With adventure-hungry all-terrain backpackers clearly in its sights, Salomon's Quest Prime combines Gore-Tex waterproofing with cosy all-round foot protection, a light-footed weight of just 570g, and confidence-inspiring mid-height ankle support.
With no blister-inducing breaking-in needed, the Quest Prime is cushioning and supportive from the first step, with no lift in the foam heel cup, and plenty of wiggle room in the toe box.
The traditional-looking lacing system works satisfyingly well, with well-spread, even synching a doddle. Strong lace blocking hooks on the mid-ankle are a nice technical touch and allow you to add the precise degree of tension to the lace - and then keep it throughout your walk.
Waterproofing is excellent, despite the use of multiple materials in the split suede and textile uppers, and had us wading through puddles just for fun. No doubt this is thanks to the waterproof Gore-Tex lining, which is made in a closed, yet breathable bootie shape. A gusseted tongue adds another barrier to muck and debris.
The Quest Prime's light weight will have you skipping across the rocky landscape, so it's just as well Salomon's Advanced Chassis and non-marking Contagrip give excellent stability, agility and grip on all surfaces - except occasionally on slimy, rounded boulders.
Niggles are hard to come by but if we had to name one, it would be that the roomy toebox and added excellent rubber toe bumper do make Quest Prime boots feel ever so slightly bulky at the front. But this is a fair pay-off for all-day walking comfort and protection.
In conclusion: an excellent choice for all-weather and all-terrain hiking and backpacking, with comfort, performance and light weight justifying a higher price.