When RunSociety contacted me to review this pair of kicks, I was psyched, but also slightly uncomposed to the fact that I have been training/racing in minimalist shoes – and the XR Crossmax was HUGE.

Five runs in this pair of kicks and I have collated the following in accordance to my own experience.

My usual running route would involve a 6.5-kilometre road to a 15.8-kilometre trail from Bukit Timah to Dairy Farm to Singapore Quarry to MTB trail and finally ending at MacRitchie Reservoir.

I also brought along an additional pair of trail racers in my Salomon S-LAB 12 pack because I was apprehensive about how long I could last in them.

The Crossmax wouldn’t be the people’s choice, especially if you’ve a portion of your route on concrete pavements for sure – the cleats don’t work that well on flat empty roads. However, the Crossmax’s Contagrip offered superior steering at bends and tight canopies of which met my satisfaction. When ascending, I could definitely feel the cleats sink and grip into the dirt firmly. This was enjoyable as I had second thoughts about how fast I could go in this pair of heavies.

I did six sprints in total, of which – through my trail runs with the Crossmax – consisted of a 4.00 min/hr pace. Naturally, this pair of kicks begun to “wrap” around my feet as the runs increased – the Sensiflex outer layer assists the shoes’ form and moulds accordingly to your feet as it expands on long runs.

I’d definitely advise anyone to exercise caution for TECHNICAL descents at a reasonably fast pace. However, even though I still had blisters in my fourth run, my feet weren’t hurting as much as I thought a higher-arched pair of shoes would. The semi-rigid OS Tendon bars set into the length of the sole encourage powerful foot roll.

Runner’s Boon

  • The midsole has beefed up a whole lot (in comparison to other Salomon shoes), offering a smoother heel-to-toe transition
  • Very snug fit
  • Hard nose provides additional support especially when one is “bombing” downhill
  • Great at bends during speed transition
  • Great for hard-packed trails (i.e. particularly the trails in Singapore)

Runner’s Bane

  • Too bulky; maybe I’m just too used to running minimalist and although I’ve tried other trail shoes from Salomon, this pair could probably have a couple of millimetres shaved off the sole
  • Doesn’t wick off water well – took me 15 minutes of pounding just to rid off a minute amount of liquid
  • Not quite breathable – feet felt really warm and swollen after runs; one bad hotspot on left plantar fascia, two on right Hallux
XR Crossmax (Neutral) - Retail Price: S$209

Technical Specifications

  • Weight – 322g (US 8.5)
  • Sensiflex – Allows foot to expand but in a controlled manner, increasing foothold
  • Neutral OS Tendon – Provides energy return and a smooth transition from heel strike to toe-off
  • Sensifit – Symmetrical seamless Sensifit for perfect foothold
  • Midsole – Neutral midsole for a smoother cushioned ride
  • Contagrip® LT Outsole – Lightweight compound with outstanding traction on all surfaces, wet or dry
  • Contagrip HA Outsole – Extremely durable compound used on the parts of the shoe that get the most wear
  • Quicklace – Easy on/off lacing system for custom fit

Where to find them?

The Salomon XR Crossmax (Neutral) – Men & Women – is available at selected World of Sports stores and authorised dealers.

Ford Lim

I battled obesity since I was a kid and wanted to lose weight in the shortest time possible – I tied my laces and hit the road. That drive became an addiction, and that transited to an obsession. In 2007, it was official – I needed to do an ultramarathon. Seven years in, and two years of competitive racing has made me feel more alive than anything I’ve ever imparted in. Taking part in races like The Goat (New Zealand) and the Borneo 100km Ultra Trail Marathon (Sabah) are just some which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every minute of, as much as the insane pain that came with the package. The answers I’ve found as to how much I had it in me still revs me on to do what I love and be better at what I do.

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