chain stores like Decathlon and Millets usually have a great returns policy for leaking boots.
When these boots were first released they retailed at around £130. Now, you can find them in sales for as little as £85, and that’s an absolute bargain for what you are getting. At this price, I really believe they are worth the risk.
Shop around and find the bargains, make sure you know the returns policy, and keep your receipt. It sounds like a bit of a hassle, but in my experience, you’ll be getting one of the best pairs of hiking boots around.
Where to Buy
Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX
Out of the box comfort in a boot that will be perfect for a variety of weekend adventures.
This boot has mixed reviews online, but when my pair wears out, I’ll definitely buy the same boots again – I can’t give them a higher accolade than that.