Salomon XT Wings

This is Salomon’s latest trail-running shoe. It has a mesh upper to allow good breathability. You also get very good torsional rigidity to take the sting out of uneven, rocky ground. Good underfoot cushioning makes hard, rocky paths easier, while the supportive ankle cuff and arch make rough and uneven ground less of a strain on the joints. While the shoe benefits from all this cushioning and support, it also has just the right amount of flex at the toe to allow a natural running action. Underfoot there’s a reasonably aggressive pattern of lugs to add good grip in most off-road terrain. Some nice little extras include an OrthoLite footbed, which adds comfort and fights odour. Then there’s the quicklace system, which relies on a simple locking-cord mechanism to fasten the upper, rather than old-fashioned knot-tying skills.
These are not the lightest shoes here or the best for really muddy ground (the lug pattern on other shoes is more aggressive). All that cushioning and support also means these don’t feel as responsive on uneven terrain as some other shoes. £80 is a high price for what you’re getting, too.

 

Upper: synthetic, Quick Dry breathable mesh
Sole: Running Contagrip, EVA midsole cushioning
Sizes: 6 1/2-13 1/2 (men’s); 3 1/2-10 1/2 (women’s)
Weight: 864g (pair, size 11)
Made in: China
Stores in the UK: no info provided

 

Verdict: Superb shoe for general, level off-road running, but not the best for tackling more challenging rugged, muddy, steep or uneven surfaces.

 

First published in Trail magazine, April 2008