I was recently given the opportunity to review a pair of Salomon Speedcross 3 trail running shoes by Fitness Footwear. The Salomon Speedcross 3 trail running shoes are designed to be a lightweight trail racing shoe with an aggressive profile and is a recently updated third incarnation of this popular trail and fell runner shoe.
We love the Quicklace™ lacing system. Just pull tight, and go. No stopping to tie those pesky laces half way around a run. The laces just dangled annoyingly until we discovered that there’s a specially designed pocket on the tongue of each shoe to accommodate them.
We gave them the full mud and routes treatment on as many surfaces as we could over a month or so. On hard surfaces, they felt strange, something akin to running in football boots with soft studs, making them more suitable for when you’re going to be hitting the trail from the off. Once off path, they excelled on mud, grass and wet rock. Until we tried these out, we thought that Inov8 soles were the only ones this grippy. The only conditions we were unable to test them with was in snow, but they’d probably be fine in fresh snow. Running downhill on muddy and wet rocks has never been this easy.
On mud and grass, the grip on these are more aggressive than a Vinny Jones character after a pint displacement incident. You just know your footfall is going to be safe and that the shoes will just grip.
They’re also available in a wide range of colours that range from muted along to the loud, hi-viz and positively garish that even make the yellow ones I reviewed look tasteful. The more conservative runner can opt for the black or grey if that pleases.
The only downside is that they don’t even make an attempt at being water resistant. This makes them less useful for lightweight walking, but for trail running wet feet is the least of your worries, and we didn’t hold this against them. It also makes them highly breathable, and any water that does find itself in will soon find it’s way out. In combination with some sealskin socks, then these might be fine for walking if you’re really desperate for the extra grip they provide or plan on walking in dry conditions. You will need a pair of thin Sealskinz or size up as they are a snug fit with anything other than thin running socks, and even then I found them verging on the warm side when coupled with the Sealskinz.
While they’re OK for scrambling, the grip is most welcome, they’re not ideal. Using them on a traverse of Crib Goch saw a few of the grip ‘studs’ either torn off completely or partially.However, for quick summer jaunts, or challenge walks where you’ll probably break into an occasional slow run, they’re well suited.
It needs to be borne in mind that they’re primarily an off road running shoe that will suit anyone from the determined plodders here at Mud and Routes all the way up to serious athletes. It also provides a welcome extra option for us on those fast walks where wet feet wouldn’t be a problem, and so earns it’s keep as a multi-activity shoe if needed. We’ll be keeping these in reserve for runs on pure trail or fell where any tarmac or concrete will be minimal, and for that they’re close to perfect.
With thanks to Fitness Footwear who provided these shoes for review.