2018-2019 Salomon QST Pro 130
- 26.5 / 305 mm Boot Sole Length
- 25.5 / 295 mm Boot Sole Length
Stated Flex Rating: 130
Stated Last: 100-106 mm (heat moldable shells)
Stated Range of Motion: 40 degrees
Binding Compatibility with the alpine sole blocks: alpine bindings
Binding Compatibility with the tech sole blocks:
- Pin-style (“tech”) bindings
- MNC (Multi-Norm Certified) bindings
Stated Weight per Boot (size 26.5): 1650 g
Blister’s Measured Weight per Boot:
- Shells with alpine soles, no liners: 1347 & 1349 g
- Shells with tech soles, no liners: 1389 & 1391 g
- Liners (with spoilers, no footbeds): 273 & 274 g
- Total Weight with alpine sole blocks: 1620 & 1623 g
- Total Weight with tech sole blocks: 1662 & 1665
MSRP: $699.99 USD
Test Locations: Craigieburn Valley Ski Area, Porters Ski Area, NZ; Cameron Pass, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Arapahoe Basin, CO
Total Days Tested: 18
[Note: Our review was conducted on the 16/17 QST Pro 130, which was not changed for 17/18 or 18/19, apart from graphics.]
For the 16/17 season, Salomon’s new QST series of boots replaced their popular “Quest” line of boots, and the QST series comes back unchanged for 17/18.
We covered the QST Pro 130 in our 16/17 Buyer’s Guide and we had three different reviewers in this boot this past season to further home in on the particularities of the Pro 130.
The tagline for the QST Pro 130 is simple: “Excel in all playgrounds.”
So what does that sort of all-round excellence look like?
According to Salomon, the recipe includes a swappable DIN-compatible soles and tech soles, a 40° walk mode, a stated weight of 1650 grams, and a unique hybrid tongue design.
That all puts the QST solidly into “crossover” territory — boots that are light enough and walk well enough for longer tours, yet are also compatible with alpine bindings and are powerful enough to ski inbounds. So the QST boots are more inbounds-oriented, do-everything boots than Salomon’s more touring-specific MTN Lab and MTN Explore.
So we’ll be weighing in here on how the QST Pro 130 performs at the resort and in the backcountry, and we’ll be making comparisons to some other similar boots.
The Salomon QST Pro 130 is not quite a traditional overlap alpine boot, nor is it a Cabrio-style, three-piece tongue design. While it does have a tongue, it sits underneath the main part of the shell rather than on top like most other Cabrio designs.
The tongue design — called “Endofit” — is inspired by Salomon’s running shoes. The aim is to wrap the top of the foot and create a more secure fit, and it works. A large amount of overlapping plastic in the cuff closes across the tongue with a single buckle and a camming powerstrap. The tongue attaches directly to the liner, which uses a thick flap to bind and a strip of velcro to secure. It’s an intriguing and unique design.
As always, we’d recommend that you see a competent bootfitter. Boot fit is a very personal thing and has a huge impact on a boot’s performance. However, we can offer the fit impressions of three of our reviewers.
The Salomon QST Pro 130’s shell is heat moldable, and its 100 mm last can expand to 106 mm, creating a customized width across the entire lower shell.
After initially fitting the size 25.5 shell, the QST Pro 130 fit me well except in the toe box, where it was a bit too narrow. This is unfortunate because, while the heat molding process for the shell is pretty great, the QST Pro 130’s stock liner has a pretty pointed toe box. Without the shell, the liner itself — even after molding — feels really tight on the width of my toes.
So at the end of the process, I had a boot that fit really well except for the toebox. While I could definitely ski in the QST Pro 130 all day, I think that if the liner had a wider toebox, it would have been even more comfortable for me. So while you can change the liners for a better fit (I tried my Intuition Pro Tours), the QST’s stock liner has some special features to bind it tightly to the tongue of the shell, and I don’t think that the QST would ski as well with a different liner — the shell and stock liner are designed to work together as a single system.
The last comment I have on the fit of the Salomon QST Pro 130 is about the instep. The Endofit tongue doesn’t give you a lot of options for increasing instep height, and the bootboard is very minimal, so grinding it wouldn’t give you much (if any) extra space). While the instep height was fine for me, I could see this potentially being an issue for other people. Jonathan has a higher instep than I do, and before the heat molding process, that instep was too tight. After the heat molding process however, enough room was made to create a very comfortable, snug fit.
It would be nice to see Salomon include a thicker boot board in the future to provide more fitting options. On the flip side, the Endofit tongue, if it does fit you, really does bind your foot well to the boot. Not only is it very secure, it’s also quite comfortable.
For reference, I have a low instep, wide forefoot, and my feet taper a bit from the forefoot to the end of my toes (i.e. my pinky is much shorter than my big toe). The most common issue I have in ski boots is pressure on the outside of my forefoot, which is something that I experienced with the Fischer Transalp Vacuum TS, despite having the liners and shells heat-molded.
The size 26.5 QST Pro 130 fit me pretty well out of the box. After spending the first couple days figuring out my ideal buckle setup, I could wear the boot comfortably all day touring or riding lifts with very little pain in my forefoot. Unlike Brian, I had no issues with the toebox being too narrow, which makes sense as my feet are fairly pointed.
The Endofit construction worked great for my low instep, and is likely the most comfortable instep fit I’ve had in a boot. But as Brian mentions, the unique construction and minimal bootboard don’t allow for much customization for those with higher insteps.
(BTW, I tried the QST Pro 130 with the liner from the Salomon MTN Explore, which, despite being from a dedicated touring boot, was thicker and sturdier than the QST Pro 130’s stock liner. However, I didn’t experience much of an increase in downhill performance, and since the special velcro flap on the QST Pro 130 stock liner attaches securely to the boot’s tongue, I have since switched back to the stock liner.)
A bit about my feet:
Length (Left & Right): 271 & 274 mm
Width (Left & Right): 100 & 99 mm
Instep Height (L & R): 79 mm & 75 mm. (The Boot Doctor’s Charlie Bradley describes this as a “high arch / high instep” — on a scale of 1-10, he calls my arch / instep a 8 or 9).
Charlie also notes about my feet: Fairly stable, solid platform. A bit of pronation. A good amount of ankle range of motion (aka, “dorsiflexion”).
While I have often downsized to a size 25.5 when reviewing boots with a 100 mm last (I downsize in order to achieve the most secure heel hold I can — since it’s typically easy to create more length or width in the toebox of a boot), but since I would be touring in the QST Pro 130, I didn’t want to end up with a super-tight, alpine-boot fit that might prove to be painful to tour in. So I opted for the 26.5 QST Pro 130.
As both Brian and Luke have touched on, the most notable fit point for me was the relatively low instep of the QST Pro 130. As Brian said, prior to heat-molding the shell, the QST Pro 130 was crushing my instep. But after the heat molding process, that instep issue for me was largely resolved, and I really want to echo what Brian wrote above: “the Endofit tongue, if it does fit you, really does bind your foot well to the boot. Not only is it very secure, it’s also quite comfortable.”
“Snug and comfortable” is pretty much the best possible thing you can say about a boot, so while none of us here are willing to guarantee that the fit of the QST Pro 130 will work for you, we all will attest that with the right feet, this is a design that can yield an impressive fit for a touring boot — snug yet still comfortable to tour in and wear on longer days.
NEXT: Touring, Stiffness / Flex, Etc.