Salomon Speedcross 3 Forces Shoes
- 0 Comments
- Last updated: 31/07/2017
The current trend for clothing, footwear and gear is for it to be lightweight, dynamic and ergonomic, but should this have an effect on longer term durability? With their 50-plus-year heritage in making outdoor performance footwear, Salomon should know all about what makes a good shoe, and my experience with their Speedcross 3 model has reinforced in my mind that they most certainly do!
To recap, the Speedcross 3 ‘Forces’ model has been developed from an already tried and tested design in Salomon’s athletic line; this iconic running shoe is what brought ‘hi-speed, lo-drag’ to the trails! Light, fast, and featuring a super precise fit, the Speedcross 3 can provide the ultimate grip in any conditions. These off-road or ‘trail’ shoes offer increased outsole traction and uppers with toe bumpers, along with reinforced stitching for more durability. The foot also sits in the shoe slightly lower to the ground than usual for stability and responsiveness. ‘Trail’ shoes usually have less cushioning than a road running shoe because they’re designed for softer surfaces.
That’s not to say though that they are any less fully featured, as the Speedcross 3 is full of Salomon’s very latest technology. An Ortholite sock-liner combines a specific foam insole with an EVA heel cup. Ortholite foam creates a cooler, drier, healthier, better cushioned environment under the foot. It will not break down or lose effectiveness over time, and it features recycled car tyre content to protect the environment. The EVA heel cups allows for better heel support and added cushioning, and Salomon’s Sensifit system works to cradle the foot, providing a precise and secure fit.
The Quicklace system offers a minimalistic and strong lace for one-pull tightening, and this tucks away into its own small tongue pocket to keep everything tidy and snag free, these really are ‘easyon, easy-off’. The outsole is a mud and snow non-marking Contagrip unit, which has some very aggressive lugs; these give superb traction on even the very loosest surface underfoot, and the anti-debris mesh used throughout keeps the loose stuff out.
I’ve been wearing the Speedcross 3 shoes on a daily basis for nigh on two years now, and although they were immediately comfortable straight from the box, the fit and feel has just got better and better as the Ortholite insole shaped to my foot. They’ve been run out in sand, mud, wet clay, chalk and gravel and have travelled with me to shows and ranges around the globe. They have never felt anything less than 100% positive; although they are a ‘low cut’ shoe, the cuff is well-padded and gives excellent support to the ankle. Weighing in at a miserly 325g per shoe in UK size 9, they are also truly feather-light, which takes a lot of strain off the foot and the lower leg.
Now, as you’d expect, the Salomons have indeed worn over this time, and I’m not at all surprised as I have given them a thorough ‘beasting’; apart from a quick wipe-down when they’ve got dusty or muddy, I’ve just worn and worn them, and they’ve always been up to the task. Apart from one small split in the fabric alongside the little toe area on the right shoe, the uppers are still going strong and the original ‘speedlaces’, which I initially thought a little insubstantial. are still ‘good to go’.
Where the shoes are really showing wear is on the soles, where the original aggressive lug pattern has in places been worn down to nothing; again, this does not surprise me as given their ‘design spec’, the soles are of a softer compound than many for use on trails and grass, where of course with me they’ve been used unforgivingly on some pretty abrasive surfaces; the Speedcross 3 models have really become a bit of a ‘must have’ for the Practical Pistol fraternity recently, and I can totally see why!
The Speedcross 3 ‘Forces’ come in a subdued black/grey colour combination, which works very well with most tactical gear, and are available in UK sizes 7-12, including half sizes; if you fancy something a bit brighter than the standard ‘running’ models, they come in multiple colourways. They retail for around £100 and are available from most good retailers; for that, rest assured you are getting a lot of shoe for your money. If you fancy yourself as a bit of a ‘tactical athlete’, or just want a great pair of performance shoes, then you’re not going to go wrong with the Speedcross 3 models, and suffice to say that although my existing pair will be given an ‘honourable burial’, I shall be replacing them with the exact same model. Thoroughly recommended!