Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra GTX Trail Running Shoe Review

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Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra GTX Trail Running Shoe
 
Manufacturer: Salomon
Customer Rating:
 
List Price: $140.00
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Rundurance Review

These Salomon XA Pro trail running shoes are my third time with Salomon, and the first two were great experiences.

Intro

If you've never own or tried out a pair of Salomon trail running shoes before, the first thing you'll notice is the unique shoe lacing system. The tiny string lace connects to an adjustable latch, allowing you to quickly tighten and loosen your shoe. It's very convenient for taking your shoe on and off (say, for when you're running in rocky terrain and regularly cleaning out your shoes). It looks and feels insufficient for a hardcore trail run, but I can say that I have never broken a lace, nor have I known someone that has. With that said, I have read about people breaking them, but only in rare cases.

The lacing system does provide an incredibly even tightness and fit, more than I'm usually able to achieve with my other shoes.

Stability and Control

The stability and control on these Salomon XA's was good, if not great. The mid-soles had good cushioning, but not so much that it took away from my overall motion control or balance. The outsoles have a grooves in the forefoot, that seem to help on slippery terrain, and multi-directional lugs that definitely helped with my control running on smooth Texas rocks in a rare wet running experience.

Protection

Protection is where my previous Salomon's performed poorly. The lacing system of the Salomon running shoes allow the tongue to completely bridge from the tongue to the upper of the shoe, completely eliminating any debris from entering. This is a huge advantage of the Salomon architecture. But that's not where my problem lies.

The weak point with Salomon's has always been in toe protection. Basically, it had none. In Texas, every trail is rocky, and when you start dragging your feet on a long run, you are bound to kick some big rocks. That doesn't mean I won't still go superman style flying through the air when I do it, but I atleast don't want to break my toe. I'm happy to say that the XA Pro's finally did address this, with a rubber toe cap that actually did what it was there to do, protect my toes.

Breathability

The challenge for any trail running shoe is to have adequate breathing and ventilation, and yet simultaneously have adequate waterproof protection. The Salomon XA's achieved this with reasonable success using a Gote-Tex membrane. The ventilation was very good, however I did find that my feet were getting wet fairly easily. Personally, I don't mind this, but if you run in a lot of moist weather and like dry feet, this may not be the shoe for you.

On the flip side, the shoes did dry out quickly. This is actually more important for me, because I often run through water crossings which means my feet are getting wet with any shoe. So the sooner it dries, the better.

Overall

Coming in at 14 oz. for a size 8.5 (US), these lightweight shoes are a good buy. I'm giving it 4.5/5 stars for it's great control and breathability, with adequate foot protection.

Product Details

  • Protective rubber toe cap
  • Sensifit - wraps the foot with a precise and secure fit
  • Ortholite sockliner - creates a cooler, drier, healthier, better cushioned environment under the foot
  • Asymmetrical lacing system
  • Contagrip outsole - provides unparalleled grip and durability by a smart mix of 20 different compounds, lug geometry and density

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