I’m lucky to live right across from some fantastic trail runs within National Parkland. However, nursing an old achilles injury, I’ve been hesitant to go too far off road due to the lack of give in my old trail running shoes. When a pair of Salomon’s striking new Speedcross 5s landed in the MH office I decided it was about time I ventured back into the wild.
This is the much anticipated rebirth of the iconic Speedcross range. The 5th update promises a stronger heel support, a wider toe area, more cushioned sole and giant lugs. It’s these lugs (the serious looking grip on the sole) that first catches the eye. They look like they were borrowed from the tread of a military vehicle with 10mm deep, sharp chevrons heading in different directions.
The shoe comes in six colours and I decided to back myself and opt for the most eye-catching of all, the bold yellow ‘sulphur’. I thought that if I were to stack it and end up unconscious in the bush at least I’d be giving the rescue chopper the best possible chance of spotting me from 10,000 feet!
The dazzling whiteness of the sole stands out a little too much when I first put them on but obviously, these are not going to stay pristine for long as I put them through their paces, the day after a dramatic Sydney storm.
Putting them on is a breeze with their Quicklace lacing system. The excess chord slips neatly into a stitched pocket on the tongue to avoid any mishaps. They immediately feel comfortable due to the moulded OrthoLite that delivers some top-notch cushioning, breathability and durability.
One of my problems with trail running from my home is that I need to encounter a decent stretch of tarmac before getting to the entrance. In the past, my sturdy old trail running shoes felt unforgiving on the hard surface but despite the aggressive looking soles these felt OK. The mid-sole is made of EnergyCell™ + which is a high-rebound giving the shoe long last cushioning and durability.
As I enter the actual trail, the anti-debris mesh on the upper of the shoe keeps dirt and grit from the track from being caught between the foot and footbed. My route is pretty complex with lots of rocks and waterways to encounter but the grip was sensational with the large lugs.
One of my concerns was that they would hold clumps of mud like football boots but these just flung it off as I ran and I continued to feel steady even in some of the more advanced sections where a toe bumper gave added protection when attacking the rocks.
- Striking design. A big improvement of the previous incarnation and these will even turn heads when you go for your post run flat white.
- Incredible grip on any terrain. Improved the performance when both setting off and braking.
- Impressive comfort even under extreme conditions.
- Unexpectedly light (320g) for such a durable trail shoe.
- Not completely waterproof but the anti-debris mesh does keep out everything else.
- The prominent toe protector, especially with the white sole makes the foot look a little turned up when new.
The Final Verdict
A really comfortable and functional shoe that will enhance your speed and safety on all sorts of trail and will turn heads when you are on the road back.