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August 2005

Boot Review: Five Light Hikers

Introducing a new breed of synthetic boots: fast, nimble, and surprisingly supportive.

Salomon Super X Mid XCR
These shoes walk the middle path: light, nimble, and supportive.

©Mitch Mandel

Can you have trail-runner comfort in a boot that won’t wilt when the going gets tough? One tester logged 55 hard miles in 4 days in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, carrying a load of 35-plus pounds, and never wished for heavier boots. The EVA midsole cushions against rocky ground, and a firm heel cup and external reinforcements keep the rear foot stable on uneven terrain. The thin fabric uppers had above-average breathability, and the XCR liner kept our feet dry in downpours from the Cascades to Maine. The shallow tread gripped well, even on slick rocks and roots. The shoes would have scored higher but for sub-par durability: They showed early wear in stitching, the midsole, and the toes. The hook-and-loop ankle strap is more cosmetic than supportive. And while we’ve liked the Quickfit cordlock lacing system in other Salomon footwear, in these boots it didn’t wrap evenly and had excess slack; the end sometimes slipped from its pocket and snagged on vegetation. Best for fairly wide, medium- to high-volume feet.

Price: $140

Sizes: men’s 7½-12, 13, 14; women’s 5- 9½,10, 11, 12

Weight: 2 lbs., 3 oz.

Contact: (877) 272-5666;

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