Salomon X Ultra 3 Low GTX Hiking Shoes
The Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX is one of the most popular hiking shoes for both amateurs and professionals alike. This is all due to its versatility: the shoes can work its magic on any occasion from day hikes, backpacking trips, to trail running.
Learn all about the things that makes the X Ultra 3 GTX special in this Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX review and see if it’s going to be your next pair of hiking shoes!
In the X Ultra 3 GTX series, you actually have 2 versions of shoes. Other than the low-cut version, you also have an over-the-ankle version. The over-the-ankle version is more suitable if you regularly do technical hikes or heavyweight backpacking - activities where the extra ankle support will come in handy.
We’ll be covering the low-cut version for now. But we’ll also provide some information about the latter further down the article.
The Salomon X Ultra 3 Low GTX hiking shoes are essentially a hybrid between a pair of hiking shoes and a pair of trail running shoes. As a result, there is a notable focus on lightness, comfort, and fit in the design rather than maximum performance.
Salomon X Ultra Low II GTX Via: Amazon
Construction-wise, the upper of the shoes is made from a combination of synthetic leather and textile. Together, they will protect the wearer’s foot from road hazards like twigs and sharp rocks. Additionally, the upper also contributes to the shoes’ overall water resistance capability by repelling water.
Although the upper allows enough cool air in to ventilate the foot and prevents overheating, it is not ideal for hot-weather hikes. This isn’t a problem exclusive to the Salomon X Ultra 3 Low GTX. Virtually every water resistant hiking shoe/boot has this issue.
The shoes are built with Salomon’s Advanced Chassis, which is meant to improve stability on rough trails. It is connected with the soles in order to stabilize your heels as well as reduce lateral flexion (the sideway movement of your feet). A layer of foam cushioning surrounds the chassis in a bid to improve further comfort.
Salomon uses Ortholite foam for the insoles. The foam’s natural flexibility can cushion and alleviate the impact force as your foot falls. Furthermore, it can also reduce chafing, enhance ventilation, and reduce moisture from sweat. The foam is also antimicrobial, so it will protect your feet from bacteria, fungus, and prevent odors from developing.
The Ortholite insole is paired with a midsole made from injection-molded Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA). EVA is a type of foam that’s particularly shock-absorbent, thus, it can serve excellently as a cushioning layer.
Aside from the midsole, the heel cups are also cast from EVA.
Solomon gtx shoes Via: Amazon
For waterproofing, this pair of top rated hiking boots uses Gore-Tex membrane. It can keep the rain out and resist splashes from a puddle. You can even stand in the middle of a shallow stream for a while and very little water would infiltrate the shoes, according to some Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX reviews we’ve read.
Salomon uses the company’s in-house ContaGrip outsoles. It has a unique pattern with multiple deep lugs for aggressive traction. The outsoles are also made from 2 different types of rubber to help you stay balanced on uneven grounds, wet surfaces, mud, and snow.
The outsole of Salomon X Ultra GTX Via: Amazon
The shoes are available in 8 different color schemes, thus making it easier to personalize. All common sizes are available. Plus, other than the Salomon X Ultra 3 Low GTX hiking shoes - men’s version, there’s a Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX womens version with all of the aforementioned features, as well.
With all of these features and techs, the Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX has garnered a sizable fanbase in various outdoors communities. Its nice blend of performance and design is also the reason why it remains as one of our top-recommended light hiking shoes.
In the next segment of the article, we’re going to investigate the individual features that these shoes offer.
Synthetic Leather - Textile Upper
Salomon uses synthetic leather and a durable, water-repellent synthetic weave for the upper.
The job of the textile portion (which makes up the majority of the upper’s construction) is to enhance breathability and ventilation. The kind of textile Salomon uses is also abrasion-resistant, so it can withstand some scratches and minor impacts.
