My first boots on Trail were a pair of Salomon X-Adventure 7s. Back in 2001 everyone seemed to have them, and I loved mine. So I was excited to see Salomon’s Cosmic 4D GTX: a vibrant red fabric boot that’s clearly a step away from my old leather X-Adventures. But forget the colour: the real excitement is located in the boot’s chassis.
Salomon has based the Cosmic 4D GTX around its running footwear, and delivered a light and fast boot that is sure to delight the weight-conscious. It is ideal for those who don’t want the weight of a heavy leather boot but aren’t quite ready for the lack of support and weather protection that comes with a pair of fell-running shoes.
Salomon’s running shoes use a ‘3D chassis’, which they have developed on the Cosmic to deliver a ‘4D chassis’ with extended cushioning over the forefoot for increased comfort and stability. And it works exceptionally well.
I first slid my feet into these boots at Pen-y-Pass in Snowdonia and was impressed by their slipper-esque comfort. The lacing system, with its solid locking cleat at the ankle, meant I could easily adjust the tension on different parts of the foot to quickly get the right fit for me. The tongue and ankle cuffs sat perfectly against my foot and delivered an impressive mix of support and comfort.
There’s an exoskeleton of support around the ankle and on the lacing system, common on many modern walking boots and running shoes. And under the fabric there’s a Gore-Tex lining – not something I’m usually a fan of – but the Cosmic 4D also benefits from welded seams. That means very little stitching and more resistance to rain.
Making my way up towards the base of Crib Goch, there was no doubting the weight advantage and comfort, but there were issues with traction. Hopping from rock to rock they performed well, but on steep mud and grass they offered far less bite, especially on the forefoot. That made climbing steep, off-path sections much harder work than usual.
On a two-day hike in the Peak District, the Cosmics coped brilliantly with river crossings and substantial rainfall. They also made short work of rocky paths and, because they were so light, they definitely left me feeling far less tired. And the comfort factor needs to be emphasised, because, combined with the boots’ weight, I walked off the hill with my feet free from aches and niggles.
These boots are cause for real excitement. They’re not as light as Inov8 Roclite 390 GTXs (780g), but they deliver more support and weather protection. They’re not as protective as my leather boots, but it’s hard to overemphasise the impressive mix of support and comfort that they deliver. They are superbly functional, light and will cover everything I need for nine months of the year.
Upper ballistic nylon
Midsole moulded EVA
Sole Contagrip outsole
Insole Ortholite sockliner
Sizes 6.5-13.5 men’s and 3.5-10.5 women’s
Weight 1260g (pair, size 8.5)
Made in China
Stockist details – tel. 0800 389 4350; www.salomonsports.com
Verdict: The Salomon Cosmic 4D GTX is very comfortable and lightweight boot offering great performance on rocky terrain. But its grip on muddy terrain is not the best; the fabric and Gore-Tex liner might cause problems. Overall, a brilliant lightweight boot that provides support where it’s needed and comfort everywhere else.
Review by Matt Swaine
First published in Trail magazine April 2009