Saturday, 18 January 2014

Salomon XA Pro 3D review

When I hear the name Salomon, I always think of them as the Rolls Royce of trail running shoes. Although I've been running mostly on trails the last few years I've been very happy with the mid range of trail trainer I've been running in. But now I get to try something at the top end of the market.

Cotswold Outdoors have sent me a pair of the latest model of the Solomon XA Pro 3D to review and I've been itching to get out in them since they arrived. The latest version of the trainers is currently only available at Cotswold Outdoors and can be found here: Cotswold Outdoor - Salomon XA Pro 3D

This latest update on the XA Pro 3D has many advanced improvements, the reshaped chassis gives better stability and with more cushioning in the forefoot gives better propulsion.

The Sensifit system and Endofit foot sleeve gives a real sense of a secure fit and this is really noticeable when putting the trainers on for the first time. I would say in my opinion this is by far the best feature of the shoe holding the foot stable but really comfortable on the run.

With the UK weather being like it has recently the new Salomon's were certainly going to be given a real test on my local trails, deep mud and deep puddles, rocky trails, gravel, Tarmac and plenty of hills lay ahead.

One of the features new to me was the Quicklace system, no laces to tie just pull the cord, slide the toggle and away we go. The excess from the lace tucks conveniently away in the pocket at the top of the tongue. The toggle can easily be adjusted to tighten or loosen the laces while running.

It wasn't long into my run before I was going through plenty of water and with the upper being made predominantly from mesh, as well as letting the water out and getting drier quicker it allows the foot to breathe. This certainly worked and the shoe never felt heavier despite the amount of water I was going through.

The new lug design dealt with everything underfoot easily. Going through the mud the grip was excellent and limited any sliding around, on the gravel and stones, if any debris collected it was soon cleared. Clearly the homework had been done with the design of the sole.

The shoe looks and feels very durable especially around the exterior of the sole and the toe piece making it excellent when running on rockier surfaces.

I was surprised when I read that these Salomon's weigh in at 410g because they don't feel like a heavy trainer. Obviously a trail shoe with it's more durable features is going to weigh in heavier than a road shoe but I'd rather my trail shoe be heavier and more protected on the trails. I'm more into enjoying these runs at a moderate pace than requiring a lighter trainer for speed, I've got different trainers for that job, but for the trails these are a new favourite for me.

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