Synthetic leather is sturdier, so it acts as the primary protective layer against sharp rocks and twigs. And because the leather can handle more stress, it also serves as the connector between the eyelets and the soles.
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The tongue is gusseted to create a better fit with your foot. It also prevents debris from falling into the shoes. On top of that, while you’re wading through a puddle or trying to cross a shallow body of water, the tongue will help stop water from entering.
Ortholite Insole & EnergyCell Midsole
Ortholite foam is a special formula of Polyurethane (PU) that’s highly flexible, breathable, and antimicrobial.
While you’re walking, the insole can absorb the impact force and reduce foot fatigue. It’s quite durable and long-lasting, according to many Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX reviews. Even if parts of the shoes fail after long periods of strenuous use, the insoles will still retain their springiness.
The foam also contributes to regulating temperature. At the forefoot, the insoles have perforations to vent out sweat and allow air to move in and out of the shoes easier. This gives your feet the opportunity to breathe and stay dry.
EnergyCell is the name Salomon gave to its EVA foam midsole. Like we mentioned before, EVA is shock-absorbent and thus does a great job as a cushioning material. With it, overall comfort and stability are substantially improved.
Salomon integrates what it calls an “Advanced Chassis” into the shoes. It’s a midsole support plate made from Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU). What it does is provide your feet with a stable platform while traversing rocky terrains.
The chassis also reduces fatigue by improving the flexibility of your forefoot while suppressing lateral flexion. You can walk for longer before feeling tired.
Around the chassis is a layer of cushioning foam to improve comfort. The foam connects to the soles in order to stabilize your heels.
Comfortable with Salomon's advanced chassis Via: Amazon
Gore-Tex Waterproofing Membrane
Virtually all Salomon shoes and boots use Gore-Tex as its waterproofing component due to its effectiveness and overall reliability.
Gore-Tex is a type of fabric membrane that can repel liquid water, yet still allows some water vapor (air) to pass through. Therefore, while it can ward off rain and water splashes, the footwear that’s integrated with it will still be breathable and cool to wear.
Although it’s relatively breathable, don’t expect it to be as cool as bare polyester. If you wear these Solomon Gore Tex shoes while hiking in hot weather, your feet will still get warm very quickly.
Rubber Toe Cap & Mud Guards
The toe cap is made from solid rubber to protect your toes from rocks. Snagging a rock with your toes and pulling a nail is always a bad experience, so the thick toe cap is appreciated.
For when you have to wade through muddy trails, the shoes have mud guards to minimize soilage.
While most shoemakers go for Vibram outsoles, Salomon uses their in-house outsole design called “ContaGrip”. It is one of the most praised features of Salomon footwear.
ContaGrip provides solid traction on various kinds of surfaces. It has multiple deep lugs that offer excellent grip onto rocky paths, moss-covered surfaces, muddy trails, and snow-covered roads.
Many Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX reviews have noted that even after months and years of rock climbing, the outsoles don’t wear down and the pattern remains clear and grippy.
Salomon uses ContaGrip outsole providing firm force to grip deeply on different surfaces Via: Amazon
There are some notable issues with the outsoles, however. The first is that the outsoles are a little bit stiff, so their performance on dry rocks isn’t as good as we expect. Shoes with wider lugs than the Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX would also perform better on dry rocks.
Regardless, the shoes will be up to the task if you want to go rock scrambling.
QuickLace Lacing System
The QuickLace system is a little bit controversial: some people love it, while others shun it. But the user experience for a vast majority of users came back as positive.
QuickLace consists of one thin lace that has been pre-ran through all of the eyelets. Tugging on the lace and anchoring it into place with the lace lock and you will have tightened the shoe. The whole thing is fairly simple and doesn’t require a lot of practice.
All of the excess laces can be tucked conveniently into the tongue, where there’s a mesh compartment inside.
