Solomon has been quick to move up the ranks in the world of footwear, becoming a pillar for many outdoor enthusiasts and providing a name that you can trust time and again to produce reliable equipment. The Solomon X Ultra Mid 2 GTX is designed as a multi-functional hiking boot, and is an excellent example as to how Solomon gained their reputation. Combine technology of a running shoe with a mid-height upper and GORE-TEX protection, and the ultimate trail boot is born. If you’re looking for something for heavy backpacking, you might consider looking at their Quest 4D 2 GTX, which has higher ankle support and can withstand a heavier load. However, if you’re looking for a boot that can go with you everywhere from short walks to full-day hikes to lightweight backpacking treks, look no further.
“Multi-functional” is the true motto for this boot, with it being an ever-present theme throughout: light enough to not be a burden for fast hiking, but heavy enough to maintain durability; high enough to give proper ankle support for lightweight hiking, but not too high as to add on weight; flexible enough to use on a variety of terrain types and adventures, yet stiff enough to offer premium support… You get the point. While these boots can speak for themselves, we will break it down for you to show you exactly why these boots get such high ratings.
One of the best features of this boot is the design of the sole. A TPU chassis placed between the mid- and out-sole in combination with the EVA mid-sole is what gives this boot the superior comfort, stability and protection it is known for. The Contagrip out-sole not only provides good grip but allows added flexibility. A rubber toe and heel cap adds extra protection while on rugged trails and increases the longevity of the boot.
Terrain & Traction
Having taken these from decomposed granite of the eastern Sierra Nevada mountains to the jagged lava rock of southern Oregon, to high mountain passes of the Rockies, it is safe to say that the traction and durability of these boots have been proven many times. While the rubber soles have deep ridges to increase traction, they do not chip off of harsh rock as other brands sometimes do. However, the lighter weight and flexibility allows versatility, so while these hold up beautifully on tough terrain, you can walk out of the mountains
and straight into the concrete jungle while maintaining the same high level of comfort.
The mid-height of this shoe provides just enough ankle protection without compromising its light weight and versatility. It is created with a breathable fabric reinforced with partial leather and GORE-TEX lining. Sensifit technology from the mid-sole to the lacing system cradles the foot, which is what gives them a glove-like fit, increases comfort, and keeps your foot locked in to keep your toes from hitting the front of the shoe while going down steep terrain. An added heel strap helps you slip the boots on with ease.
Size & Weight
Measuring 5 inches of height from the arch, you still get medium ankle protection while maintaining extra flexibility. Weighing in at 1.04 pounds, it is just about as light as you can go for a boot designed for many different terrain types and activities. This lighter weight is something that Solomon has worked hard to accomplish, providing the lightest possible materials without compromising high quality. Many reviewers report that the company is true to sizing.
Airflow & Waterproofing
Speaking of light materials, the high breathability of the X Ultra Mid 2 GTX is attributed to these lightweight materials. While full leather
boots have their time and place, for many recreational hikers, using a boot which provides partial leather, partial fabric is preferred. This construction allows for proper airflow during even the most rigorous activity. However, just because these boots aren't full leather, don't be fooled: they are still highly waterproof due to their GORE-TEX lining. Yes, this makes them less breathable than full mesh shoes, however for fully waterproof, durable boots, the breathability is superior to many others like it. Just don't forget to wear your wool
Comfort & Cushioning
It has been said that they are "unreasonably comfortable." The molded shank, injected with EVA (a dense foam), acts as an excellent shock absorption system. The EVA-shaped footbed and OrthoLite inserts increase this absorption. This reinforcement allows for hours of comfortable hiking. The SensiFit technology mentioned above adds to this comfort, giving the feeling of a customized shoe. It hugs the middle part of your foot to lock it in place. This is what makes it so uncommon to acquire blisters
in these boots.
Yet another verification of why Solomon boasts of these being "multi-functional" hiking boots lies in their sleek design. These are not designed for maximum stability, so they were able to keep the weight down and provide a boot that does not look like overkill for a quick errand in town, a stroll in the park, or on a long trek in the woods. Additionally, both the men's and women's versions have four different color schemes to choose from to suite your style best.
