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Salomon: Speedcross 4 Shoes and Trail Gaiters Review
If you’re into trail running,
then chances are you’ve heard the brand Salomonmany times. I’ve done a lot of reviews on Salomonproducts and quite frankly I still
couldn’t get enough of them. Once you tried one of their products, you might
find yourself getting another one. They’re that great!
Trail running is up again and if
you’re on the market or looking to upgrade your shoes then I suggest that you
visit their website, they have tons of selections to choose from. It took me few
days to decide on which one to get but at the end I fell for the Speedcross 4. The
Speedcross 4 (4th generation) is the much and long awaited upgrade
of the Speedcross 3. The S3 has been around since 2012 and I’m not sure what
took them so long to do the update. If you fell in love with the S3, then
you’ll surely love the S4 as well.
The Speedcross 4 is just
one of the many trail running shoes from the Salomon’s line up. The shoe weighs
in at 10.9 ounces (310 grams) for size
9. The heel to toe drop is 10mm (Heel
height: 30mm, Forefoot height: 20mm). It is lightweight, highly cushioned with
a deep monster grip traction to keep
you planted on the ground. As for fit, the shoe is on the narrow side but the
size 10 that I normally wear just fit fine with me, more on the fit below.
·Sensifit: Works to cradle the foot providing a
precise and secure fit.
·Lace pocket: provides easy storage for the lace
·Quicklace: one pull system lacing
·Molded EVA: provides cushioning, stability and
·Mudguard: protective material around the base of
·Anti-debris mesh: avoid debris to be trapped
between the foot and the footbed
The Speedcross 4 is
built to tackle rough mountain trail conditions so it’s obvious that it must
employ a highly durable material. The upper is made of very tightly woven fabric
that is tear resistant. Though this version is not full waterproof (click here
for the Gore-Tex
version) it is still capable of handling light precipitations that can keep
your feet dry. It has a 360-degree mudguard around the base that sits high
enough to protect your feet from those shallow puddle and mud from getting in.
The toe cap is very robust and it feels like it is equipped with a steel inside,
you can literally kick rocks with this toe cap and easily walk away from it
without injuring yourself.
With 10.9 ounces per shoe, it
does feel a bit heavy, but there’s a good reason behind it. Salomon filled it
with molded EVA foam to deliver that cushiony ride and anatomical support you’ll
need to lessen the impact to your joints and body.
When it comes to the toe box, don’t
expect that you can splay your feet in it like Altra or Topo. I found that all
my toes are snug together, but not too constrictive even when my feet tend to
swell during the run. If you have a narrow to average feet, then you’ll feel at
home with the S4.
Salomon is fond of using the
quick lacing technology, you can find this in almost all of their shoes. Though
it has its pros and cons (ask any runners about it), I found it OK and it
provided the right amount of hold to secure my feet. Though I have to admit that
I did adjust the tension after two miles since I felt a little bit of a hot
spot on the top. The lacing they used are thin and light and does not absorb
water. At the very top of the tongue is a lace pocket that you can store and
hide the rest of the lace and prevent it from dangling around that could lead
into getting snag on some roots and branches.
It has an anti-debris mesh (screen
protector) on top of the tongue that is sewn right underneath the lace hooks
that prevents unwanted objects like twigs, pebbles and rocks from getting in to
your footbed. The tongue has a decent amount of padding for cushion to prevent
hot spots in the event you overtighten the lace.
The heel collar is surrounded
with a good amount of padding that doesn’t irritate and cause no chafing on my
heel. Like the toe cap, the heel cap (lock) is solidly built, it’s firm and
robust that provides a snug hold preventing my heel from sliding out especially
on the ascent when I start to push off with my forefoot.
Salomon loves their SENSIFIT™
technology, it’s a great feature that cradles my foot providing a precise and
secure fit. So how does it work? One of the issues I have on some of the shoes
I tested was that my foot tends to slide forward especially on a downhill
regardless of how snug and tight I do my laces. This helps eliminate that issue
and never did I experience my big toe stabbing the top of my shoe.
