Let me start by saying that I love this shoe. For the job it is designed to do then it is one of the best shoes on the market today.
The Salomon Speedcross 3 is a tried and tested design that has been a popular trail and fell running shoes for a number of years and it is easy to see why.
Grip provided by the large arrow shaped lugs on the Contragrip sole is unbeatable in all but the deepest and slippiest mud. From mud and gloop, to snow and ice these shoes just keep on gripping.
Out of the box the shoe is comfortable and required very little bedding in time unlike most shoes. It also gives you a feeling that your foot is well protected and the soles have good cushioning for long trail and mountain runs.
They have also been used in deep snow including running up streams of melting ice running down the hillside and I’m happy to report that coupled with a pair of Sealskinz socks my feet stayed perfectly warm.
I’ve done a couple of 30 mile runs in these shoes and am happy to report that they caused no blisters or pain.
It’s easy to see why the Speedcross 3 is one of the most popular trail shoes on the market today as the performance and comfort are fantastic for a product that is far more affordable than Salomons more high end S-lab offerings.
The Salomon Speedcross 3 doesn’t include a rockplate which does show if you tread on an exposed rock but for the majority of the time you won’t notice.
The huge amount of padding in the heal of the Speedcross 3 means the foot is very well protected from impacts and means they are very comfortable for longer runs.
The rest of the shoe is constructed from a a strong nylon material and has plenty of wrap around protection in the toe area making your foot feel well protected out on the trails.
The grip on the Speedcross 3 is amazing in wet and muddy conditions where they excel. They bite through the slime and keep you upright in the worst conditions.
Only on wet rocks did they become more like ice skates but I haven’t come across a shoe yet that grips on wet rocks so they were no worse than any other.
They aren’t designed for hardpack ground or tarmac so if your running includes a of this type of surface they might not be the right shoe for you as the fairly soft rubber tread will wear down quickly and the ride isn’t great when the tread isn’t allowed to dig into the ground.
If you are looking for a stable shoe with a low heel-toe drop then you might be better looking at the Salomon Fellraisers over the Speedcross as they offer a 6mm drop over the 10mm on the Speedcross
Despite the fairly padded heal and high drop there Speedcross feel very stable over all ground and give a very confidence inspiring ride. There is only a small amount of noticeable twist because of this.
I have wide feet so although I found the Speedcross 3 a comfortable shoe to wear overall the narrow toe box made them feel a little tight in this area although they did give slightly.
I’ve heard stories of them ripping in the toe box for people who have wide feet so the Fellraiser might be a better choice if you do have wide feet.
Weighing in at 310g they aren’t the lightest shoes available but when you factor in the performance on offer and the fact they are designed as a winter shoe so have a heavier construction this isn’t noticeable when out on the trails.
Salomon advertise the Speedcross as a racing product, and it’s a great mountain, fell and trail running shoe especially when the conditions are severe and its very muddy, which is where this shoe excels.
It is a great all-around shoe that performs well on any soft trails where it can dig in and grip. It will even handle the odd road section or two but you can expect the treads to wear down quickly if you run on these surfaces often.
There is enough cushioning and protection should you decide to use it for for those ultra distance efforts or it would equally be at home on a quick blast on the trails.
The slightly more substantial construction means that its a warm shoe so is more suited to winter conditions that the height of summer.
Salomon employ a range of technologies to construct the upper of the Speedcross which improves the fit, form, weather protection and flexibility of the shoe. An anti-debris mesh covers the outermost layer which is a feature on many Salomon trail shoes.
Sensifit construction overlaps the top part of the wrap with a water resistant textile. A mud guard at the base of the shoes upper prevents water and mud from getting inside. The tongue features a gusset and Quicklace sockets. The Speedcross 3’s feature an Ortholite sock liner and Strobel Last that gives an irritation free and odor resistant underfoot feel.
The midsole is constructed from injected EVA foam which is supported by Solomons Lightweight Muscle (LT) and molded EVA which gives better underfoot cushioning and foot protection.
The Salomon Speedcross is a neautral shoe and doesn’t feature cushioning technologies in the same way other shoes that are available do.
Deep chevron shaped lugs are the main feature on the outer sole of the Salomon Speedcross trail shoes. As the lugs are widely spaced they shed mud very well while running.
The outer sole utilises a blend of softer, harder and grippier Contagrip compounds to yield the perfect mix of performance and durability.