It’s been almost a month since I wrote a post on my current situation with the walking boots and insoles I own.
I had intended to follow it up with another article on the potential replacements for my old ones. In all honesty, I knew all along what I was going to go for.
Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX
So, my new boots are exactly the same as my old boots.
I ended up trying a few different pairs from various brands, spread across two evening visits to Cotswold Outdoor in Bristol. But I’ve known these to be very comfortable (for me) over the past two years and any other pair of boots were going to have to be that extra bit special to have swayed me otherwise.
Scarpa Peak GTX
When I had my feet measured, I was told that I had ‘narrow’ feet, which was news to me (it was also possibly something I’d forgotten from 2015). These were suggested to me as a good fit for my foot-shape only, they weren’t available in store to try in my size. With other boots I sampled, they immediately felt ‘less comfortable’ in at least one area and before wearing them up and over the ramp.
I ended up ordering my new Salomons along with a pair of Scarpa Peaks, because I couldn’t find them available in my size in any store around Bristol. When I first put the peaks on, they were comfortable. They look a lot like leather boots and they were more comfortable than I’d expected. But still, they lacked the extra cushioning of the 4D 2s, which do fit snugly around the form of my ankle.
But at least I had tried them and could confidently rule them out as second-best. They are indeed a very good fit for anyone with narrow feet.
Salomon Quest Origins 2
These were another pair that had caught my attention online and were available for only an extra £15 over the Quest 4D 2 boots. But they weren’t available in any store that I visited and, as the time came to place my order, I found that they’d been removed from the website and was told they’re unlikely to be stocked again [looking now, I can see they’re available again!!].
Salomon’s Quest Origins 2 boots look very similar to the 4D 2s but with more leather, yellow laces and the possibility of them weighing less.
Only a couple of days ago, I discovered a YouTube video that I had previously missed where one man compares these new boots to the 4D 2s, which he has also owned for two years (click here to watch it for yourself).
Salomon Quest Prime
I was fortunate to be able to try the slightly-cheaper option from Salomon.
One of my only concerns with the tried-and-tested Salomon boots is the durability of the soles. In less than two years (and, close to one-thousand miles of walking), I’ve worn the tread down considerably.
These boots are not cheap at £160 and, if I’m to look after them better and wear them all year round again, who’s to say I won’t be making another purchase in 2019?
Should I be looking to spend closer to £260 on my footwear?
I’m choosing to overlook this (for now) because I do find them so very comfortable and they flex well enough to support my feet.
I was under the impression that a Vibram sole (as found on Scarpa boots among others) might last longer. But, above, you can see the deterioration on my Berghaus Supalite boots and these are only seven-months old.
Wear and Tear
When I recently had my feet measured, I took my old boots with me so that I could share the extent of the damage of and ask for suggestions on the cause and prevention for my next pair of hiking boots.
This splitting is pretty much where the toes bend and is not uncommon in cheaper boots. Two different members of staff offered potential causes:
- There’s a lot of ‘volume’ above my toes and inside the boot which may have allowed the material to fold instead of bending with a flex.
- I haven’t been looking after them or cleaning them regularly enough (I am definitely guilty of this). Leather will crack and needs to be cared for, just like human skin.
Insoles and Footbeds
So, not only will I be caring for my new boots on a weekly basis, I’ve also bought myself a pair of Superfeet volume reducers (only £5 per pair).
These are easily trimmed to fit and sit neatly beneath the Ortholite insole (there’s nothing on them to show they are made by Superfeet or anyone else, for that matter). I should also mention that my new boots are a half-size larger than the old, because I did find that my big toe would often take a bruising while descending steep hills.
I have the option to replace the Ortholite footbed (which I don’t dislike) with a Superfeet Carbon insole I’ve been wearing in my Berghaus boots. With a solid piece of carbon, I’ve found they to be excellent at reducing shock absorption in the heel area.
I may not keep the volume reducer inside – I won’t be certain of this until I’ve worn these boots outside a few times. My only immediate concern may be that the top of my foot is now too close to the boot. If it rubs, I’ll get blisters.
I’ve never thought of these boots as being heavy. They probably look it for their size but these are actually quite light in weight and, having walked many miles in them, they’re never weighed me down.
So, in a UK Size 10, the Salomon Quest 4D 2 weigh in at 1.464kg per pair. Online, they’re claimed to be 1.280kg (although, no size is stated).
By comparison to that, my Berghaus Supalite boots weigh in at 1.320kg in a UK Size 10½. So, despite being leather, they are more than 100g lighter… But do lack the extra padding and comfort of the Salomons.
So, I look forward to getting them dirty over the weekend – as much as I am also frightened by that prospect!
Look after your feet and try as many boots as you can before buying!
Thanks for reading.