Fell shoes, proper fell shoes with grip that you can climb walls with can be a tad expensive. The Inov8 Mudclaws and Salomon Speedcross 3s creep in at near £100, and are quickly trashed with the kind of terrain we usually encounter on trail and fell. So when these appeared on the scene at under half that price, and readily available at much less than that, they sounded too good to be true.
The first impression you get of the More Mile Cheviot 2 Fell and Trail shoes is how aggressive the grip is. The sole is quite hard, and doesn’t appear grippy at first glance, something the use on the fell would prove or not.
They’re built quite chunky – not exacty lightweight, but this extra padding affords some welcome protection. This also means proper laces, easy to make up, rather than the thread-like ultralight laces currently in vogue that feel like trying to tie a cheese wire. They’re very similar in fact to an aged pair of Inov8 Mudroc 320s that I have for occasional runs, but with a more aggressive grip.
Waterproofness is non-existent, but not something expected of a fell shoe. You expect to cross mud and bog, and wet feet are part of the experience. The only way around that is waterproof socks.
In use, the sole is aggressive and running on tarmac in them didn’t feel too odd. On grass and mud, they performed well, not surprising as the soles / studs would obviously grip, preventing slippage.
The ultimate test however, is wet rock. Most soles will have limited grip on wet rock, with very few exceptions so did the Cheviot 2 shoes succeed where most failed? I ran rather tentatively with these to start with, as I didn’t expect much grip on wet rock. Unfortunately, I was right. The wet rock performance is rather poor, even while walking along the coast I had to cross rocks tentatively.
You can’t expect a pair of trail running / fell shoes that cost between £25 and £40 to perform as well as a £100 pair, but they come quite close, with the expected limitations on wet rock. This is a criticism that could be levelled at most footwear, and even boots costing into the hundreds can perform poorly on wet rock.
If you’re after a budget trail running or multi use approach shoe, you can’t go far wrong at this price. I’m not sure how durable they are, but they feel sturdy and chunkier than more expensive shoes. Absolute bargain.