19 April 2017
Blake Dyason reviews the new Salomon Speedcross 4, the latest edition of this iconic trail running shoe.
The Salomon Speedcross is arguably one of the most distinguishable shoe in trail running. It's the Ferrari of the trail shoe world - sleek, lightweight and gripping on every turn. I was fortunate enough to be able to test and review the new Speedcross 4.
After testing the Speedcross on the dry trail conditions of Lion’s Head, I was impressed with its comfort and support. The shoe hugged my ankle and gave me the confidence to just let go and enjoy the trail.
Salomon Speedcross 4 Outsole
The outsole features Salomon's legendary Contagrip technology, only this time they’ve upgraded it. It now has complete lugs instead of the half-lugs of the previous Speedcross models.
Developed for winter trail running, the Speedcross’s lugs give you that necessary traction on muddy trails and snow covered landscapes. The new Wet Traction outsole also grips better in wet conditions on multiple surfaces. It's made of a more durable rubber compound, which will give you more miles than the previous model.
Salomon Speedcross 4 Midsole
The midsole is where things get really interesting. Salomon have gone with what they call Light Weight Muscle technology in the midsole foam. The EVA moulded foam is purpose-built to prevent collapse. This is a big advantage in terms of the shoes' durability.
It has a very plush midsole for comfort and cushioning. The foam does well to disperse the pressure throughout the sole, protecting the heel and achilles. It's light enough for short, fast efforts, yet comfortable enough to go the long distance. If you only have budget for one pair of trail shoes, these really would give you the best of both worlds.
Salomon Speedcross 4 Upper
The uppers are probably what I noticed first when I put the shoe on. What struck me was how the entire shoe seemed to fit my foot like a glove. Every part of the shoe was comfortably and securely wrapped around my foot making it feel very stable.
Salomon calls this technology 'Sensifit Upper' and is meant to "wrap the foot with a precise and secure fit". It is really precise. So precise that I would recommend trying the shoes on before buying a pair. I personally would go half a size bigger to ensure the fit is still accurate but also not too tight.
The foot is cradled from the midsole all the way to the lace system. This keeps the foot from any slippage whatsoever, a massive advantage on technical terrain when you don't want to be slipping around inside the shoe.
The Quicklace system is extremely, well, quick. The single Kevlar string is fed through the eyelets allowing for even pressure throughout as you tighten the laces. To keep the rest of the laces from dangling around while you run, there is a small pocket on the bellows tongue of the shoe.
Another fascinating feature of the Upper is a 'net' above the tongue of the shoe which prevents debris from entering the shoe. It also keeps the tongue securely in place. These are all features of the Sensifit technology which ensures the upper wraps around the whole foot and not just certain areas where the foot makes contact with the upper.
Salomon generally offer amazing grip and the Salomon Speedcross 4 shoes are no different. I like that these shoes are designed for wet and muddy conditions, with large lugs for grip, but on a dry technical surface they offer a soft cushioned feeling with every step. I'm excited to take these shoes into the mountain on my next snow hunt.