The latest of the Salomon (Speed/Fell/Snow/Spike)cross shoes I have been able to put on the trails is the Speedcross 3. If you’re a regular reader of the site, you may recall such reviews as the Speedcross 2 GTX, or the Fellcross. The Speedcross 2 GTX version are still a favourite of mine for winter running, and I was excited to see how the new Speedcross 3’s would perform in warmer weather.
These shoes arrived at the perfect time for me. This sole is designed for aggressive traction in soft, muddy conditions. Springtime (or at least almost spring in these parts) was an ideal time to see how this tread would perform. I was as impressed as I had expected to be. The tread is a part of the Speedcross shoes that has remained the same, so based on my experience with the 2nd version I expected these to hold well. The lugs were big for gripping and pushing off of soft stuff, and widely spaced for easy mud clearing. I was surprised to find that on one extremely muddy route, even the Speedcross tread managed to get caked up with mud. Granted this was deep, thick, clay based mud and I doubt there is anything it wouldn’t stick to. The nice part was that once back on dry trail, the wide lug spacing shed the mud quickly.
The uppers on the Speedcross 3’s are very protective. There is no airy mesh fabric to be found, and they are good at keeping dust, dirt, and debris out. The tight knit fabric does keep your foot warmer than it would be in a lighter mesh, but that’s the tradeoff for keeping the trail away from your toes. Again, the time of year I tested these shoes this was ideal as it wasn’t yet warm out so I had no issue with my feet overheating or sweating up in temperatures up to about 10 degrees Celcius. It remains to be seen whether this would be an issue in the heat and humidity of summer, but I don’t see it being the ideal shoe on a hot, dry day anyway. When its rainy and muddy, these shoes will excel, and overheating would be less of an issue.
The lacing system is Salomon’s standard quicklace with the newer tensioner which is nice and small. I had no issues with the laces coming out of the “garage” and flopping around. The garage (or lace storage pocket) was well placed on this shoe which made it easy to tighten them and stuff the laces away. I have really grown to like this lacing system.
As with the Fellcross, I did have one initial issue with a heel blister. I am definitely chalking this up to a faulty right foot/heel (mine) and not putting any blame on the shoe. I seem to have this issue, on this heel, anytime I am starting out in a new shoe with a stiff heel cup. On my second run with them I was out for about 20km in some deep mud which led to a lot of pulling on the heel cup and rubbing on the back of my foot resulting in a blister. As with the Fellcross, I haven’t had an issue since – even on a recent 30km trail run. I would recommend using them on a couple shorter runs until you get the lace tension sorted out to avoid learning the hard way that you’ve left them too loose or too tight. Now that I’ve used them with slightly socks, and proper tension they have been fine.
There was a good amount of cushioning in these shoes, and approximately 9mm of drop. This made for a comfortable shoe that absorbed impact and tolerated some sloppiness in the stride during the late stages of my runs, and some heel impact on faster downhills. They definitely aren’t the lightest shoe in the Salomon arsenal, but I didn’t ever find that they were too bulky or heavy on my feet.
These were a great shoe for the soft muddy days of spring. Beyond this constantly muddy season, I would bust these out after a rain storm, or on any trails with softer ground that needed a serious lug to hold on. Now that I seem to have sorted out the lace tension I will be putting in a lot more time in these shoes.
Thanks for reading and feel free to share questions or your own experience with these shoes.