A bonus of working in Taunton Leisure is that we get the occasional day out with companies testing and demonstrating their kit. Which means I get to give you my verdict – I’ll be doing that today in my Salomon Speedcross review, as well as looking at some lovely XA Pro 3D Ultras.
I was lucky and my name was put forward to attend the Salomon Trail Tour, on Dartmoor.
I packed up my running kit and jumped in the car, with my usual running companion – my dog Bruce.
We were off….. into the mist and rain that always seems to greet me on my trips to the moor! Luckily as soon as we arrived at Bellever YHA the mist cleared and the sun came out to play….YES…no running in waterproofs!
I joined the rest of the attendees under the Salomon tent where Dom from Salomon introduced his team and then went through the Salomon Shoes that they had brought for us to try out. I thought that I would try out the products that we stock in store…making the most of the opportunity to try them on, and use them in the environment that they are designed for.
Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra Review
So first run I grabbed a pair of XA Pro 3D Ultras, the heaviest of the trail running shoes, to start with. The guys from Salomon suggested that I try a pair of compression socks too; so on with those and the XA pro’s and on with the 2k(ish) route.
We stock the GoreTex version, but I tried out the non-waterproof version; instantly strong and sturdy feeling. They filled me with confidence on the loose tracks and provided plenty of grip on the off-road muddy wooded sections.
These shoes are great if you consider doing the occasional trail run, with every day functionality…
My verdict…. Great for everyday use, or as an occasional off-road running shoe.
Salomon Speedcross Review
I also ran in a pair of the Salomon Speedcross – A dedicated trail running shoe and a totally different animal to the XA Pros – an out-and-out race shoe designed for off road running.
Instantly these feel lighter and softer then the others, they inspired confidence as soon as I put them on the feet. On the packed trail they felt great. Supple and non-restrictive.
As we turned to the off-road section they came into their own. There was unbelievable grip when the going got muddy and wet.
My verdict….Grab a pair and head for the nearest wood or trail, you might just get the trail-running bug!
My favorite shoe of the day had to be the Fell Raiser (which we don’t stock!) A lightweight, and fast drying fell training shoe. With superb levels of grip, a great fit for my feet, these are definitely the widest fitting shoe that I’ve tried from Salomon.
I also liked the grey-green color combo that looks a little more stealthy than the other shoes that Salomon currently have to offer. I’m definitely after a pair of these!
We also got the chance to use the range of Suunto’s GPS Watches. My pick of the day is actually two watches:
- The Ambit 2 R – A stripped down, cost effective running focused GPS watch with a built in cadence monitor aimed at the single sport runners, and the ability to pair to a HR monitor.
- The Ambit 2 S- Full on powerhouse of a watch.t …Full GPS (including navigation), all the features of the R, but with multi sport functionality- run, swim (with length counter) and a recovery indicator!
I WANT ONE!
Both watches are feature packed, and can be tailored to make the battery last with GPS pick up timing changed. A neat feature is also the screen lock, to stop you accidentally pressing buttons as you move!