Most of you will be aware that Fitness Footwear have been sending bloggers samples of footwear to test. I am only interested in testing gear that I really want. I didn’t fancy the shoes that have been on offer. However, I did want to test a pair of Salomon Quest boots. Adam at Fitness Footwear was not willing to give me a pair, but very kindly let me have a pair at a discounted price.
The reason for wanting a pair of Quests is that winter is approaching and I fancied a pair of proper boots for the colder months. My Fastpackers are great boots for 3 seasons, but can be a bit cold for winter. Although the Quests are quite a substantial boot, they are still very light. The Fastpackers weigh 500g per boot, while the Quests are 675g, which is very light for a full featured boot.
Out of the box, they impress by the quality of the finish and attention to detail. The top three pairs of cleats are all self locking, with a satisfying “snap” as the lace is pulled in place. This allows for different patterns of tightening on the upper boot. The heel locking cleats are substantial and well positioned. This is something HiTec could learn a lesson from.
The upper is a combination of suede and nylon mesh with a substantial rubber toe bumper and a heel strap. Salomon win the prize for silliest description of colours. Autobahn and Flea…er what? Basically they are grey.
The sole unit is more substantial than the Fastpackers but retain some of the characteristics, being based on running shoes. Although quite flexible they are definitely stiffer, particularly laterally. The sole itself is a grippy rubber with a sort of wave pattern. I suspect the pattern owes more to cosmetics than science, but we will see. The grip is good on the stone paving on my front path, which tends to be quite slippery when wet.
Quest on the left, Fastpacker on the right
I’ve worn them on few dog walks over the weekend and they feel very comfortable. Salomons tend to fit my feet well, so this is no surprise. They definitely feel like boots whereas the Fastpackers feel like shoes. The top of the boot finishes well above the ankle. However, there is a reasonable amount of flexibility, especially if you vary the tension of the lacing.
Quest on the right, Fastpacker on the left
The lining has a slightly fleecey feel compared with the mesh like feel of the Fastpackers. Obviously there is also a Gore-Tex lining. My overall initial impression is very favourable. I’m off for another trip in a couple of weeks, but I’m not sure whether to use them. It’s probably still a bit too early in the year. However, I’m planning a jaunt in November, where they ought to be ideal. I’ll do a proper review when I’ve used them.
If you want to see Fitness Footwear’s selection of Salomon shoes and boots, click here.
For general walking boots click here.