SpeedCross4, the Rolling Stones of the trailrunnin
Published on 16/11/2016 00:00
#salomon #speedcross4 #runnerinn
The Salomon Speedcross 4 sports shoe needs no introduction; It’s a trail running shoe that meets all your expectations, performing equally well on muddy, greasy surfaces, in the wet, or on technical terrain.
The Speedcross is a veteran of the trailrunning world, with a robust look and boundless energy. I would even go so far as to say (hopefully, without upsetting any fans!) that this is the Rolling Stones of trail running shoes. With this 4th edition of Speedcross, the makers Annecy have incorporated some improvements, while still retaining the essence of the shoe, with its prominent studs, heel to toe drop of 10mm and dynamic aesthetics.
Attractive colours in a wide range of options. Prominent studs of about 6mm, a drop of 10mm (23mm at the heel of the shoe, to 13mm at the toe), which is a little high compared to what I have been used to wearing lately. The upper is very well protected and looks extremely resistant.
The first impression when you put the shoe on is very pleasant, the cushioning on the tongue and the buttress area make it very comfortable. I have narrow feet, and this shoe wraps around my foot like a glove. I love how it cradles my foot and how secure it feels; now to see how this hold behaves on technical terrain. For now, I’m very happy to have the chance to go out and test these trainers, especially since it’s raining and the test ground is becoming ideal to see how these studs attack the mud!
Lacing, upper, protection and how does it fit?
The Salomon speedcross 4 is very well designed, with the toe of these shoes normally the best protected area of the upper. This edition is no different, as the toe is very, and I mean very, well protected. But the makers haven’t forgotten about the outline of the upper: there is protection all around the perimeter of the upper that would make it quite difficult for the trainer to be damaged or cut.
The lacing on the Salomon Speedcross 4, like many of their models, uses the Quicklace system, which is simple, quick and efficient.
The mesh, or material covering the foot, is made out of nylon ripstop, which helps to keep the trainer intact for longer, as it means that if the mesh is pierced by a twig, etc, this prevents it from turning into a bigger rip.
On the side of the shoe, there is further protection in white zig-zag. This is the sensifit system, a system that allows a comfortable and efficient fit.
To be honest, there are times that brands give you a lot of spiel about technology and advances, but when you try out the product, it all turns out to be empty promises. In this case, all that they say about systems, technologies and other technical details is actually true. And they work very well. The way these trainers fit around the foot is really excellent, and on sideways or technical steps your foot doesn’t slide around inside the shoe. There is a version that uses GORE-TEX membrane, which I have tried but they aren’t waterproof, although they are designed for running on damp ground. This can be appreciated throughout the whole upper: the mesh is sealed off better than any of the other trailrunning shoes that I have in my wardrobe, but at no time did I feel like my foot was sweating due to not being able to breathe. The protection on the trainer lends a feeling of security, as they really help to prevent hard objects that may strike from the side or the front from hurting your foot. In my opinion, this upper deserves a 10!
Structure, cushioning, comfort and how does it behave over different distances?
The Salomon Speedcross 4 has a drop of 10mm which in the past might have been considered high. For my taste, this drop is a bit much, since I prefer to feel closer to the ground, as it makes me feel more secure. With the Speedcross, you get the feeling of being quite high off the ground, and if we add to this the fact that it is not an especially wide-soled shoe, it can cause a little bit of vertigo to anyone who may have wobbly ankles.
The cushioning is another aspect which has been improved for this new edition of Speedcross. Shock absorption on the heel area is good, working very well when going downhill, allowing you to put your heel down fearlessly on steep terrain, as it absorbs the impact efficiently. In the mid-foot area, in contrast, there is less cushioning. This is harder, giving the feeling that all the work falls to the studs. On hard ground, I feel that it would lack a little something. This tends to make you very aware all the time of what type of terrain you are running on.
The sole and how it behaves on different types of terrains and conditions
The trainer has a contragrip sole, with improved grip and durability. First of all, I have to say that I don’t understand why the soles of the trainers contain dye, as, according to the makers themselves, this can cause them to lose some of their grip. I imagine that the loss of grip must be minimal, but this detail still surprised me.
If we divide the trainer into the front and back areas, bearing in mind that the halfway point would be the bridge of the foot, the distribution of the studs is clearly differentiated. In the front, the studs work to give more grip and reactivity to the shoe. In the back, they work to help slow you down and provide more safety on descents. The studs cover the sole from toe to heel, so that on sideways steps at an angle, the trainer keeps on working optimally and effectively.
In the previous section I spoke about the cushioning of the running shoe, which is a little hard at the front. I must point out that the Salomon Speedcross 4 is designed, with all its characteristics and qualities, for running on wet and/or greasy terrain. Therefore, when I went running on muddy, moist and soft ground, this trailrunning shoe was a real marvel, with spectacular grip from the studs. When going uphill the traction is perfect, with virtually no loss of force in my stride. And on downhill slopes, you can give free rein to your imagination, as the way that the studs cling onto the ground is a real pleasure!
The shoe’s weakest point would be its grip over rocky ground, because the prominent studs as well as their distribution make them a negative point for the Speedcross 4. They do not grip as they should on this terrain and I slipped a couple of times, nothing serious, but this would definitely be their Achilles heel.
How do they behave at different speeds?
To try out different paces, I tested them conscientiously, going from gentle jogging to even competing in cross-country running. To sum up, they performed well, but if I have to tell the whole truth and comment on their performance at faster speeds, there are other models from the same firm that I would recommend more. Weighing approximately 310gr and with a drop of 10mm, there are lighter options which would be more suited to higher speeds. I wouldn’t venture so far as to rate these shoes as being ideal for running at speed, as this is something that is very personal to each runner, but to give you an idea, on the flat or on wooded tracks where you can run at speeds of between 4.30” min/km and 5.00” min/km, they perform perfectly.
Type of user for whom I would recommend these shoes:
I would recommend the Salomon Speedcross 4 for runners whose racing speed is over 5.00 min/km, with a maximum weight of 70kg, who run with their weight on the middle of the foot, and who want to just get out and enjoy running on technical, greasy or wet terrain.
*Durability of the upper
*Very comfortable shoe
*Adapts well to the foot
*Poor grip on damp, rocky ground
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Disfrutar la vida al 100% junto a mis personas queridas es mi motivación principal. Soy una persona inquieta y entiendo el deporte como forma de vida. Hace unos años me quedé totalmente enganchado a correr por montaña, y cada dia que pasa me gusta más y más. La sensación de libertad que me aporta este deporte és espectacular!!!
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