Review: Salomon Speedtrak, Fell Running Shoes
(Men's left; Women's right)
Category: Trail Running Shoes and Fell Running Shoes
Average Weight: Men's 250g (8.5 UK) / Women's 235g (5 UK)
Heel-forefoot Differential: 6mm (23mm heel, 17mm forefoot)
Recommended for: fell running and softer trails. Will work on muddy fells and rocky mountains, but will also be great for miles of trails too. Ideal as a first fell and trail shoe, or a shoe that will double for the odd cross country, trail or Obstacle Course Race (OCR).
The Speedtrak is an update of the previous Salomon model called the Fellraiser.
In essence Salomon have taken the technology from the more expensive S-lab range and "trickled it down" to produce a cracking shoe at a price point that will suit a wider audience. While some may feel the Speedtrak feels a little heavy compared with other similar models, At 250g (Men’s) and 235 g (Wom), it is still a lightweight shoe. The extra few grams being more than made up for in durability. If you have liked the Salomon Speedcross 4 then the Speedtrak is a lower profile model.
Outsole: Deep aggressive looking 8mm chevron lugs that are multi-directional for great traction in wet or dry conditions.
Midsole: Compression moulded EVA midsole, that offers plenty of cushioning for hard packed trails, and the odd couple of road miles when necessary, yet low enough to feel responsive on a more technical trail or hillside.
Uppers: Breathable mesh uppers with substantive overlays and randing to make a good strong reliable upper. A soft mesh gussetted tongue helps to keep debris like grit and stones out of the shoe. The usual cute Salomon lace pocket at the top of the tongue ensures the laces are stored safely away while running, to avoid catching or snagging on the journey.
- Strong "rand" around the base of the foot for strength and protection
- Sturdy enough to train in but light enough to race in too
- Roomy toe box, breathable mesh uppers that are quick drying and an excellent toe guard for when you start kicking those rocks in the path when you are tired
- Removable insole to aid drying out!
- The mesh tongue-cover prevents debris entering the shoe,
- Familiar Salomon strapping around the mid foot to give excellent mid foot support on both sides
- Speed lace system made from strong Kevlar, and the usual cute little Salomon pouch at the top of the tongue to tuck laces into
- The extra work on the upper makes it slightly heavier than some other trail or fell running shoes, but this has to be balanced out with the expected longevity.
I have used the Speedtrak on hills and trails around Edinburgh, trips up to Highland Perthshire on hills and forest trails, also took them to North Cornwall and ran many miles on the undulating, rugged coastal path. They offer a real hybrid, as either low profile trail shoes, close enough to the ground to have that responsive feel of the terrain underneath your feet, yet also grippy enough to cope with, and make you feel confident when descending on mud, wet grass or loose rock. They have enough cushioning to cope with a mile or so of interlinking roads too. The speed lacing system works well as long as you ensure it is tight and secure when you set off. (On a couple of early runs I pulled the laces tight enough for running on initial flat terrain, but felt my foot moving a little as soon as I was on uneven ground. Tightening the laces, not surprisingly, sorted this.)
The Salomon Speedtrak is a welcome update to the Salomon range of fell and trail running shoes. A lightweight shoe built for the fells and trails, at a price to compare well with anything on the market. Basically you can baffle folk with technical features all day, but leaving aside the obvious individual foot-fit, in essence if you looking for a durable shoe to cope with hills and trails, they work!
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