Trail running shoes are usually perceived as being a tad heavier than their road counterparts, owing to the added features that ensure a runner's grip and stability. Well, Salomon’s experiment with its Speedcross series of footwear has proved otherwise. Less is actually more even on uneven terrain. Of course, these racers are meant for seasoned off-road runners. RunSociety still feels that if you’re an amateur in the scene, go for something with a little more "armour".
Coming back to where we started, the 3rd edition of Salomon’s Speedcross racers has pushed the boundaries of minimalism to the edge. Here are some excerpts from Matt Ward’s review from SalomonRunning.com:
- The stability post has been removed. What’s the logic? It has been seen in recent times that a lower profile shoe with little in the way of 'control' is actually more beneficial on uneven trails, helping runners feel their way more naturally.
- A lower profile. The heel to forefoot drop has been reduced by up to 50% on this shoe, meaning that the runner is lower to the ground and will hopefully gain a more controlled ride. To enhance stability, the heel has been expanded wider on the sole area, providing greater contact surface.
- The midsole is now made from a material called LT Muscle. This lightweight foam is more pliable and appears to be more absorbent, saving a little more weight without compromising control and comfort.
- The sole has a deeper and more aggressive chevron design which increases surface grip.
- The toe box area is almost boxed in with a hard-wearing PVC covering. This offers greater protection for those rockier areas of your run.
- The Quicklace slider and 'garage' pocket has been reduced in size. This means it weighs lesser and is even more compact.
There have been some "evergreens" in terms of footwear technology. One of the more prominent features would be its Mud & Snow non-marking Contagrip® outsole, proving to be quite a boon to trail runners with its near slip-proof advantage. The only downside is that it wears off much quicker than a conventional hard sole. And there’s the ever so comfortable OrthoLite® insole, the foot-wrapping Sensifit™, as well as the convenient lace-tucking Quicklace™ system.
At 313g (US 8.5) for Men and 281g (US 5.5) for Women, our take is it’s definitely worth snapping up if you’ve got a bit of a competitive streak in you. For those who wish to take to the trails at high altitude and temperate climates, we suggest you select the Speedcross 3 with Climashield™ (CS) technology. It’s meant to keep your foot warm, helping in turn with blood circulation.
The Salomon Speedcross 3 is currently available at selected World of Sports stores and authorised dealers. Retail Price: S$199/219 (CS).