When it comes to outdoor footwear, I would not be the best, or even a great person to talk to about recommendations and comparisons. All my outdoor adventures prior to this, whether canyoning in the Blue Mountains or multi day hiking Wilson's Promontory were all done in $30 Dunlop Volleys. I loved the cheap bastards in a sort of cruel manner. A few modifications (replaced original insoles with Asics trainer insoles taken from my dad's shoes!) made them some lightweight, comfortable hiking shoes with plenty of flexibility. However, as the hikes became longer, and my pack became heavier, it was obvious that I needed to invest in some better support that didn't have a tendency to hold captive within it's rubber bucket sole, any water that leaked in through the canvas. Sorry Volleys.
The Salomon Speedcross 3 with GoreTex is a waterproof lightweight package made for trail running and weighing in at 340 grams each. They provide a similar comfort to my super Volleys when worn but with much more tech-special. The GoreTex version of the Speedcross 3 did feel a touch rigid at first compared to the Ripstop mesh model which did not require a break in period. However, after two quick local 15km trail runs through Lane Cove National Park and a couple of weighted day hikes, the GoreTex model broke in very nicely.
The Quicklace system is something else entirely. Fantastic innovation in a simple and functional design; rather than complicated modern redevelopments of existing systems. I found when using the Quicklace system, I'd have the tendency to over tighten the laces; the whole, 'pull till you can't pulls no more' Popeye strongman syndrome. Once I began to leave a touch of slack in the laces, the shoes were much more comfortable during the entire run.
As much as I wish I could wear these for longer distanced hikes and be able to dance around any boulder while maintaining a healthy amount of flexibility in my foot, I knew that the low profile would be a risk when carrying heavier packs.
The Salomon Speedcross 3 GTX is recommended to those that are looking for comfort and mobility in a lightweight outdoor trail shoe. The GoreTex version is definitely the way to go over the mesh due to it's breathability and waterproof performance through muddy trails. The Contagrip gives it some serious grip and the Quicklace system is an absolute luxury. I'll never have to buy a Volley again, sadly.