Salomon Forces Quest 4D GTX [Review]
At the beginning there was the Quest 4D GTX trekking shoe, that became home for many special forces operators’ feet. Salomon seeing them walking around in those light and comfortable, but not exactly tactical dedicated footwear, decided to create a specific FORCES line. The classic trek got upgraded and adapted to work in multiple environments from CQB tasks to operations in mountain or forest terrain (and they can handle even more). With that story ending we get a military boot – Quest 4D GTX Forces 2 by Salomon.
- Nubuck leather, waterproof Gore-Tex and nylon mesh material
- Operator friendly, non-reflective material and colors
- EVA midsole, Ortholite® insoles, inside lined with 3D Mesh
- Non marking, puncture resistant, antistatic, oil and slip resistant Contagrip® outsole
- Protective, rubber sheath
- 4D Advanced Chassis
- Light weight
- Closed hooks, MFF and Fast Rope operations affable
Let’s start with the base. Particularly noteworthy is the shoe sole made with the 4D Advanced Chassis ™ technology, but what exactly does the 4D mean? The sole is basically a construction of four layers:
- Contagrip® MD sole tread, gives extraordinary grip on dry and slippery ground in all directions and different surfaces. Other features are the puncture resistance, antistatic, oil and slip resistant – all this compatible with ISO standards. An interesting fact is that the obtuse shape of the protector grooves guarantees self-cleaning of the soles from mud, gravel etc.
- EVA foam used in the midsole absorbs all the shocks while moving over various terrain, it also allows your foot to move freely and naturally inside the shoe.
- OrthoLite® insoles with antibacterial properties, absorbing moisture and odors, giving a feeling of comfort and softness. Also, an upside of using EVA in the insoles is that the heel of the foot is more stable. I already know those insoles from my running shoes and I’m truly in love with the comfort they give.
- Heel stabilizers build to reduce the load on the ankle, together with the rubber toe/heel caps protects from unplanned bumps and other frontal or rear foot impact. If your ankle is unstable and you have the tendency to roll it like me, Quests might be a solution for you – the shoe makes your ankle feel super safe and supported.
That all combined gives us the high stiffness of a mountain boot (because of that they also allow the use of crampons), but also the flexibility to kneel or run to the destination in difficult conditions. The sole is connected to the upper with glue. It is a quite strong solution, I didn’t notice any cracks or damage in that area and the sole does not come off.
Despite the OrthoLite® insoles, the inside of the upper is lined with a soft, polyester mesh fabric which provides active moisture management – absorbing moisture and wicking it to the outer surface. That can be really handy in humid climates, it’s also hell’a comfortable. It ergonomically wraps around your ankle but at the same time does not cause abrasions and corns, even while wearing them brand new. In my GTX version the next layer is the membrane that provides some water resistance, but in summer days… Well, it gets really warm down there. Keep that in mind, while deciding which model to pick, either you want to use the shoes in colder conditions with GTX and keep your feet dry, or warmer without – they’ll dry quicker if you get them wet anyway.
Worth mentioning is also the shoe tongue, really well padded with a leather reinforcement on the upper half absorbs really nicely the laces tension. Anyway, during a long hike it’s a good idea to lose the laces a bit to improve blood flow. Remember, while walking in deeper snow or stepping into puddles, the tongue is a place where water might come inside your shoe, to prevent it consider wearing gaiters or just don’t jump into puddles
The outer layer of Quests is made of Nylon fabric combined with some suede leather, glued to the Gore-Tex membrane. The combination of these 3 materials resulted in a durable, lightweight construction, which is, thanks to the GTX membrane, also waterproof. The producer deleted all the colorful inserts and inscriptions to give the shoes a non-reflective and more concealed character. On Perunika.org you can pick from 4 subdued colors: black, coyote, brown and ranger green.
Quick care recommendation: Generally, after each use it’s good to remove all dirt with a cloth and clean water. After that, to extend the life of the textile and fabric Salomon recommends treating all their products with a cream or water-based wax treatment (I do use Nikwax®) – and don’t dry them on heavy sun or near a radiator.
Salomon known for their Quicklace® system to be incredibly convenient and easy to handle, decided to use normal laces in the Quests with all hooks closed + one additional lace lock. The third hook from the top allows to regulate the lace tension between the top and bottom part of the shoe. To avoid tangling of the laces, on the shoe tongue we find the well-known pocket, where we can hide the ends of them.
MFF and “fast rope” fans, your requests have been heard and the laces holders were designed so that they would not get caught on the rope.
Had the opportunity to wear Quests in winter, spring and early summer conditions, here’s what I’ve noticed so far. Firstly – let’s face it, Salomon produces really good running shoes, and you can feel it even in those combat boots. Designed as three season boots, light (with my size being UK7 the weight per pair is around 650g) and still durable. While using them I didn’t notice anything breaking or tearing, like I’m always worried about the sole to come off the shoe – this is just not happening here. Of course, you have to realize that the suede leather is a thing which is wearing out the most. Color can get lighter and tends to abrade partially. But those boots are made to conquer the world and not to look fancy (but they do anyway).
I found the soles to be very grippy even on wet and smooth surfaces like stones or roots – here shoutout for the rubber sheath for great protection of my toes. Furthermore, due to the fact that they are quite stiff shoes, they are also perfect for loose and unstable surfaces e.g., sand, fresh snow or gravel. Once in my life I mistook my steps and since then I walk crookedly, but the constant ankle and toe support have come in handy often and have saved me from walking even more crookedly. The material from which the sole is made of, does not wear out, but one thing that might be disturbing is that it has tendency to squeak, which can affect stealth approaches.
Remember to clean the insoles and keep the inside of the shoe free from dirt and loose elements prevent bacteria build up and protect your feet from injuries. Of course, if your foot is more demanding you can easily change the insoles for different ones. Coming back to the inside – it’s pretty spacious and allows to wear thick woolen socks if needed.
I don’t know if it’s just the fact that my foot is smaller than a men’s one, but after tying up the shoes, for me the laces are really long and tangle a little around the feet. Probably they’re going to be the first thing to replace, cause over the products life they appear to be the part mostly damaged.
Salomon Quest Forces 2 have they’re pros and cons, while still being as much universal as a shoe can be. Therefore, they’ll be perfect for both – all kinds of services and civilians. Wearing them gives you the comfort of use, quality and functionality during all the weird activities you guys do. Walking through muds and marshes, hunting down criminals in the streets of San Francisco, doing a long distance march through Sahara Desert, sliding down the Eiffel Tower – try it out and let me know how it went . I don’t know if the producer foresaw wearing these shoes by women, cause our feet might be built slightly different. Anyway, to all those women who read this review – I do approve them as female friendly. Coming to an end, I can’t say much bad about the boots, the biggest issue of good stuff is the price and here they can be a problem for some of you. But remember, it’s not about how great your shoes are, it’s about what you accomplish wearing them.
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