I have run in Salomon shoes for over three years now, first the XT Wings, reviewed here, then the XT Wings 2 reviewed here so I was thrilled to be asked to review the newest kick on the block the XR Crossmax. Pitched by Salomon as the shoe that allows you to transition from road to trail and as a high mileage shoe I was keen to to get them dirty and so a hundred or so miles dusty, dirty, muddy miles later here’s my review.
About 120 miles worth of embedded grim, the clean uppers show the power of gaiters
But first some info from Salomon:
The Salomon XR Crossmax Neutral trail-running shoes provide an ideal platform for high-mileage runners looking for a single pair of shoes to take them from the street to the trail and back again.
- Nylon mesh uppers feature Sensifit synthetic leather overlays that wrap and secure insteps for a precise fit
- Quicklace lacing system takes just 1 pull for a perfect fit; lace pocket hides lacing away
- Protective toe and heel caps guard against bumps and abrasion
- Neutral last ensures the shoes work with the natural shape of men's feet, enhancing greater comfort and efficiency
- Advanced OS Tendon frames run along the soles of the shoes to facilitate better heel-to-toe transitions as you run
- Triple-density EVA midsoles isolate you from trail impacts, and thermoplastic urethane inserts provide a barrier against sharp rocks underfoot
- Contagrip LT® and Contragrip HA® combination outsoles provide solid traction and tenacious grip and conform to feet for improved lateral fit
- The Salomon XR Crossmax Neutral Trail-Running Shoes sport reflective detailing to increase your visibility in low light
And so on with the review from the ground up. The sole has a fairly shallow but effective tread pattern, it’s directional to help you when you are on your toes going up and need a little heel help when braking (although midfooters might not use these)! The heel section is made from High Abrasion material. The most noticeable thing is the “OS Tendon”, this is a strap that is inlaid into the sole and loops round the heel, this promotes some “snap” as your foot transitions from landing to toe off. I have to be honest and say that there was little or no real “snap”, this is in part I am sure to my transition to mid/forefoot running. The shoes are offered in a Neutral or Stability versions, I had the former, the latter have a dual density posting.
The OS Tendon is the green lines, it extends around the heel (Photo from REI.com)
Moving upward there is a toe cover for that inadvertent stubbing action that you can find on the trails, coming further back along the shoe is the Sensifit feature. Sensifit is a rubber cover that sits on top of the fabric and acts as, well I can only call it a corset, it wraps around your foot ensure that you do not slip around in the shoe, it takes a little getting used to but like most shoes once you have some miles on them they fit without issue.
SensiFit and Quicklace Systems
Salomon have stuck with their Quicklace system which is simple and effective, cinching you in nice and snugly, the excess lace is tucked away in a pocket on the top of the tongue. There is no asymmetrical lacing so wearing gaiters with them is easy. The tongue is partially sewn in this ensures is does not slip off and is a pretty standard feature on trail shoes these days.
Inside Salomon provide their own Orthilite insole which is effective and comfortable, I have no issues with it and since transitioning to lighter forefoot shoes I have stopped wearing my custom orthotics, since October last year. There is a comfortable cushioned heel cup and that pretty much sums up the shoe.
As for the ride they are very comfortable, coming in at a slimmer 22.6 ounces 0.64kgs compared to their cousins the XT Wings 2; 26.8oz, 0.76kg, you can feel every ounce that has been shaved off. Mostly my trails hard pack or dust but I have made an effort to take them through their paces and these were the shoes I wore during my Boney Mountain adventure a few weeks ago. A couple of things to note: they do not keep the dust or water out so if you want to keep your feet clean and dry these may not be the shoes for you.
Overall Salomon have designed a comfortable and effective shoe. A little more weight loss would be nice but all in for anyone looking for a new trail shoe that they can put on and just go these could be the shoe for you.
Available is several colors and some nice female specific ones these shoes are now available through multiple retailer via clicks or bricks, a quick Google search turned them up at as low as $104, although $130 is the average. If you want another opinion check out this review from Rebecca.
There are a few more photos here: