Salomon OUTWARD GTX
The Outward has a stylish design featuring leather uppers stitched to side mesh panels. With padded cuffs for protection and support. The outsole is rubber Contagrip which is tried and tested on this brand makers footwear products. This interesting boot looks to be designed for use on moderate trails and will give good waterproof protection in wet weather.
Quality leather for the uppers
Contagrip rubber outsole
Some users have mentioned a short break in period needed if you notice a pressure point below the tongue.
Breathability: Hikers would like to try a summer version.
Some users would like more cushion.
When trying on the OUTward GTX, you will notice that they offer average width with good space in the heel and toe box. The length is true to sizing and a nice FIT.
A designed-in eyelet at the top of the lacing system allows you to set your lace-up system, cinch until you feel a good supportive FIT, and lock the place. Some users have mentioned that they had a pressure point issue that went away after using the boot during breaking in.
Breathability + Waterproofing
Its widely agreed that Gore-Tex will give high protection for your feet in wet weather and even waterproof for periodic wading through a few inches of water.
The downside is that in hot weather, your feet will warm up, especially on long hikes. If you're looking for a summer hiking boot, there are many options to check out via online reviews.
This boot has a thin upper, which does help with breathability more than the thicker uppers found on many other hiking shoes/boots.
To date, user feedback is positive about using stitch paneling mesh and leather to make the uppers durable and long-lasting.
The toecap is stitched to the boot, and so far, there have not been any durability issues. The cushion is at a minimum, probably to keep down costs, and the interior has reasonably comfortable materials for longevity.
The rubber Contagrip outsole is a consistent feature on footwear produced by Salomon due to its success at being durable.
Stability + Support
The support and stability are what you would expect for a boot designed for trails and non-technical terrains. The ankle cuff has padding, and the boots uppers end at just above the ankle. The leather and mesh paneling in the uppers offers a combination of stability and support. The lace-up system allows you to cinch until you feel a FIT and level of support that works for you.
The heel runs slightly narrow, this does not seem to be a FIT issue, but it can, for some, give a tippy feeling out on the trail. Stability and support are good for the design purpose, which tends to be light back-packing or day hiking.
Featuring the popular Contagrip rubber outsole, which is tried and tested by many in all types of muddy, slippery, dry, and wet conditions. The lug layout is good for most types of trail surfaces.
The makers have reduced bulk and weight, and comfort works when this boot is used within design purposes. The use of good quality materials all combines for comfort. The cushion is at a level for comfort though user feedback suggests more cushioning would be appreciated.
Some users who took the boots off-trail and covered steep slopes noticed hotspots and some rubbing in the heel area. This may well be that the boot is not designed for technical challenges and is more of a standard trail boot for use in wet and cooler seasons.
For a size 9, these weigh in at a light to standard 2 lbs and 0.4 ounces. This weight slots these in a weight category for hiking shoes. The designers have cut back on cushioning, and updating and adding more cushioning would push up the weight.
The Ultra 3 Mid GTX is close enough in a similar weight, with the same design for support and cushion over the ankle. The uppers feature leather, a Gore-Tex liner, and molded EVA midsoles for a comfortable cushion. With a moderately higher price tag, you will get a boot that works for difficult technical terrains, more cushion, and great traction.
A potential comparative alternative is another good boot, the La Sportiva Nucleo High II GTX Hiking Boot.
This boot features nubuck leather uppers, Nano Cell tech for breathability, Gore-Tex Surround for water protection, and molded insoles for cushion. Available in a regular FIT and also for wide feet. For traction, the Vibram Nano XS-Trek rubber compound gives a good grip and has durability.
The boot is supportive and good for backpacking, and a pair weighs in at 2 lbs. 1 oz.
User feedback is consistent that this is a good boot for regular trail hikes, both short and long-distance. The performance is comfortable enough without the extra padded support found in higher-priced options, and traction gives a good grip.
The design and build allow flexibility while the weight is light enough for a boot with leather uppers. For fit, this is a good option for those with regular-sized feet; the styling is unique and interesting.
Salomon has put together a boot that breaks in quickly and works well in wet weather on non-technical trails.