Longevity & Overall Quality
Most often, the first signs that it is time to replace your boots are when the tread wears down, the midsole begins cracking, or the cushion and ankle support begins to go. How long this takes to happen depends on the activities you participate in. That being said, for the average outdoor recreationist, these boots can be expected to last for a few solid years of hiking, hunting, light backpacking, etc. As mentioned previously, the tread does not chip off on tough rocks, adding to the longevity. The waterproof capabilities will wear off as they begin to develop cracks and tears towards the end of their life, however this is normal boot evolution and probably a good indicator that it's time to buy a new pair. You can expect to put these boots through a beating a know they will hold up well.
While out in the woods, safety should be your number one priority, and as my mother always said you should never skimp on footwear. The EVA midsole offers the shock absorption necessary for long or tough hikes, important to anyone who suffers from foot or knee pain when going downhill. For those with strong ankles and calves, shoes without ankle support may be sufficient while on trail. However, for the average person, the medium height of these boots add enough support to keep from rolling an ankle. If you plan to do heavy backpacking, be sure to look at a boot that offers higher ankle support and maybe go a little heavier. Blisters are another common injury to avoid while out and about, and the glove-like design make this an uncommon occurrence when properly fitted.
These boots definitely are not designed for those who tend to overpronate, where having maximum rigidity is ideal. They offer average flexibility, meaning while you're hiking they will slightly bend at the toes along with your foot. This feature is why they aren't ideal for mountaineering or heavy work, however also the reason why they ARE ideal for most day hikes or jaunts one would embark on. For the average hike, having some flexibility in your boots can be the most comfortable, so you can better navigate the uneven terrain.
Support & Balance
Closely related to the topic of flexibility, the X Ultra Mid 2 GTX is not designed for maximum support, but rather just enough support to keep you safe while still offering enough flexibility to manage uneven terrain. However, compared to other boots designed for similar activities, these excel in the category of support and balance. Due to the fact that they fit like a glove, it is easy for them to feel like they are a part of you, reducing the chances of tripping associated with bigger, bulkier, thicker boots. For those who suffer from common overuse
such as plantar fasciitis, it may be a good idea to swap out the inserts with custom orthotic inserts for added support.
This boot offers the same lacing system as most other Solomon footwear. It features three eyelets and one speed-hook at the top to assist with tightening them. This system ties in to the SensiFit midsole in order to give a tight fit and keep your toes from hitting the front of the boot.The gusseted tongue helps keep debris from finding its way into the boot, and assists in increasing the waterproof quality.
Cost & Value
After reviewing the above information, it should be no surprise that these are one of the more expensive hiking boots that you will find in comparison to others
designed for the same uses and of the same height. While the price tag may initially deter some people, many who have bit the bullet and bought them have become loyal Solomon buyers since. Finding a pair of hiking boots that keep your feet dry, don't give you blisters, keep your feet comfortable even at the end of a long hike, and hold up to a rugged lifestyle can be hard to come by. So, for those who need a multipurpose boot, the price tag is worth it knowing that they will last longer than many cheaper boots.
Comparison & Similarities
Many of the features found on the X Ultra Mid 2 GTX can be found throughout Solomon's boots, such as the ContaGrip outsole, GORE-TEX lining, EVA shank and the advanced chassis. This newer version does a better job of staying true to size than the previous version, and has less seams and bulky ridges available to get caught on things or tear. Besides these two main changes, this version offers the same features we loved the first time around.
- GORE-TEX waterproof lining
- ContraGrip rubber soles
- SensiFit midsole
- Advanced chassis increases stability
- Shaft measure 5" from arch
- Sleek design with four different color options
Overall, Solomon has created yet another hiking boot worthy of creating lifelong followers. Losing half of a star only because it lacks as rugged of traction as some of their other models, there is not much else bad to say about them. The average person will find that the higher price is well worth the benefits received. Whether you are a hiker, hunter
, or just someone who enjoys high-quality footwear to wear for everyday activities, the Solomon X Ultra Mid 2 GTX offers the right amount of support, flexibility and durability to work for a wide range of activities.