When I first tried the Salomon Fellraiser shoe on in my local running shop I just had a feeling this was going to be a great shoe. There was something about the fit that made it seem like it had been custom made for my feet.
An hour later I was out on my local off road route, a loop of just under 2 miles consisting of pretty all types of off road terrain you can imagine, I knew I had something special on my feet.
I was so happy with how the shoes performed I decided that the next day I would use them for the Hardmoors 55 Ultra Marathon in the North York Moors over the Speedcross 3’s I had intended to wear. This would prove to be the ultimate testing ground for these shoes.
Salomon have taken the technology from the more expensive S-lab Fellcross and created a shoe that will appeal to a wide audience at a great price point.
According to Salomon, in the Fellraiser they have created a low, lightweight, and fast-drying trail shoe with aggressive tread for training in muddy and wet conditions. From my experience in them, despite the marketing hype, this is exactly what they have created.
The tread pattern on the Fellraisers is very similar to the Salomon Speedcross 3 but it’s made out of much harder rubber so you would expect them to last a little bit longer and from initial impressions this does appear to be the case.
What I like
- The breathable mesh uppers are quick drying with a roomy toe-box for people with wider feet like me, unlike most other Salomon shoes which are a very narrow fit.
- The toe guard is great and protects your toes well in those moments when you misplace your foot and kick a stone on the trail.
- The grip is phenomenal and allows you to push forward up or down hill in the worst conditions with absolute confidence.
- Straight out of the box they feel very comfortable and require almost no bedding in (for me anyway!). I’m yet to get a blister or encounter any rubbing in them, even when I used them for the Hardmoors 55 Ultra Marathon.
- They offer a stable and confidence inspiring ride over rough ground.
- The build quality is very good and the price point makes them very good value for money. It feels like they will last a long time despite them enduring some pretty horrendous conditions.
- The Salomon Speed Lace System keeps the shoes secure on your foot with no loosening like you sometimes get with traditional laces. The pouch on the tongue allows you to tuck the laces out of the way giving them a clean and streamlined look.
What I don’t like
- The Fellraisers aren’t great on hard surfaces and tarmac but these are the polar opposite conditions that they are designed for so this is being really nit-picky. If these are the types of surface you run on then the Fellraiser’s aren’t the shoe you are looking for.
- Some other trail shoes are slightly lighter but nothing significant. Once they are covered in mud you won’t be able to tell anyway.
The strong rand around the base of the shoe offers both protection and strength keeping your foot safe from impacts when out on the trails.
The large wrap-around toe cap ensures that your toes are protected when you have a stumble and kick your foot against a rock
Thanks to the Contagrip® outsoles that feature deep chevron shaped lugs the grip is amazing. If they can bite into the terrain they will grip and keep you upright no matter what the conditions. The treads will propel you forward and keep you upright in all conditions, no matter how steep the terrain gets.
They do feel a bit uncomfortable and unstable on roads and hard pack surfaces but this isn’t what they were designed to be used on so this can be forgiven.
Thanks to their low heel height and lowish drop of 6mm the Fellraisers are incredibly stable on rough ground.
You can descend any type of terrain quickly and confidently thanks to the huge amount of grip offered by the 8mm deep chevron lugs on the sole and the low ride height of the shoe.
The Fellraisers are a comfortable shoe to wear thanks to the roomy toe box, well padded heel and tongue. The Ortholite® foam and an EVA heel cup holds your feet firmly in position and doesn’t allow it move around.
You can wear the Fellrasiers on longer trail runs with no problems and so far I’m yet to suffer from a blister or hot spots when using this shoe.
My UK size 8.5 comes in at 308g which is slightly heavier than some shoes on the market but not by a big enough margin to make weight a reason not to buy these shoes.
As the name suggests the Salomon Fellraiser is at home on the fells and hills.
This is not a shoe to use if you routes consist of much road or hardpack trails. They simply aren’t designed for this type of terrain.
However, if you want a well made shoe that will grip in the wettest and muddiest conditions then you won’t go far wrong with the Fellraus
The Salomon Fellraiser has an open mesh design on the toe box of the shoe. This gives the shoe good breathability as well as quick drying as it allows water to escape rather than being trapped in the shoe and not being able to escape.
A protective rubber toe cap prevents you from damaging your feet when you misplace your feet when out on the trails and gives you a feeling of security and protection.
A large, perhaps too large, tongue ensures that no trail debris can get inside the shoe whilst also providing an convenient place to tuck the laces out of the way giving the shoes a clean look when worn.
An anti-bacterial Ortholite Sockliner which features a specific foam compound and EVA heel cup helps to reduce moisture and odor build up in the shoe, as well as providing the foot additional cushioning and heal support. This is made from recycled tire content helps to protect the environment.
Salomons unique Quicklace systems allows for a secure fit around the foot and prevents the laces from coming loose mid run. Whilst a bit fiddly at first this system is great once you get the hang of getting the laces pulled tights.
The Sensifit system works to cradle the foot providing a precise and secure fit by wrapping around the foot. Made from kevlar fibres this is a durable and robust system that should easily last the lifetime of the shoe.
The midsole on the Fellraisers is made from moulded EVA that offers plenty of cushioning for longer runs or when the trail gets a bit firmer.
A low drop makes the Fellraiser feel very responsive and stable when the trail gets more technical
An agressive chevron shaped lug pattern on the sole of the Fellraisers means they give incredible amounts of traction. On soft ground they will bite through and keep you upright and propel you forward like no other.
The non marking Contagrip outsoles use a combination of specialized rubbers to give you high levels of grip in all conditions.
Being a harder rubber compound should mean they last longer than the softer compound on the Speedcross.
The Salomon Fellraiser is a great shoe for fell and trail running. It’s lightweight and has amazing grip thanks to the huge chevron lugs on the sole. The Quicklace system allows you to get a good tight fit around your fit to keep it in place and I’ve not had any issues with them coming loose like can happen with traditional lacing systems.
It’s reasonably lightweight and incredibly stable on the trails due to its low profile and gives you a confidence inspiring ride over all terrain. The only downside is that for really long runs it does lack the cushioning of some other shoes in its class.
My Fellrasiers have quickly become my number one fell and trail shoe choice and personally I prefer this shoe to it’s more expensive stablemate the Speedcross 3. I’ve used them for ultras, trail marathons and missions into the Yorkshire Dales and they have yet to let me down or cause any problems such as blisters or rubbing.
Salomon has created an amazing shoe at a great price that has very little to complain about, they even look pretty good and come in a variety of colours. I can’t recommend them enough.