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Salomon Speedcross 3CS
$135, 11.2 oz, www.salomon.com
The Dirt. A winterized version of Salomon’s Speedcross 3, this fall’s updated model sports flashy colors, single-density foam in the heel counter (updated from dual-density in the previous model, transforming the light pronation-control shoe into a neutral ride) and waterproof-breathable Climashield technology.
Climashield lines the forefoot while a breathable lining wraps the rest of the upper and heel. Warm in colder conditions, most testers complained of overly sweaty feet in warmer temps.
Testers raved about the aggressive v-shaped, cleat-like lugs’ ability to claw through mud. In fact, one tester reported feeling “invincible” on steep, muddy descents. However, another tester complained that while running over slick rocks, the cleats lacked adequate grab.
Fit. Best fits medium- to high-volume feet and runs slightly long. Salomon’s quick-lace system tightens the fit easily and evenly. Overlays set closer to the midfoot (as opposed to over the metatarsals) provided a roomy and comfortable toebox for testers with wide feet.
Best For. A low-to-the-ground forefoot and raised heel make this shoe perfect for steep ascents and uphill mountain races. Aggressive lugs and Climashield technology make it ideal for technical terrain or slick, muddy inclines in cool to cold weather. While testers were wowed by the Speedcross’ ability to tackle nasty terrain, they felt “disconnected” on tamer surfaces.
Tester-monial. “There are so many great features about this shoe it’s hard to pick the best. The more miles I put in them, the better they felt. The Speedcross 3 CS literally wrapped around my foot while still allowing my feet plenty of room in the toebox.” —Kurt Egli, Tulsa, Oklahoma