Just look at the lugs profile, their
aggressive! This is where the S4 shines. Make no mistake, the traction of the
S4 is one of a kind that will surely keep you planted on the ground. Whether
you’re going uphill, downhill or side hill, you’ll be confident that you’re not
going to slip and slide… you just plant and go! Thanks to the deep-set of lugs
(chevron) measuring 6mm that are strategically placed (directional opposing
lugs) all over the soles. The front lugs are positioned to provide traction
when going uphill, while the lugs on the heel area are angled for downhill
traction. Regardless of the soil condition even with slippery leaves, the sole
will claw its way to give you that outstanding grip, balance and stability.
I ran with these shoes right
after a full week of heavy rain at Hidden Falls where the soil was still muddy
and slippery. Despite the condition, these shoes just stick wherever I landed
my feet. Going uphill was a breeze as the front of the toe just digs right thru
the soil. The traction was even more impressive as I ripped the downhill section
without sliding even an inch.
When it comes to weight, I found
this shoe on the heavy side but that’s because of the molded EVA that they
inject to deliver that cushy ride to absorb the impact of the soil, which is
more crucial in my opinion especially for longer or ultra-marathon races.
Note that Salomon did not
incorporate a rock plate protection on this shoe due to the fact that the
bottom sole is solidly built and can handle any sharp or pointed rocks. The
stiffness of the sole is sufficient enough to protect my feet from sharp edges.
So, no worries on that matter. However, the stiffness of the sole can backfire.
I had a hard time at the gravel section, it was a challenge maintaining my
balance the fact that the bottom sole is so rigid and it just floats on the
rocks, it’s a little bit unsteady in my opinion. So just be cautious not to
trip or twist your ankle when you get into this kind of section as you might
need to find a good balance.
When it comes to the lateral
stiffness, the shoe is excellent and it didn’t cave in even when approaching a
fast turn and twist on the trail. One thing that really surprised me most is
its forefoot flexibility (despite the sole being so rigid) that I thought it would
need to be broken in first. Nope not at all.
When it comes to breathability,
I never had any issue with it (but in fairness, it was cold when I tested it). I’m
not sure how will this perform when the temperature starts to rise. I’m
guessing that it will not ventilate well due to the density of the material
There is no question that
Speedcross 4 is built to tackle tough terrains regardless of its condition. These
shoes are made where traction is all that matters, whether it’s mud, grass,
leaves, steep ascent and decent, side hills and rock cropping these shoes are
stellar. Some may find the lugs too aggressive especially for those trails that
is not too technical to traverse. For some who loves technical trails then
these shoes are for you.
The Speedcross 4
comes with a price tag of $130 but Salomon slashed the price down to $91, with
that price, there’s no reason not to get one. I highly suggest that you take
advantage of it and bring the joy with you as you blaze the trail with these
shoes. You can purchase it directly on their website or at retail stores near you.
Is a simple piece of fabric that
wraps around the ankle to keep the debris from getting in. There’s nothing more
annoying than getting something stuck inside your shoes while running. The
Salomon gaiters come in two distinct sizes, the high
gaiters. Depending on what type of running and where you normally run will decide
which one you should get. I personally prefer the high for extra protection.
This is a “wrap-around” gaiters
that utilize a Velcro system for closure. It has a reflective logo and two
padded areas to protect the upper bones of the ankle from accidental brushing
from stones or trail hazards. It has a very robust and dense rubber that goes
underneath the shoes for security. Unlike other gaiters, these don’t have a lace
hook closure on the front and velcro for gaiter trap. Instead, Salomon used the
elastic fabric to make it secure around the shoes and the ankle to have the
closure. Take note that these gaiters are left and right specific, and the
markings can be seen on the tag.
Running can sometimes be complicated
and I love that Salomon didn’t add anymore complication on that. Simplicity is what this gaiter is all
about. I was really impressed with how it performed and provided the
protection that I really needed. Getting it on and off the shoes is a breeze
and once it’s on, it stays on. It simply disappears out of my mind that I was