Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 Aero Review

Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 Aero

The Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 Aero is a lightweight mid-cut breathable hiker for men & women.  These are made without the waterproof/breathable membrane typical of most hiking boots and offer good support for those who prefer more ankle support over trail runners or hiking shoes.  Traction is great thanks to two types of rubber and an aggressive lug pattern.  I’ve been wearing various versions of these Salomon X Ultra Mids for many years and will keep buying them as long as they are made.

Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 Aero

Foot Protection
Traction
Stability
Sensitivity
Comfort
Weight
Durabiility

Stable and Breathable Hiking Mid

Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 Aero's are a great non-waterproof and breathable option for folks who have given up on the “waterproof/breathable” shoe and boot farce and want a mid-hiker that dries quickly and keeps your feet cool.

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Specs at a Glance

  • Waterproof: No (thankfully)
  • Footwear Height: Over-the-ankle
  • Closure: Lace-up
  • Upper: Mesh/Leather
  • Lining: textile
  • Midsole: Injected EVA
  • Sole: Contagrip rubber

The Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 Aeros work well with folks who need a wide toe box but a narrower heel. They don’t require any break-in and are ready to go right out of the box. The soft textile lining wicks moisture away from your feet and the breathable mesh dries quickly if you get the boots wet.

The toe kicks are substantial and provide good toe protection
The toe kicks are substantial and provide good toe protection

The tongue is gusseted which helps keep sticks, rocks, etc. out of your boots, while the boots have traditional laces routed through wide webbing eyelets, that spread out the lacings and reduces pressure points. The toe cap is a substantial piece of rubber, offering excellent protection and durability.  The construction of the side leather pattern also aids in support and stability.

The injection-molded EVA midsoles have good underfoot cushioning for rocky trails.  The lug pattern is deep and aggressive and two types of rubber help grip terrain.  They have enough flexibility to avoid heel slippage and are much more flexible than heavier duty “backpacking boots”.

The sole is grippy and flexes well
The sole is grippy and flexes well

There is a layer of foam inside the boots in addition to the removable insoles.  The insoles that come with these boots are pretty supportive and I’ve used them a few times with no problems.  However, I typically use custom foam footbeds in all my footwear so I also put those in my boots.

Comparable Non-Waterproof Hiking Mids

Make / ModelMensWomensPrice
Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 AeroYesYes$130
Oboz Bridger Mid VentYesYes$150
Oboz Sawtooth II MidYesYes$135
Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator MidYesYes$110
Merrell AltaLight Knit MidYesYes$190

Recommendation

Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 Aero’s are a great non-waterproof and breathable option for folks who have given up on the “waterproof/breathable” shoe and boot farce and want a mid-hiker that dries quickly and keeps your feet cool.  With these mids, I no longer remove my boots to air out my feet at lunch or wait to put them on at the trailhead to avoid sweating in the car.

I’ve stockpiled these mids and hope Salomon never changes them
I’ve stockpiled these mids and hope Salomon never changes them

They are obviously not quite as light as a trail runner, but at 1 lb 9 oz for the pair they are 4 oz lighter than the waterproof version. The only question left for me is how many pairs I should stockpile before Salomon changes them to something I like less.

Disclosure: The author owns this product.

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About the Author

Wanda Rice has been backpacking since the late 1980’s. She has climbed the New Hampshire 48, the New Hampshire 48 in winter, the New England 67 and is working on the New England Hundred Highest and the Four-Season 48. Wanda also teaches for the Appalachian Mountain Club’s (AMC) Mountain Leadership School, the AMC New Hampshire Chapter Spring and Winter Schools as well as the AMC NH Winter Hiking Series. She leads day and overnight trips for AMC NH year-round and loves mentoring new leaders. She is a gear junkie, a self-proclaimed Queen of Gear Hacks and loves sharing her tips and tricks with others. Wanda lives in southern NH and is looking forward to moving closer to the mountains in the next few years.

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14 comments

  1. Thanks for the review! My wife has the WPB version of this and she likes them. I’ve been trying to get her to realize the benefits of trail runners, but she’s been hesitant to change since she likes a “boot”.

    These may be a great middle ground!

    • I’ve been really happy with the switch. I have a pair of Goretex socks I use on the rare occasion or true wetness. If I just dip a toe on a brook crossing, they dry out quite quickly.

  2. I have my eye on a pair of these for summer use, being a dedicated user of the standard non-Aero X-ultra mids. Hopefully a silly question, but the fit is the same as the non-Aero ones ?

    • I purchased Salomon X Low Aero from REI, but they only had mid GTX to try on in store. The fit was identical or close enough. For some reason Salomon shoes fit my foot really well, previous GTX boots lasted 7 years, same for my SO.

    • Ditto Tom’s remark. They fit the same for me. I ordered online with no regrets.

  3. Thanks for the heads up on these boots. I’ve used the waterproof X Ultra Mids for years, and while they’re better than most they still make my feet swampy. Excited to try this version.

  4. Thanks for the review. I have been really impressed with Salomon’s men’s X Ultras 3 GTX for UK Autumn/Winter walking on hill and valley. I have the shoe and Mid in the 2E wide fitting and these are now my only walking footwear as they are so comfortable. I have been impressed by the Ortholite insole and didn’t replace these as the comfort is good for me. These can be also be bought separately. For the Summer I’m looking at the SALOMON Mens Xa Pro 3D shoe as these also come in the 2e Wide fitting. It’s reassuring that Salomon stick by their tried and trusted models. I was fed up of finding replacements for discontinued models that I liked. I would say the Salomon sole is poor on slippery/slimy surfaces but for 99% of my walking they have been excellent.

    • That’s been my experience on wet surfaces too.

    • I used to use xa 3d pro up to 2015 and found them too slippery. I recently bought a pair of the wide versions as I read that the latest versions used their ‘contragrip wet’ sole I.e. a softer grippier compound.
      They have much improved grip on wet rock but still have shallow lugs common to trail runners.
      I really like them but the x-ultra is probably better in mud due to the deeper lugs and is likely to be longer lasting.

  5. Great review article Philip! I need a shoe where I don’t feel the rocks and stones underfoot and is sticky enough so I don’t slip on wet rocks. Do you think that this one qualifies?

  6. I haven’t had a problem with my new ones yet. My older ones had become less sticky.

  7. Slimy surfaces I agree can be slippery but that is true of many hiking soles. I have used mine for hundred of arid miles and am quite pleased. True to size for narrow heel, wide forefoot, medium arch foot. I am between 11.5 and 12 and the 11.5 is good.
    Little to no break-in needed and darn good for hot weather hiking if you want higher than running shoe footwear.

  8. Is there a specific temperature range where you would say the GoreTex liner is too warm to hike in and should switch the the Aero? I previously hiked in the Merrel MOAB vented low boot but they are beat to hell after many years.

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