I have been telling Dave for over a year that I wish I could have input on the design of trail-running shoes. Especially in their treads. I want trail runners that have treads like snow tires.
I confess that I do own a lot of different trail runners – but it’s not because I am trying to be the Imelda Marcos of the running shoe world. It’s just that pretty much every running shoe that I have is good for one thing but not for something else. So I pick whichever shoe is appropriate to the route we are doing and the weather conditions that day.
(Besides, it all works out the same in the end: You have one pair of running shoes that you wear out and replace after six months. Or you have six pairs of running shoes and you alternate which ones you wear, and they last you three or four years).
Anyway, the one thing that I have found lacking in ALL of my running shoes – up until now – is the treads. When I am flying down a trail (and I have really been working at building both confidence and speed on my downhills) I want to have treads that I know will not skid out on me. Whether in the mud, or on gravel, or over rock.
Well, on our city trip last week, we took the time to browse at Mountain Equipment Co-op (the small-town runner’s city paradise!) – and, guess what! Salomon has noticed that gap in the gear. They have designed a running shoe with treads like snow tires! I’ve been running in Salomons for years – I used to actually use them very seldom, because I couldn’t handle their fairly stiff soles. But lately, as I veer more towards the barefoot-running style (hitting the ground with my forefoot rather than the heel) I am finding that the Salomons work great for me.
So here was a shoe that I already knew and liked – but with the aggressive tread that I had been waiting for! (The actual model name is the Salomon Speedcross 3 W). Salomon calls them a “racing shoe” – this basically means that they are lighter than the average trail runner. I don’t actually notice a few grams here or there, but Dave was impressed by how light they are, and he is pretty convinced that that will make me faster on the uphills. And, they were pretty affordable at $119CA.
So I tested them out – three times so far this week – with Dave on our “backyard” Copper Mountain trail: two runs and a hike. They are everything they appear to be: on this steep (and wet) trail, I totally notice the extra grip these treads offer, and they give me huge added confidence with every footfall – both on the uphills and the downhills.
My next wish… (oh Salomon, are you listening?)… is that they make this exact same shoe with a Goretex upper. That would truly be an all-terrain, all-weather shoe.