Salomon Speedcross 5, Teeth for your Feet !!

Posted on March 03 2019

Salomon Speedcross 5, Teeth for your Feet !!

So, I have been living with the Speedcross 5 for a few weeks now and today was the first opportunity to try them in the wet so at last I feel I can give them more of a rounded review. 

In the beginning I must admit, I was skeptical. Despite being Salomon's best selling trail shoe worldwide, the particular condition on Hong Kong trails would not have put these top of my list. 

With a few very scary "clench" moments on knobbly, soft ground trail shoes in the past, my inbuilt survival instinct was shouting, steer clear !. 

So right out of the box the first reaction is "What the Fxxx, these things are massive !" The huge heel block adds to the scale of the things and the super aggressive lugs make for a somewhat comically aggressive look. They kind of snarl at you :-) A bit like attaching a pair of "Freddy Mercurys" to your feet !

For the first few weeks I have been doing our regular Saturday Run in them. Benign conditions, dry trail, not especially technical. Always generates a bit of a giggle when I turn up in them. Like attaching crampons to walk upstairs ....and in the same way, a bit of an overkill for the conditions encountered. 

So how do they feel ?.... The moment you put your foot in they actually feel supremely comfortable.  Maybe I am lucky that my feet are a good match to the Salomon last geometry but these are more cossetted than in other Salomon's that's for sure. 

That huge heel gives the impression of a massive drop but in fact its a relatively modest 10mm, and your heel sits quite deeply into the heel block. The vamp is wonderfully made with the now widely adopted "no sew" construction but despite that holds your foot precisely. I look for that precision in a trail shoe and I really like the narrow, quite aggressive shape of this shoe. 

The tread pattern is very aggressive and clearly designed for mud, snow, loose and anything sloppy and consequently my biggest concern for Hong Kong trails where we rarely get conditions like that. The big lugs have proved a problem in the past on the greasy steps, catchwaters and paved trails that are on many of our trails. So for the first few weeks, because if the dry conditions the testing has been focused on purely the run-ability and how they feel turning out a regular 10 to 15 km run. IT claims to have a EnergyCell™+ in the midsole for good energy return and while I didn't notice it specifically it probably contributed to the comfortable ride.

What I have found though is that these shoes are truly comfortable, stable and as you would expect, extremely protective. The large heel does provides a very stable platform and for anyone with over-pronation problems these shoes will be a fabulous way to get stability from a trail shoe.

 

 

So today was the first opportunity to test them in the wet... not the most aggressive trail but a steady out and back on Sir Cecils ride. A good mix of occasional muddy puddles, slippery turns and slimy concrete and rocks. 

Since my past experience, Salomon have developed the Contragrip compound that is now on all of their top trail shoes and we have found on other models it has proved great on Hong Kong concrete. My conclusion is that the grip on the Speedcross is adequate. Given the aggressiveness of the lug pattern, contact is more limited on steps and concrete than say the Ultra Pro or the Ultra 2. Having said that its is nothing like my past experiences... much more grip and control. 

 

So the conclusion. Firstly, these are soft ground trail shoes, there is no getting away from that. If you only plan on running on relatively non technical, Hong Kong trails they are probably an overkill and you will wear the lugs out pretty quickly. Their bulk does make them a bit heavy too, weighing in at around 320 grams 

Grip however, even on Hong Kong trails has improved significantly with Contragrip and you should not have too many "holy crap" moments.... On the real plus side they are supremely comfortable and stable and even on HK trails are a joy to run in. If you have overpronation challenges you will like the stability of the shoe and for everybody you can count on wonderful protection against rock strikes etc. 

Where these shoes come into their own is when the going gets sloppy or loose. If you plan to run your big race in Europe or you get a day in HK when the weather is somewhat extreme, these would be ideal shoes to train in and then use them on the big day. The teeth on your feet will bite into anything you encounter. 

 

They have a place in the arsenal and they will hopefully get you singing We Are The Champions as you power through the sticky stuff !!

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