My four month old Salomons were pretty much trashed a week or so ago on a rescue/hazmat incident, so HH6 gave the go ahead for new boots.
I ordered a pair of the new 2018 Salomon XA Forces Mid GTX in black from optactical. Process was painless and quick as is the norm for those folks.
The new boots are, for me, a huge improvement over the older model. Granted, much of this is subjective.
First, the width. The old Salomons were constantly tight on me and I could only wear super thin Smartwool socks with them. Anything thicker and they became painful. I occasionally had an issue with a plantar faciatis type pain with the older ones, but that wasn't unusual for me. This wasn't anything remarkable new as I fall between a regular and wide width shoe, depending on the shoe cut.
The new ones are exceptionally comfortable. The width is perfect. Thus far I've worn them with both thin Smartwool socks and thicker Wigwam socks and both fit comfortable. I'd say the width on these is much closer to what we as westerners are used to in a regular width shoe cut.
Second, the sole. One of my gripes with my older Salomons is that there were times I felt like I was walking on a wooden block. The new ones feel much more like a hiking/tactical boot, in fact very similar to my under armor boots in terms of sole flexibility and comfort. Granted I'm not rucking or running anymore but climbing in and out of an aircraft and standing on scenes for extended periods of time these, subjectively, feel much more comfortable.
Third and finally, again subjectively, ankle support. My older Salomons reay felt like they locked my ankles into place. While this may seem like a good point, I started finding myself with some discomfort because of how supportive they were. The newer ones seem to be more flexible but I still feel like I have the support of a quality boot.
Anyway, ranting over. I know it's very subjective, but to a relatively new Salomon user (around 5 months total now) these seem like a big improvement over the older models in terms of all day comfort.