I've tried to write a review of my new trainers but unfortunately I come across as though I'm being paid to love these shoes. I'm not - promise. I just really like my new shoes!!
Trainers: Salomon Speedcross 3
Price: £95 Salomon website
The Hype from Salomon:
Made from water resistant, lightweight, breathable, abrasion-resistant materials with an anti-debris mesh which stops debris getting trapped between your foot and the footbed. Uses Footlaces for easy-on, easy-off. Sole has a non-marking ‘Contagrip’ which leaves no traces on the terrain. Lightweight muscle and feather construction. ‘OrthoLite’ inner creates a cooler, drier, healthier, better cushioned environment under the foot and is odour and fungus inhibiting. Designed not to break down or lose effectiveness over time. Recycled tire content to protect the environment.
What I thought:
I don’t tend to fall for hype on shoes. I go for sturdy shoes that can take abuse and keep on going. For me how they work is everything. I don’t need bouncy, colour coordinated or extra eyelets. High performance for me means bits don’t fall off them, they don’t fill up with water when it rains and often they have a high price tag. I don’t mind paying the price, but they HAVE to be worth it.
|My sexy new trainers ... yes I know they shouldn't be on the side in the kitchen ...|
|I tried the trainers here ...|
|And I tried them here ...|
|I put them through a REALLY thorough test ...|
|The trainers after Thunder Run 24 ...|
|The trainers after a wash after Thunder Run ... scrubbed up pretty well.|
However, I was really pleased when I received these shoes. Call me a shallow girl but they’re PRETTY. I love pretty trainers and I have been occasionally (regularly) subject to the odd (regular) bout of trainer envy when I see a pretty pair that aren’t on MY feet. I appreciate however that pretty doesn’t always mean practical and my trainers have to perform too. I don’t jog down the high street of the town at a gentle 13 minute mile with perfect hair and coordinated clothing. I go splashing through mud and hit the trails hard. Hair flying, branches whipping and laughing the whole way.
Goose-Poo Brown ... or Not
My previous pair of trainers had come only in white because they’re a wide fit. Seriously? At least half of my runs are on trails and footpaths and there’s a significant amount of mud involved on a lot of my runs. I’ve had 3 pairs of these trainers and they’ve stayed white for approximately 3 runs (where I’ve avoided puddles, rural ‘mud’ and goose poo for as long as is humanly possible) after which they’ve turned – and stayed – a patchy browny-beige colour. Most attractive. Think 60s woodchip walls. So I was most impressed to have some trail shoes that started out in pretty red, pink & black. The colours might dull after enough mud and puddles but I figured they’re less likely to end up goose-poo brown in a week.
They’re very light. I don’t know how much difference the weight actually makes to my speed and control but these shoes can be balanced very easily on one finger. Despite this, they don’t feel flimsy and appear well made and sturdy. Even after running 50+ miles in them through thick mud and water and over stones there aren’t any areas of damage or marks on them which surprised me.
They fasten with a lock lace system called ‘Quicklace’. These are very slim and I was concerned that they would dig into the top of my foot, but the tongue of the shoe is very thick and they were surprisingly comfortable. They held the tension well and didn’t come undone although I had to tuck the end under the laces as the tapping of it against my foot as I ran was a bit annoying. Only problem was that these were difficult to loosen again. Not great when you have about 5 minutes to get showered and changed and get back to your desk after your lunchtime run. Maybe there’s a trick to it but I’ve worn them 4 or 5 times and I still haven’t found it.
The soles are smooth but with large ‘V’ shaped rubber spikes. On the road they feel quite bouncy and while not uncomfortable are clearly a shoe designed for the trails. On mud however they really come into their own. I tried these shoes out initially on grassy and stony trails and they were great. A lot of grip and a lot of comfort. Looked good, felt comfortable and gripped well.
But are They Keepers?
However …I also took them to Thunder Run 24hr race. A 6 miles lapped trail race on grass, dirt paths and forest trails. Lovely. However after torrential rain and 2,000 pairs of feet we were talking about a mud bath. An ankle-deep mud bath. These shoes performed so well that even after 5 laps I was overtaking people who were fresh. The grip in mud is astounding and I had people asking me about the shoes I was wearing and commenting on how I kept overtaking them on the muddy parts (I was in it for consistent speed and the long haul). I fully appreciate that it is highly uncool to wax lyrical about a pair of shoes you’re reviewing but these trainers are keepers. I’m also fully intending to buy a second pair for cross country season and trail runs.
Quick Scrub Up?
Plus they wash up well. As far as being a sucker for pretty trainers goes this is a pretty important point if they’re going to get covered in mud and crap every time I run.
Am a Sell Out!!
Salomon sent me these shoes to try and I’m SO sorry. I’m not a sell-out and I tried to find some bad points about these shoes but I really like them! If they fall apart during my next run or start to give me horrific blisters I promise to update this review!!