Good Afternoon Everyone!
This week I find myself stuck between blogging on the weekend spent in West Virginia and wanting to do a million gear reviews. Let’s hear about these bad boys from Salomon. As you may have read in a previous post I ran the Bel Monte 50 in minimalist running shoes: New Balance MT101. They so far have been a wonderful running shoe and addition to my collection, BUT that being said they do have a place and time for them. That race was by no means a terrain that would be easily run in no heel drop and no cushion. I decided to test out a few different running shoes over the course of this year and see what works best for ME, not what everyone else is wearing.
I was lucky enough to get hooked up with a pair of this years new addition to the Salomon family: the Crossmax
I took them out to the Blue Ridge mountains and had a pretty good time with them; tested them out on mildly technical terrain out where the Bel Monte race takes place and decided they were a go for Highland Sky 40 in the Canaan Valley in WV.
Cushion was appropriate for the race but this was not one of my main concerns since almost any shoe hurts after 11 hours of running. The contra grip sole for the Crossmax had good grip on wet surfaces and was versatile enough for muddy conditions. Although for this type of race conditions I might recommend using a much more aggressive lug like the one on the Speedcross 2, which I have yet to try.
What I liked most about this model was it’s ability to go from rough technical terrain to the long stretch of dirt road we had on the “Road across the sky” or even the paved road near the finish. This makes it a must have shoe for someone who doesn’t want a million pair of different shoes for trail running. The mesh upper seems to be thinner than my XA Pros and therefore drained and dried much quicker after river crossings. The overall feel of the shoe sits a little higher than I’m used to but had no negative effects on trails(i.e. stability). As with custom, Salomon’s color scheme for all these were pretty bright and they should be, this shoe’s got style and ruggedness written on it. Although more at home on a more groomed single track trail, the 2011 Crossmax is a highly versatile hybrid for any mountain enthusiasts who wants a kind of jack-of-all-trades trail running shoe. I promise an action shot with these on at the last race will soon follow!