On test is the Salomon Speedcross 3, which is described as an â€œiconic running shoe that brings speed to the trailsâ€
Once upon a time there was a pair of trainers. This pair of trainers was worn for all kinds of running, whether on the road or off-road. Then came an explosion in brands and styles of running shoes. Today, there are running shoes to suit every possible type of terrain, for narrow feet, wide feet, support, barefoot running, men, women, children etc. So choosing the right running shoe can be very tricky indeed.
Itâ€™s important to be specific about where you will be running. For example, the Salomon Speedcross 3 is a trail running shoe and itâ€™s claimed it â€œprovides the ultimate grip in any conditionsâ€. Having tested this shoe I would be even more precise.
The Salomon Speedcross 3 is best suited to softer terrain, such as muddy trails and grassy hills, rather than rocky routes.
The Speedcross 3 does not work so well on wet rock or wooden board walks. I tried the shoes on rocks and boardwalks and they did not offer great grip. You could also wear the shoes on dry and hard-packed trails but I think you would end up wearing down the studs on the soles.
The best terrain for Speedcross 3s
Where Salomon Speedcross 3 really do well is on winter-wet trails that are soft and muddy. They love hills and grip brilliantly where the ground is naturally soft and mucky. In these conditions I felt ultra stable. Running down grassy and muddy hills was a breeze in the Speedcross 3s.
Speedcross 3 fit
I usually wear Inov-8 trainers, which tend to be more of a barefoot fit. There isnâ€™t a great deal of support and while I like the more natural feel of Inov-8 shoes many people do not. Thatâ€™s where the Salomon Speedcross 3 comes in. This shoe has a lot more support than any off-road trainer that I have worn before.
The underfoot cushioning feels luxurious and the lacing system allows the shoe to give support across the whole foot. Salomon utilise their QUICKLACEâ„¢ system, which is a â€œminimalistic and strong lace for one-pull tightening. Easy-on, easy-offâ€. My feet did feel very secure and balanced inside the shoes.
When running, I liked the underfoot cushioning a lot more than I thought I would. I usually prefer to feel the ground beneath the shoe but it was a pleasant change to have some â€œgiveâ€ and cushioning in the shoe.
The fit is fairly snug (I have a long and narrow foot). The lacing system allows for a range of feet widths. If you have a narrow foot, however, you end up with a lot of excessive lace. This has to be tucked up into a useful pocket on the outside top of the tongue.
The shoe weight of 310g is not the lightest! I usually run in 265g or 275g but they didnâ€™t feel ultra heavy. I expect the extra weight is in the support and cushioning, which is no bad thing if you plan to run longer trails.
I ran in wet and muddy conditions and while my feet ended up wet they were not excessively uncomfortable while running. It is normal to have wet feet when running off-road and the trick is to make sure the water that gets in can get out again. The Speedcross 3s do allow for this. Because of the cushioning etc the shoes take longer to dry out after a wet run so it might be worth buying a gadget to dry out the footwear.
And while looks should not matter, the Speedcross 3s are beautiful (for a trainer!). There are lots of bright colourways to choose from, including black, and for both men and women. They would make a great gift for the special running someone in your life!