As you know I don’t really care about what my trainers look like, I’m all about comfort and support. I have had several pairs of Salomon trainers for running as well as for every day use. Quite a while ago now I saw the Salomon XA Pro 3D Mountain Trail running shoes in a sale somewhere online. Or actually I think Kath saw them and they were stupidly reduced (I cant remember to what – maybe 50 quid or so). I got a pair even though I was still perfectly happy with my old ones. Yesterday I wore the new ones for the first time for a run. I’ve worn them round the house once or twice and once to got for a short walk.
They are billed as on and off trail and they seem perfect for running round here where I am mostly on the canal towpath in its varying forms and sometimes on paths and tracks and muddy bits. You can read all the spec on the Salomon website if interested. Doesn’t look like they have this colour any more but the spec is pretty much the same I think. I have so far only taken them out on a short run which turned into a walk anyway (see previous post!) but they fit nicely. Initially the way to tongue cover comes over and you sort of have an internal sleeve that hugs your foot for better fit felt a bit weird but by the time I got to the end of the road I’d forgotten about it and I can really see the benefit of the design as it stops little bits of dirt or branches or little stones from sneaking in at the side of your foot. The laces are sort of fun and easy to do and undo and the release mechanism and ‘spare’ laces can be tucked into the little hud. The grip was great – possibly slightly better than the grip on my previous ones or maybe it just seems that way because the grip on my older ones has worn down a fair bit. No sliding about or feeling like I might slip. Maybe I’ll even be able to run down the golf course in these!
The trainers have what Salomon call a 3D chassis. They say it ‘maximizes security, motion control, energy management and push through protection for a high performance, stable and responsive ride’. Well, it felt pretty stable and secure and comfy but also just a little stiffer than I am used to and my left foot felt a bit achey after a little while. I think they’ll soften though and then they’ll be perfect. I was worried that the tongue cover etc would make them feel tight and I don’t like tight but there is plenty of flexibility in it and it didn’t feel restricting at all.
Sometimes trail running shoes seem clunky and heavy to me and while these are slightly heavier than my road ones, they are not heavy and I don’t think they look or feel to clunky or chunky. I have quite wide feet but these shoes fit well. Kath has some too and she has narrow feet and they fit her well so there is definitely something about the design that really does fit and support different shapes of foot. The laces help with that I think. Kath has hers quite tight whereas I hardly adjust mine from the really loose setting.
So far I like these. We’ll see how we go. Kath really likes her pair and she is a fussy one when it comes to shoes – understandable given how she suffers from blisters and a dodgy ankle.