Salomon Cross Hike 2 Mid Gore-Tex Walking Boots – Review
Remember the time when we were all imprisoned in our homes except for one-hour a day, because of Covid? Well, back then I took advantage of that one hour to go walking around my local area in Yorkshire. And ever since, walking has become a staple part of my life. For exercise, for state-of-mind, and just as an enjoyable pastime.
Without realising it, walking became a habit and I began to take doing it quite seriously. In 2022 I walked over 1400 miles, and this year, I’m on target to achieve roughly the same distance. So, it’s fair to say I’ve put my trusty walking boots through a lot over the last 18 months, and it was high-time that I invested in a new pair.
Therefore, I’ve just welcomed in the Cross Hike 2 Mid Gore-Tex boot, by Salomon…
What Salomon say…
“The Cross Hike 2 Mid Gore-Tex is a light and nimble hiking boot that does the seemingly impossible. Light to wear but heavy on those much-needed hiking boot features, the Salomon Cross Hike is ideal for those all-day off-road hikes. A Contragrip outsole keeps you firmly grounded while multi-directional deep lugs aggressively ‘bite’ the ground to give you better grip when the going gets tricky. An optimised heel brake helps with the steeper descents while a higher mid-cut offers the ankle support and protection on uneven terrain.”
“Quick-tie lace system”
Firstly, opening the box and seeing these boots for the first time, I thought they looked great. Available in four colours, I plumped for the Olive Night, Moss Gray and Black version. How my walking footwear functions is always the priority in shoes I wear, but if they stand out and look a bit different, that’s a bonus for me. These look almost casual, and they could be mistaken for a fashion trainer of sorts, rather than a shoe to benefit your feet over miles and miles.
They’re a mid-boot, reaching above the ankle and the Gore-Tex material makes for a very nice quality feel. There’s a chunky-looking sole, which offers much promise, and you also get drawn to the lacing, a quick-tie lace system that resembles wires more than laces. At first, I thought these might not work well, perhaps digging into the top of my foot. Slipping them on, I needn’t have worried about that. The upper is tough, and you don’t feel a thing. They secure the boot nicely, and it’s a really good, practical feature.
I did notice they came with a narrower fit than the boots I’d been used to in the past. I think the right word for them is ‘snug’. They did feel comfortable though, and a few minutes in, your feet relax into them. They almost feel like trainers under the sole of your foot – perhaps due to EVA insole.
So, after checking them out, and showing them off to the wife, it was time to put the Salomon Cross Hike 2 Mid Gore-Tex through their paces in a 10-mile family walk through all sorts of terrain on one of the wettest days of the year!
We were in Northumberland. We were in the middle of that spell of torrential rain that we all got around Hallowe’en, and much of the woods around us were a slurry. Many of the grassy areas had turned into bogs. The challenges we were going to face underfoot would turn out to be quite intrepid.
With my new boots in pristine condition, it wasn’t long before our walk ‘leader’ happily put paid to all that. He took us down through the woods between Newfield and Sunnybrow, on a trail adjacent to the River Wear.
Torrential downpours meant that as we headed up and down paths and walkways, much of it had become awash with mud and sludge. The new look of the Salomons quickly disappeared, but in doing so they began to perform.
The boots handled each potential slip situation with ease, with the tyre-like sole giving them some bite. When I had to cross a break in the water via a moss-laded wet log, again – they secured my steps. I felt very safe.
As the miles ticked over, the route became more challenging. None more so than when we approached a field that had become semi-flooded. Not ones for shirking a bit of water, we all ambled across the 75 metres or so of puddled field. This is where I knew the boots were up to any challenge.
The seamless upper helped keep all that cold, dirty water firmly out of the boot, keeping my feet dry. That couldn’t be said for every member of the walking party, but I was really happy. I felt confident with each step, and it didn’t matter what it was like underfoot. My Salomon’s were proving to be the perfect footwear to get me through everything Northumberland was throwing at me.
“The perfect option”
I was really liking the boots, and enjoying the walk…despite the elements! The comfort I felt was great, and there wasn’t any slippage of the lacing system either, so my feet remained stable throughout the entire ramble. I found that pretty impressive.
We tackled slopes of gravel, uneven dirt tracks and more sludgy woodland trails. And my feet couldn’t have been any happier.
I got through the 10 miles in just under four hours. A first wear of new boots on such a long stretch is probably not the greatest idea to go with; you’re risking of tiredness in the foot and the heightened chance of blisters. But, with that in mind I’d also chosen a brilliant pair of 1000 Mile Fusion Repreve socks to wear with them, so they helped lessen the chance of damage. The dual-layered sock always adds an extra bit of comfort and protection. They’re my favourite walking sock, and they definitely helped.
I have to say, when we got home it was a relief to be able to take the shoes off. But that wasn’t to do with any discomfort. It was to do with needing to get all our wet things off, jump in the shower, get warm and get dried.
The Salomon Cross Hike 2 Mid Gore-Tex has proven to be the perfect option of new walking boot for me. And, since that initial walk they’ve covered a further 50-60 miles. Even tackling a light showering of recent snow with aplomb. They’ve done a sterling job, and I’m really pleased with how they’re performing. They look the part, and I feel they’ll give my feet many miles of protection over the next couple of years.
Salomon Cross Hike 2 Mid Gore-Tex are available from Salomon.com, priced from £165.00.