4.0 The mesh and Gore-Tex uppers with leather overlays provided good protection against scree and sharp rocks—and proved the most breathable here. However, trail debris crept in over the relatively short collar.
4.0 With the lowest cuff and the most forefoot flex in the test, the X Ultras are best for hikers with strong ankles who want to travel fast and light and/or carry loads under 30 pounds. Dense EVA foam under the ball and heel provide excellent shock absorption on long days and a stiff TPU frame wraps around the back to cradle the heel and reduce side-to-side movement on uneven terrain.
4.7 “The best traction—in a huge variety of situations—of any boots I’ve ever worn,” raves a veteran ranger. Tractor tire-like, 5mm lugs are abrasion resistant and sticky on both wet and dry surfaces.
4.0 The trail runner midsole with good arch support made these perfectly comfortable all-purpose shoes for a tester who hiked 10 miles a day during three weeks of globe-trotting across Asia. No break-in required. Fit is true to size.
$160; 2 lbs.; salomon.com
The Scale: 1=save your money - 5=perfect gear.
*Overall score is not an average of others scores; It's a gut-level assessment of performance and value.