I have been running in Salomon XT Wings for the past two and a half years, pretty much since they were introduced back in 2008, you can read my reviews here; 10 miles, 150 miles and dead. I am a big fan and I have gotten through probably 4 maybe 5 pairs, I have even got my wife converted. So I was stoked to see that they had had a facelift earlier this year.
Now talking of face…I probably have more than most and I was outright cheeky in contacting Salomon’s PR company and asking for a pair to review! Hey if you don’t ask you don’t get, right!
So having put somewhere around 150 miles on them it’s time for a review. Let’s go from the top down. The big change is that the asymmetrical lacing is gone, I actually liked it, but I know a lot of people didn’t, it does now make putting gaiters on much easier, the other difference is that a lot of the toe cover has been removed, this is where they have shaved off some of the weight, the 2’s are an ounce lighter per shoe. I have read that they have reduced some of the fabric too for more flexibility; I should say that these are not good shoes for keeping the dust out and you will get dirty feet!
The tongue is still half integrated and has the handy flap at the top for tucking the excess laces into. The laces retain the Kevlar string; this is not indestructible, I have broken a lace before and have the locking cinch fitted.
Moving down they do have the reduced toe cover, along the side is quite a high splash guard for when you’re skipping through streams. They have slightly changed the pattern of the quarter panel and it is now more part of the upper, although this is such a small difference that you only notice it when the shoes are side by side.
Salomon still use the Agile Chassis System (ACS). from their website “Clear thermoplastic urethane insert and outsole heel wrap act as the skeleton to facilitate heel-to-toe transition and side-to-side stability. Triple-density EVA midsole muscle maximizes cushioning, comfort and responsiveness with twice the durability of average EVA foam” my take is that it’s comfy and cushioned.
The sole pattern is the same and I have had no slippage issues or clogging problems from the mud.
The ride is much the same as the originals, comfortable and solid, these are trail shoes though and when you’re on fireroads or roads proper they may feel a little hard. One thing I did scratch my head about was if they had changed the sizing and I had to try a size up to discover that there was a difference between the size 11s in the 1s and the 2s, to overcome this I traded down to slightly thinner sock, and that worked fine.
I am expecting that these are good for somewhere around 400 miles, that seems to be their breaking point for me at least. Not available in the bright solid colors that the 1s were (a’la my red ones above), they are more muted this time around, but hey the dirt is going to cover all the sparkliness anyways. You can also find them in women specifics too. They are not a cheap shoe and you’ll see them online or in store for around $130.
So another hit for Salomon in my books and with winter fast approaching you could do a lot worse than investing in some solid trail shoes.
My good friends at WRC have them in stock and using QUAD10 at the checkout will get you 10% discount. Otherwise keep your eyes peeled for a discounted pair of the originals, I picked up two pairs from SteepandCheep last month for $60!
Here are some more pictures: