There’s been a fair bit of talk encircling the innovation of trail-road hybrids; still in the pits of scepticism if you ask us – at least in Singapore’s context. For one, trail running has only gained traction as of late. While awareness of this branch segment of the sport may have reached new highs, a majority of road runners have been slow to make the switch, or even taken that all important rudimentary step toward Mother Nature. And so the case for the creation of the “transition” shoe prototypes; the in-between of conventional road trainers and pure trail footwear.
Salomon’s debut shoe in the hybrid category, the XR Crossmax, proved to be a decent pioneer but some had qualms on the heel’s “chunkiness”. We can assure you that the XR Mission is a worthy newborn to the brand’s door-to-trail family tree.
“It’s like the BMW 5 Series for the Crossmax and the BMW 3 Series for the Mission. So it gives the access on the price point, on the technology sense, the level of entry for the people,” explains Mori Hiroshi, Salomon Product Manager, on the difference between the XR Crossmax and XR Mission. “So you have different segments of people who actually want to do trail running and this is more for people who like say ‘why not I want to give it a try?’ from road running to trail running; so that is the entry level. Then when you want to take it a level further, then you can have the Crossmax.”
So where were we? Yes, RunSociety was cordially invited to the official launch of the XR Mission at World of Sports, Vivocity, on 15 March where the organisers took us on a “mission” stroll that stretched from the mall all the way down to Labrador Park. There were little formalities in introducing the shoe for its much celebrated technical features, except a short lowdown at the end of the walk. They let the shoes do the talking and we listened with our feet so much so that we couldn’t resist giving it a proper run-up over the next couple of days. The XR Mission’s main draw: its smooth transition even on paved surfaces.
We also found out that the XR Mission is specifically tailored to the morphology and motion of men and women, with the XR Mission Women being the first shoe in Salomon’s range to be outfitted with Women’s Specific Ride.
“Developing the XR Mission was very much two different projects,” shares Jeff Dill, Salomon’s Product Line Manager for Trail Running Footwear. “Although they look similar, it was critical throughout the process to define specific fit and performance characteristics for each gender. We have given women a shoe that is designed for them in every way.”
If you ask us, we’ll recommend the XR Mission as an entry-level shoe for road runners seeking to cross over to the trails. See our latest Trail Blazer training feature to find out more.
- Weight – Men: 324g (US 9); Women: 274g (US 7)
- OS Muscle & OS Tendon – Cushions shock while improving heel-to-toe transition
- Contagrip™ – Outsole adapts naturally to variances in terrain, providing a great grip and rebound on any surface
- Sensiflex™ – Soft mesh fabric coated with flexible TPU in place on the metatarsal area of the foot to provide support; reduces the likelihood of bunions that occur in 30% of runners
- Women’s Specific Ride – Supports a higher arch and taller instep; additional and deeper grooves to accommodate a lighter average weight and more rigid foot
The Salomon XR Mission (Men and Women) is available at selected World of Sports outlets as well as both World of Outdoors and the Salomon store at Velocity@Novena Square.