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Alex gives you the low down...
After nearly always using Meindl leather boots, I thought I’d try something different so a few months ago bought the Salomon Quests, which are mostly fabric.
They’ve gone pretty far over the last few months, from summer days in the Cairngorms to last weekend on a wet and muddy Dartmoor, and including 14 days continuously in Snowdonia. As with any piece of kit there are good and bad points, but instead of giving a list of pros and cons, I wanted to consider each aspect in turn.
Weight and comfort:
Superb on both counts, the boots are both light-weight and very comfortable. Despite offering great ankle support, as all boots should, they are flexible and feel as though you could almost run in them. I have never experienced rubbing or sore spots.
There is no doubt they started out as waterproof. I waded through streams and got wet in the rain but my feet stayed dry. Unfortunately this is now in the past as a crack has developed in one of the seams on the right boot. I have since heard that they are best suited to wide-footed people and that the sides are known to crack if your feet are too narrow, or just normal. After some recent walks in wet conditions my left foot has stayed dry but my right foot is wet. I’m going to try and glue the seam back together and see what happens, or return them.
Similar to their waterproofness, it started out as excellent, and I even took them on scrambles, but the tread is not very deep and the grip now has issues on grass. I would not say I have problems every time I use them but am starting to notice a drop in performance. I get out every week though so perhaps this is to be expected.
Half way up the lace where the foot becomes the ankle there is a pair of locking clasps which are excellent, holding the laces in place as they are pulled up and crossed via the ankle hooks. This is very useful as the lower lace which goes through the eyelets can be tightened independently of the upper hooks, meaning you don’t risk losing all your hard work if you let go after the lace is put through the locking clasps. I’ve found however that the laces tend to undo themselves quite regularly, so best to experiment with different knots.
Everyone’s feet are different, but although I have found the boots comfortable and my toes seem to be in the right place, the right boot has still cracked where the top of the toes bend. Get your feet measured properly and avoid these boots if your feet are narrow.
As with any fabric boot, they are more difficult to clean and maintain than leather because of the greater number of seams, where dirt can accumulate. These boots though go beyond the usual fabric boot in looking like they’ve added seams at random, especially the little grey tear-shaped bits on the sides. This just means they are more likely to leak and store dirt even if you think you’ve cleaned them.
No doubt an excellent boot if your feet are wide enough to stop the sides pinching and cracking, or the seams separating. They are comfortable, light-weight, and the grip for most uses is excellent. They also benefit from the lace locking clasps and great ankle support.
However, the high number of seams and difficulty of cleaning means they can crack if not looked after properly, and as my example shows, the front and sides will split eventually if you have narrow feet.
Author: Alex Kendall
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