Salomon Cross Hike Mid GTX Review
Salomon have released a completely new boot, the Cross Hike Mid GTX. Designed for any conditions, anywhere in the world they say, so we got local expert Rik to brings us his impressions
Salomon is a well-known brand whose heritage lies in outdoor sport and adventure. Originally founded in 1947 the company manufactured wooden skis in the French Alps, since then they have been at the forefront of new technology and craftsmanship. Their offering now spans across Running, Outdoor, Alpine, Nordic, Freeride & Touring and Snowboarding!
Mud & Routes were delighted to review their latest mid boot, the Cross Hike Mid GTX. I must admit I have always been a fan of Salomon’s footwear, having used and abused at least ten pairs in the last 20 years, from fast and light shoes right through to full mountain boots. I may have special ordered some crazy colour models whilst working for Blacks Outdoor Group back in the day, and was potentially the only one rocking a gold pair of XA Pro’s in Shrewsbury, maybe even the UK?!
What the manufacturer says;
The completely new CROSSHIKE is designed for any conditions, anywhere in the world: multi-directional lugs, a seamless, closed-mesh construction and waterproof Gore-Tex membrane. Agile yet really grippy, this mid-height shoe cushions your ankle and keeps you on track whether your adventures take you, from the Lake District to Iceland.
These boots dropped at an interesting time as I have spent most of the summer bagging Shropshire’s hills using Inov8’s Roclite 345 Mid GTX as my weapons of choice, a boot which I absolutely love and one that is based on a successful fast and light shoe, so a great benchmark and opportunity to get to grips with Salomon’s offering on what could only be described as the perfect testing ground for such a boot.
When I received the great news from M&R HQ, naturally I jumped onto Salomon’s website to see what was going to be arriving soon. Straight away I could see that this boot had all the hallmarks of a great lightweight boot, although I was not completely taken by the boot’s appearance. The Cross Hike Mid has the same bulbus EnergyCell+ midsole that is used on the latest variant of Salomon’s Speedcross shoe, essentially an oversized heel piece that offers great energy return and cushioning through a high rebound compound. The upper support panels that thrust these boots into “Mid” territory look quite crude and simplistic, almost like an afterthought.
On arrival though my perception of these boots could not have been more different. As I donned a thick pair of socks and wore them about the house that day, I couldn’t get over how striking they are in the flesh. Granted they are quite futuristic and taste is subjective, but in the Magnet/Black/Lime Punch colourway they look exactly what Salomon footwear should look like, bright and fast, REALLY fast!
As Saturday arrived it was time to head into the hills to give these boots a good thrashing, my goal that morning was to tackle Llanfair Hill and Sowdley Wood, two relatively small tops sitting just outside Clun, with wooded areas, farmland and barren landscape, this 20km route takes in part of the Jack Mytton way.
Readying myself out of the back of my car I almost felt nostalgic as I slipped the boots on and pulled tight Salomon’s Quicklace system, a process I haven’t done in quite some time and certainly not one I have undertaken on anything higher than a shoe. This system does what it says on the tin, a very quick and no-nonsense lace system that takes considerably less time than conventional lacing. It’s the small things that count!
I took a road that rose out of the town and into the surrounding countryside. What is immediately noticeable is the movement and agility on these boots, the sole unit rolling brilliantly across the tarmacked road with plenty of protection from the Molded OrthoLite sockliner which offers enhanced cushioning, breathability, durability, and a system that moulds to the shape of your foot.
As the gradient got steeper, I took a muddy track that climbed onto my first hill of the day – Llanfair. The all-terrain Contragrip outsole really came into its own here as the aggressive multi directional lugs bit into the soft ground and kept me grounded. Interestingly the lugs continue quite far under the toe and almost protrude in front of the toe box, these additional lugs proving quite effective when kicking into the soft, slippery stuff when climbing up hill.
The weather that morning had started off with drizzle and low cloud cover, but I knew that it was set to deteriorate soon. Sure enough upon reaching my first top and as I plotted my course for the second hill of the day, the heavens opened and for the next hour I tabbed across open land with strong winds and heavy rain.
As I moved at pace I was happy with the level of grip and support, feeling confident and sure footed with the upper support on this boot performing extremely well. Mid boots offer that peachy mix of support and agility – when a full boot is just too restrictive, and shoes not offering enough support or protection. You can run or fast pack in these boots with great ease and they will literally catch you if you fall, they are super light as well at just 396g!
Nearing my second and final hill of the day the ground underfoot became wet and boggy, even stream like in places. Having spent most of the summer in Inov8’s Rocklite Mid Boots, most of the weather had been fair and dry up until recently when they had accompanied me on several outings where the weather had started to turn. Whilst the grippy sole unit worked really well on the wet stuff I’m not entirely sure the Inov8’s were completely waterproof. The same cant be said for the Salomon’s, the Gore-Tex liner doing a sterling job of keeping out the elements.
The outer on these boots is a mixture of different synthetic panels and some of Salomon’s signature welded seam technology, you’ll be pushed to find any stitching and with a lack of mesh these boots are always going to be slightly less breathable than a mesh counterpart, however this is a small price to pay for such a protective and hard wearing system.
Salomon Cross Hike Mid GTX Verdict
These last two weekends I have clocked up over 40km across mixed terrain and in varying weather conditions and I have to say that these are a cracking boot. They perform particularly well on different surfaces and gradients and have kept my feet both dry and temperature regulated. One overriding feel to these boots is their ease of use – they are quick and fuss free to put on and fasten, and due to the simplistic and mesh free outer construction they are super easy to clean, with literally just the wipe of a damp cloth needed to make them look box fresh again, this sort of outer reacts very well to waterproof spray treatment as well.
The Salomon Cross Hike Mid GTX boots are priced at £165, which sits at the upper end of the Mid-Boot market, but in my opinion is justified due to the technology and design featured on these boots. They come in two other colour options, Phantom/Black/Ebony and Goji Berry/Black/Red Orange as well as some great options for women.
You can check out Salomon’s current range by visiting – https://www.salomon.com/en-gb
Salomon Cross Hike Mid GTX features and specifications:
- Inlay sole: Textile
- Lining: Textile /Synthetic
- Outsole: Rubber
- Upper: Textile / Synthetic
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siBased out of Shrewsbury Shropshire, I spend most of my free time across the border into Wales, primarily in Snowdonia. A keen walker and explorer who has completed the Top 100 mountains in Wales and Shropshire's 50 hills. Taking on such challenges enables me to travel to remote, quiet areas and away from the crowds, those are my favourite mountain days. I very much look forward to contributing to the forum that is Mud & Routes, with route guides and gear reviews. Instagram: @rikthehiker Twitter: @RikTheHiker