Lafuma Active Trail XCR

This is a non-Gore-Tex version of the trail-running shoe that came third in Trail’s  April 2005 and 2006 trail-running shoe reviews. For me the lack of a waterproof lining improves it greatly as well as lowering the price by a tenner. It is very close-fitting with good cushioning and good support for the foot, making it ideal for uneven terrain. The upper is a very breathable mesh. The outsole has an aggressive lug pattern that is good in mud and ideal for rock, rubble and earthy paths. This shoe is very good, and ideal for those running over a mix of road tracks and trails, particularly if maximum responsiveness is not the priority. But the patented drawcord speed lacing allows the front of the laces to be tightened independently of the top section, but you can do this just by twisting the laces to lock them, and to me at least this sounds like a messy system – but you may like it. Nothing else really wrong here but other shoes are lighter and others are better for long routes on hard surfaces.


Upper: breathable mesh and synthetic reinforcement
Sole: Vibram Trail with EVA cushioning
Sizes: 3.5-12
Trail fit profile: forefoot 2; heel 2; volume 2; length 2
Weight: 800g (pair, size11)
Made in Vietnam
Stores in UK: 20

Verdict: Buy it if you want a superb trail-running shoe that is ideal for a variety of off road terrain, rather than light and fast shoe or more support.