This was supposed to be a 100 mile review but after Sunday's run it's more like a 150 mile review but regardless of the mileage here's the review.
The Wings replaced my well worn Asics 2120 Trail shoes which bit the dust literally and metaphorically after Leona Divide in April. I had been trying shoes for several months including models from Merrell, Asics, Brooks, Montrail and Vasque before deciding on the Wings. I wore them around the house for a few days just to be on the safe side and wore them with my running socks, before taking them on a trail spin, which you can read more about here as well as some of the technical info.
So having put some mileage on the shoes here are my thoughts. The first thing I did was to pull out the inserts and slide my custom orthotics in, they fitted no problem. The shoes are positioned in the market for pronantors, such as myself but there is nothing overtly motion controlling at least more than you would find in most trail shoes. The toe box is roomy enough, I went a half size up, and there is plenty of wiggle room without having the feeling that you're slopping about in them. The asymmetrical pull lacing system creates a snug fit that contours well to your foot, although I found I needed to start to pull from half way up and put my finger on the cross in the same way you would tie a ribbon on a gift. The tongue fob works well for tucking the excess laces into, but can create a lumpy profile with gaiters. Talking of gaiters, I previously suggested that a small D ring would be useful for looping the gaiter hook through but hooking through the laces works well enough and the fact that the laces are made from Kevlar means there is, so far, no fraying. The heel offers a snug fit, with no rubbing or slippage; it's reasonably well padded and has a low profile, as I always wear gaiters I can't really comment on keeping dust and trail debris out of the sides.
The trails that I run are typically dusty; think desert rather than woods, sand rather than soil and rocky trails rather than rooty singletrack. I am not prone to having hot feet so the temperature of the shoe seems fine to me. The ventilation from the outside in is another matter, even after a short run the quantity of dust that has entered the shoes, particularly around the toes is high this could be a problem for some folks with blisters etc. I have managed to dip my toes in a couple of stream crossings and the drainage seemed fine, there was little or none ongoing “squelching” after a mile or so.
Overall the fit I would for me is about as close to perfect as I have found, I have not had one blister or hot spot but I should caveat that statement with the fact I am yet to break 20 miles in a single run in them.
Externally the shoe is robust; the rubberized toe cap offers some protection as does the extended sole line around the sides and heel. The cushioning has proven to be effective, although a few missed steps had me wishing that there was a solid soleplate but then that’s a trade off against the weight of the shoe. The weight is erring on the side of heavy but personally I would sooner have the cushioning and protection over the minimalism that shaving 2-3 ounces off would offer.
In terms of grip and purchase the tread pattern I would describe as moderately aggressive, rather than have bold lugs the pattern’s grip seems to come more from indented grooves that are in relief, the benefit of this is that on fireroads or the occasional blacktop that I have had to run along the soles of your feet are not being pummeled.
And so the final issue is the price. Of course given that they are the newer (est) Salomon onto the market that attract a premium price, but after all the trial and error I am, to be honest, happy to pay the price which is; $120, personally I got mine from onlineshoes.com, (NFI), why there you may ask; free shipping, free returns and a 90 day unconditional returns policy I’ll answer.
In conclusion the shoe is well made, comfortable, robust, effective and good looking; it does come in black if you’d prefer a more muted color choice. The downsides are it’s a bit heavy, and lets a lot of dust in. I expect I get another 200-250 miles or so out these so I write an in memoriam review when these bite the dust probably around November time.