Salomon XA Forces Mid GTX

9.5 score
[Editors rating (9.5)] = ( score (9.5)/10

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Editor rating: 9.5 / 10
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Editor’s Conclusion
Salomon is constantly testing the boundaries of tactical footwear, with innovation at its core. So loyal Salomon customers may be happy to get their hands on the new XA Forces Mid Gore-Tex boot.

This latest Salomon range is a sturdy mid-height boot that looks, feels, and moves more like a lightweight runner that efficiently combats the most technical and complex terrains.

Developed off the back of the iconic XA PRO 3D, the rugged construction of the durable special forces-oriented boot supports a thicker sole and highly comfortable wear. However, the XA Forces look like its predecessor XA Pro 3D with a classic yet understated Coyote Brown design but boasts a more robust and rugged design equipped to deal with demanding hikes.

First impressions scream that the XA Forces Mid looks and feels like a robust boot that'll take care of your feet and ankles without losing integrity. However, boasting itself as a lightweight boot, the XA Forces is not overbuilt, keeping a lightweight and flexible design that still moves as you do.

Although these shoes are probably comfortable enough for everyday wear, many seem to get the most comfortable use out of long, demanding hikes or other challenging physical activities such as climbing, scrambling, or hunting.
Salomon XA Forces Mid GTX Review Facts
Editor's Pros & Cons




Super stable


Classic design

Lightweight for a boot



Can run a little hot

Key Features


Designing the XA Forces on the iconic XA Pro 3D and with Special Operations and Law Enforcement at the forefront, you won't be surprised to find this hiking boot solid yet flexible, light yet supportive, and able to handle a whole world of terrains.

Additionally, I'll be surprised if you have any issues with this boot with a beefier outsole and more durability.

Ankle support and stability are good with the mid-length construction, yet without being too heavy to provide responsiveness or comfort. Instead, the XA Forces feel like a strategic running shoe with all the support of a boot.

Utilizing the Quicklace system for this boot and adding a storage pocket makes the shoes easier to remove after a foot-achingly long day in the mountains. The quick laces also help with the tight, snug fit that adds extra comfort and security. This also stops your boots from becoming untied mid-trail, which can be dangerous for trips or just downright annoying.

This Salomon boot uses a Contragrip MD rubber sole with a lug pattern that challenges all surfaces, whether loose, soft, smooth, or hard. Experiencing no issues on exposed boulders, hard-packed dirt, loose dirt, rocks, and even concrete paths, this is one hell of a hiking boot. Even on wet grass and during rain, the XA Forces Mid GTX grips damp terrain easily.


I usually forget to wear my outdoor shoes at home, so the first time I wear them is generally on the trail. I was ecstatic to find the XA Forces allow you immediate comfort with very minimal wear in the time needed.

What's more, wearing these Salomon boots treat your feet with an outstanding amount of comfort even when walking over ankle-breaking technical and rough terrain. Beefing up the sole and side panel with a thick rubber sole adds further protection, therefore adding more comfort as stones and rocks are less likely to dig into your bare feet.

Extra comfort also comes from the gusseted and well-padded tongue, which stops debris and stones from getting into the boot. With a similar feel to a trail shoe but with the stability of a hiking boot, the Salomon's 3D Advanced Chassis lets your feet move effortlessly on the most rugged terrain with all the protection and stability you need.

Do you like to wear thick socks with your boots? If you do, you may want to consider ordering a half-size higher. Thick, wool socks may constrict your feet and not leave enough room when wearing your standard size.

On the other hand, if you're like and prefer thinner socks because you tend to run hot even in the cold, your standard size should fit fine.


Some excellent materials make up the Salomon XA Forces, with the Gore-Tex waterproof membrane top of the list. Combining this efficient yet breathable waterproof membrane with a mesh and textile upper allows air to flow through the boot to keep your feet cool. However, your feet may run a little warm with thick socks, so I'd perhaps stick with your thinner socks.

This Gore-Tex material is essential if you plan to cross any streams, hike in the snow, or walk in a lot of rain, as its whole job is to keep your feet dry. I'll be stunned if you don't return home with dry, warm feet.


The XA Forces Mid GTX not only looks durable but feels durable too due to the abrasion-resistant Contragrip MD rubber outsole. With this naturally durable and hardy material, protecting your feet from injury and damage is easy.

Although there was a previous concern about the toe cap area's weak design, with a risk of the boots separating, Salomon has solved this issue with a new triple stitch rather than the double stitch.

Salomon also uses leather and textile upper, a naturally durable and protective material, meaning the XA Forces should look after you for quite some time.

I always like how Salomon provides a 2-year warranty with all its shoes, so you never have to worry about durability or getting your money's worth.

Comparison to Similar Boots

Few hiking boots compare to the Salomon XA Forces, with all the great features it provides. I love the support but flexibility that the mid-top XA Forces provides, but I know some find them just too rigid.

The XA Forces are lightweight for a walking boot at around 540g. However, a lighter and low-top walking boot is the Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator. Although these two outdoor boots share many of the same features, the Moab 2 Ventilator is about a third cheaper and potentially less sturdy and stable due to the low top design.

In contrast, if you need more support from a high-top shoe, the Salomon Quest 4 Gore-Tex hiking boot is a sturdy high-top boot with many features and more like the XA Forces, although at about $30 more.


The XA Forces mid-height GTX boots ace all its tests, being stable, sturdy, fast on mixed terrain and durable. Although the price is high, usually at around $200, please remember you can't get good hiking boots for a dirt-cheap price. You get what you pay for, and I've bought cheap boots when I first started hiking—what a mistake.

You get quality, comfort and clever technology with Salomon shoes that are just built to last. I would highly recommend not letting the price tag put you off if you can afford it, as you are truly paying for quality. Paying for a pair of shoes that are versatile, comfortable, and adaptable will leave your feet as happy as you.

Most of Salomon's customers love this shoe, and it's no surprise with the quality and flexibility they provide. Wear them to hike, golf, bike, scramble, climb or hunt.