My first pair of real trail running shoes – the Salomon Speedcross 3.
Over the last few years my jogging habits have slowly turned into rural explorations; as much about clearing the head and getting out of the city as an enjoyable way to exercise. Up until now, my feet have been fairly happy plodding along in heavy duty walking trainers. I don’t like having unnecessary multiples of things and the notion of having more that one pair of trainers made my palms sweat with unease, so I stuck with what I had.
Fortunately for my back and knees, my old trusty pair of Haglofs (which incidentally have lasted me over 3 years of all-terrain running, walking and everyday use) finally gave up on me – time for an upgrade.
Many of my running friends recommended Salomon as a good off-road trainer brand, so I went to try on a bunch. I made sure to try on other brands too, to compare, but as soon as I put on the Speedcross 3 I knew that they were for me. Instantly comfy and super light – I just wanted to bounce and skip my way around the shop!
My first outing in them was a short 5km run on steep and muddy terrain. Whilst I powered my way to the top with ease and control, my running partner (who has not yet made the upgrade) was left slipping his way through to the finish. The deep lugs on the Contragrip sole ate up the mud like a hoover and it was only my lack of fitness that held me back.
They performed even better on the descents, which were equally as muddy and slippery as the ascents. Never before have I held such confidence in my ability to run downhill and once again, I left my partner for dust.
On the flats, I found myself much more aware of my running technique. The cushioned EVA footbed provides anatomical support which naturally pushes your weight slightly forwards. This really helped me run more on my toes and put an extra spring in my step. But not too far on my toes so as to overwork certain muscles too much.
A wet day, I expected to finish my run needing to wring out my socks, but the water resistance of the lightweight upper proved to be more effective than I first gave it credit for. Its breathability meant that sweat was not even a consideration and without any pre-run wearing around the house, I was left with no hotspots or discomfort.
The shoe fits true to size, if not slightly on the narrow side and the Quicklace system ensures a super snug and cosy fit which doesn’t loosen as you run. It also has a neat little pocket to stow away the draw string.
I have now been running in my new Salomon trainers for a couple of months and have never enjoyed trail running as much as I now do. I can’t believe how much of a difference they make to, not only my performance on the trail, but also my confidence. They have reduced the negative impact that running previously had on my body and I feel so sure-footed in wet conditions and on technical terrain . My only disappointment is that it took me so long to finally get a pair!
I’m excited to put my new best friends to the test on even more challenging trails and when the snow comes, I’ll be sure to make a point of getting out.
To get inspired for your next run, check out Of Fells and Hills – an exploration of the trail and fell running culture in Northern England.