Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Review: Salomon XT Wings (150 miles)

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.


  1. let me know if you're buying your next pair of shoes from there. i have a gift certificate that can save you a few $$.

  2. Wow what a review. Almost makes me want to go out and buy those shoes, but I don't trail run. I hope your shoes give you many happy miles.

  3. Thanks for the shoe review, I'm so new to trail running every little of info helps. Plus the sock review...thanks for that too...Trails will definitely be added to next years program!

  4. I gave up my Asics this month in search of more support.


    (really waiting for those WTW results...)

  5. Glad to hear they have worked out so well for you!

  6. Another great review! You do so well covering all areas of interest.

    the web link is one I will add to my favorites list. Thanks!

  7. Thanks for the review homie! And thanks for the link . . .uhhhh I think :P

  8. Happy trails! and thanks for the website!!! I {heart} finding cool new websites.

    P.S. I ran 15 miles this morning in my new Mizunos. (shhhhh! don't tell anyone ;-)

  9. Did you find them heavy at all? They looked a bit shoe-boxy to me when I purchased (and subsequently) returned them. But beign unable to give them a good test on the trail without committing to purchasing them - I'm couldn't be sure.


  10. Melanie...oh thanks will do!

    Jes, to be honest no I don't find them that heavy, after running the Calico Trail 50k and LD my Asics were dead, not so much torn up on the uppers but the soles were shot. I really wanted a more solid shoe and looked at lots that were pretty heavy (Vasque) to fairly light (Merrell) but were just more robust, but as you can see I had fit issues so yes I'd like an ounce or two shaved off but not at the expense of the comfort/ protection. It probably helps that my feet are big(ish) 11s and so the boxy look is distributed if you see what I mean.


Thanks for reading this post and leaving a comment, if you are entering a contest, please ensure you put some sort of unique name down so I can get back to you. E-mail addresses are ONLY displayed to me, and never shared, sold, pilfered, or anything else unhappy.