The concept of the new Salomon XR Crossmax is to bridge the gap between a road and trail running shoe. A ‘hybrid’ that can take you from urban jungle to woodland track. The questions are…..can a single shoe perform in these different environments without compromising running comfort? Is it a jack of all trades and master of none? I went to find out by running in the City of Bristol and then out through local woodlands.
My first impressions were good – I liked the striking and sleek look. It’s certainly lightweight- only 320grams to be precise but it still manages to feel a secure and snug fit thanks to the Sensifit system which wraps around the upper instep. The Crossmax was a lot more flexible than I was expecting considering it is designed for off road running, but it still maintains the necessary stability. I also liked the toe box which was comfortable and features a protective cap. The lacing system is neat but requires adjustment at each eyelets level to obtain a secure lock.
I started out running on the pavements and instantly my feet felt extremely well cushioned – positively springy! This is thanks to the OS Tendon system which runs along the underside of the shoe from heel to mid foot and is designed to smooth the entire foot strike and provide energy return.
There was no doubt that I could feel the aggressive grip provided by the Contagrip system on the outsole which was particularly pronounced on pavements and concrete but this definitely came into its own as soon as I moved onto softer surfaces. On grass, rock and muddy trails the traction was extremely good – I was able to change direction and scamper down wet hills with confidence – perhaps not with the same confidence as I have with my trail shoes in the extreme muddy condition, but not at all bad.
With the weight of the Salomon name behind the XR Crossmax, with their years of experience in designing trail running shoes I’d be very surprised if they weren’t extremely robust and durable.
After several hours of running both in and out of town, I have been immensely impressed with the versatility of this running shoe. It perfectly fits the type of running that many of us city-dwellers enjoy; starting at our ‘concrete’ doorstep, running on pavements through town until we can hit the trails and tracks of the countryside! Essentially Salomon has fulfilled what it set out to do – produce a running shoe which can take you from ‘door to trail’……..and then back again!
For more information on these trainers click on the following link:
Salomon XR Crossmax training shoe