The thing here is that some people said that they cannot tighten the lace and they came loose as they walked. A good explanation for this situation is that QuickLace is designed to stabilize and loosen out as you walk in order to arrive at the best fit for your foot. This can feel as if the shoes are slipping, while all it was doing is actually adapting to your foot’s shape.
If you’re looking for something different than the Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX or you want to look into more options, here are some alternatives that would also be worth investing in.
#1- Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX
We’ve mentioned before how the Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX also has an over-the-ankle version. This model is going to be a better choice if you do heavyweight backpacking or partake in more strenuous activities where the support of ankle collars is needed.
Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Via: Amazon
Other than giving you ankle support, the Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX is completely similar to the ankle-high version. From the materials of the upper (synthetic leather and textile), to the Ortholite insole and EnergyCell midsole, Gore-Tex membrane, and so on, it remains true to the original recipe.
One thing we particularly like about this pair is that despite not being the lightest hiking boots ever, compared to the low-cut version, it doesn’t gain a lot of weight. A pair of Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX Mid weighs 1 pounds and 15.6 ounces. Meanwhile, the ankle-high version weighs 4.8 ounces less at 1 pounds 10.8 ounces.
#2- Salomon X Ultra Low II GTX
The Salomon X Ultra Low II GTX will be a good choice if you need a pair of hiking shoes that’s even lighter and more comfortable than the Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX.
Salomon X Ultra Low II GTX Via: Amazon
This pair is made specifically for fast hiking and trail running in mind, but the design is robust and versatile enough to handle some of the heavier duty workouts, as well.
The upper is made from a combination of suede leather and a polyester mesh. Thus, it is much more breathable than other Salomon boots. Speaking of breathability, the Salomon X Ultra Low II GTX hiking shoes have a soft polyester lining to help vacate moisture.
Ortholite is still used for the insoles and the midsoles are also crafted from dual-density, injection-molded EVA foam. Salomon’s special Advanced Chassis is also built into these shoes to provide better stability on rocky terrains.
Gore-Tex provides waterproofing capability and ContaGrip serves as the outsoles and provides traction. The shoes have the QuickLace system seen in the Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX.
A whole pair weighs 1 pounds and 5 ounces, which is quite light as far as Salomon boots go.
#3- Salomon X Ultra 3 Aero
If hot-weather hikes are your thing, you might want to take the Salomon X Ultra 3 Aero into consideration.
Salomon X Ultra 3 Aero Via: Amazon
Like its name may have already suggested, this shoe is designed with as breathable a design as possible. The upper is made from synthetic leather and mesh for better ventilation. A soft polyester layer makes up the shoes’ lining and helps wicking away sweat.
It is an over-the-ankle model and so has ankle collars to support your legs. The collars are padded and are relatively comfortable to hike for long periods in.
Stability and comfort are improved by the Advanced Chassis, Ortholite insoles, and injection-molded EVA midsoles.
This model is also among the Salomon X Ultra Gore Tex lineup. The outer Gore-Tex membrane will keep your feet dry even while you’re soldiering through heavy rain.
Another thing that the X Ultra 3 Aero is good at is technical descents. It’s built with a special outsole pattern to grip surfaces more aggressively. The outsoles also have strategically-placed lines on it to improve flexibility and reduce fatigue.
#4- Salomon X Ultra 3 Prime
Salomon X Ultra 3 Prime has the majority of the technologies and fit of the Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX.
There are some differences between the Prime and the GTX version. Prime is lighter, more affordable, and has a more classic aesthetic design. Additionally, if you dislike the QuickLace system, the Prime version may be a better choice since it doesn’t use the system.
Salomon X Ultra 3 Prime Via: Amazon
Other than all that, there’s not much to speak of the X Ultra 3 Prime that we haven’t covered yet.
This Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX review is written with the objective of helping you discover the best pair of hiking shoes that would suit your needs. If you have found anything worth buying in our review, then it’s a job well done!
If you haven’t, we still got a lot more reviews on our site that you can go through.
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