My first look at the new Salomon Quest boot line came at Outdoor Retailer back in January. They kind of hid the A/T boots in the back-corner of the booth for some reason, but I was able to get the VIP tour of the new line and it is impressive for the mass market wanting a single boot for both inbounds and backcountry with DIN, A/T and Dynafit compatibility. A lot of goodies are packed into these boots, but how do they perform?
About the Salomon Quest Pebax Pro
The king of the new Salomon Quest line, the Pebax Pro is lightweight and powerful. The Pebax shell offers stiffness and better flex consistency across temperature variations–all in a lighter-weight (but pricier) package. Out the chute, the Pebax Pro includes A/T blocks with Dynafit-compatibility. Should you wish to go full-alpine, you can purchase DIN blocks for carving up Deer Valley’s finest corduroy.
- 3-buckle design
- Magnesium backbone for walk/tour switching (patent-pending)
- Burly power strap
- Swappable DIN or Dynafit Touring blocks
- Ultralight Quicklace liner
- Contagrip soles
- 110 flex index
- Weight: 7.72 lbs (pair)
- MSRP: $810
Salomon Quest Pebax Pro Ski Boot Review
Lucky enough to get one of Salomon’s few available Pebax Pro boots, I was determined to head out and make the best of it. Since I don’t doubt the inbounds ability of these boots, my focus has been touring. Yes, some burly, hard-charging, cliff-hucking skiers will want to know how these boots handle the burl of the gnar-gnar, but that’s not what most skiers do and I’m way past those days. I want a burly boot that’s dependable and powerful on the down yet is still 100% walkable for the long skintrack assault.
My foot shape is fairly narrow with low arches. I really don’t have anything in particular to challenge Surefoot’s best bootfitters, so my intent was to ski these out-of-the-box. The initial fit seemed OK, so off I went.
The three buckle design is more than sufficient for touring and most inbounds duties. In fact, the forefoot buckle is most often there for show as it does little to impact the ski-ability of the boot. I kept that buckle just tight enough so as not to pop open, while keeping the instep and lower buckles snug and secure.
On the uphill, I was very impressed with the walkability of these boots. The Contagrip sole provides excellent rocker and the Magnesium Backbone allows the rear cuff to “unlock” and flex in a fairly natural stride. The stride is best with the uppermost buckle in the touring latch with the powerstrap loose, but remains acceptable when buckled to skiing snugness.
While I didn’t get the liner heat molded, I did at least swap out the standard (flimsy) insoles for Superfeet Red ski-specific insoles, which provided more support and better feel. I opted for the size 27.5 since they didn’t have 27.0’s and the 26.5’s would require some minor bootwork. As it was, the 27.5’s were a little large in the forefoot, which did impact the downhill feel of the boots. I also had a pressure-point in one boot, but I think this would largely be eliminated by a smaller size and a quick trip to the bootfitter.
Speaking of the down, these boots are solid. Flip the Magnesium Backbone in place, snug up the buckles and proceed to rip. The flex pattern is solid without any mushiness whatsoever. I felt like these were just as powerful as any alpine boot on the market, but way more versatile. As mentioned above, the forefoot volume in the test size was a tad large, but I suspect a more proper fit would eliminate that complaint.
NOTE: Every foot is different, so get to your local shop and try these on. While the fit will need some work for me to be slipper-like, you may have better or worse luck depending on your foot shape.
Good Pebax Pro
- Pebax shell offers lightness and consistent flex
- Magnesium Backbone really makes these ski like burly alpine boots
- Walk mode offers a smooth, comfortable stride
- Dynafit or A/T compatibility gives you plenty of binding options
- Beefy power strap
- Contagrip outsole provides excellent traction
- Weight-to-power ratio is very good
Bad Pebax Pro
- Expensive pricepoint, but it is a “do-it-all boot”
- First production year should be solid, but you never know
- Swappable soles are really a gimmick that not many will actually use
Bottom Line: Salomon Quest Pebax Pro
With a lightweight Pebax shell and burly Contagrip outsoles, the new Salomon Quest Pebax Pro touring boots nail it with a powerful flex and superb walkability. Three buckles are all you’ll need to drive your skis inbounds and in the backcountry.
Buy Now: Search for Salomon Quest Ski Boots
The biggest criticism of the Salomon Quest 12 is it’s lack of sufficient forward flex in walk mode. How would you compare the Quest Pro Pebax’s range of motion in walk mode to a Dalbello Virus or the new Black Diamond Quadrant’s 40º range?
The Quadrant is going to kick butt on all of the above, walking-wise. The Pebax Pro is good and on par with most boots in its range, but the Quadrant and some of the other lightweight touring boots (Scarpa Maestrale) will dance at the ball compared to the Pebax Pro.
The Pebax Pro will without a doubt be a better tourer than the Quest 12 and is a great boot for sure. It walks well and skis superbly, but it’s no ski mountaineering boot that will give you that full range-of-motion.
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You haven’t tried these with Dynafits, have you?
Check the latest post on wildsnow.
Hey Colin… I saw that post earlier this week and hadn’t had time to post a comment here. It’s unfortunate, but first-gen products often have issues like this. They will get it corrected for production.
I didn’t try these with Dynafits and very glad now! I sent my test boots back to Salomon a few weeks ago, so they will get them taken care of.
Gladly, not many of these boots are actually in the hands of consumers at this point–only a lucky few journalists and pros.
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While I haven’t had a chance to ski the Pro yet, I did get a chance to get on the Quest 12 back in March. I to have a narrow foot and while i found them to be a tad wide on me (they will fit average to slightly wide feet perfectly) they skied great. Didn’t get a chance to use them in a uphill situation, but on the downhill they had excellent power and control, despite only have three buckles (they have a big power strap to make up for this). Great choice for those who want a great all round boot that if you will be spending the majority of your time going down rather than up.
QUEST BOOTS WITH TECH FITTINGS RECALLED
Due to some serious flaws in the tech blocks on the Quest boot line, Salomon has recalled them all. Lou shows in detail what the problem is in his post here:
If you happen to have a pair (pretty unlikely), discontinue their use and contact Salomon immediately.
Thanks Jason :),
Have they re-released this ?
I know that this says “PRO” but would you recommend this to newbies ?
alternatively what is a good pair for a newbie ? I am trying to try out some and write reviews on my site 🙂