The first sighting of Salomon’s tentative steps into some form of road running were taken last year in their testing week in the South of France. I was there to check them out and was excited to see what the shoe techi’s had created in the lab. What we saw there is not what you see on the shelves to purchase today.
Of course this a good thing is the original was given to all the pro athletes to test and modifications made after all the data was taken into account. The idea was to create a neutral trail running shoe that can be used for both trail and for road running.
I’ve grabbed a couple of pairs for my ‘Boy Blue’ (Greg Goodall) and I and we took them for a spin on a route that incorporated some road, both tar and concrete; and in-between the start and finish on the tar were some varying degrees of off-road conditions. We made a vid to show you just what we were running on so notice the roots, tough climbing hills, fast single track with slippery fine sand on the side of the mountain and pretty much all conditions except muddy paths to test on.
The results were certainly favourable towards the new Salomon shoe – the first of its kind. The first criteria for me for the road was that the shoe was not too heavy. It was light enough for sure and Blue also made mention of the comfortable aspect of not being aware of any harder bits that trail shoes sometimes have due to setting up for tougher conditions. The midfoot was noticeably high on the arch for me and Blue kind of agreed although only for his left foot – remember your feet are individuals so don’t always expect them to behave the same.
The pavement run then was a pretty plush ride. Only at the end when coming down from a steep slope on some foot slapping tar did I notice that the forefoot was quite low on cushioning and consequently had a really effective toe-off. That’s just the way I like it.
The shoe remains primarily a trail shoe which it was perfect for our one-and-a-bit hour run on all the terrains mentioned above. Durability will not be a problem as it’s got all the attributes of Salomons’ existing trail shoes when it comes to materials and good to see the toe cap was a feature; although I doubt my big toenails will survive much longer anyway due to my own clumsiness at times.
Check out the video of a glorious evening run from tar next to the sea, to crazy hard climbing on the trail and back onto tar, some more fast single track and then a last section through some suburbia back to the start finish of our run.
We will have more info in Runner’s World issue coming up with prices and availability so check that out. It’s brand new vibe from Salomon leading into new terrain no doubt – and we dig it.