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$110 | 8.5 oz | 9mm drop | www.salomon.com
The Dirt: An all-around performer, the X-Scream is perfect for urban runners who log miles on foot just getting to a trailhead. The X-Scream’s low-profile lugs handle pavement well, but also do just fine on all but the most technical trails.
The firm cushioning—“plenty for a bigger runner like myself, at 200 pounds,” said one tester—is responsive enough for everyday training runs, though some testers found it too dense for comfort on longer, multi-hour runs.
A thin rock plate, fine-mesh tongue cover and protective toe cap help protect your foot from hazards on the trail, ranging from rocks underfoot to sand and other blister-inducing debris.
Best For: Mid-distance training runs of up to a couple hours, when you’ll be covering a variety of terrain.
Traction: Testers reserved the highest praise for the tread, which shined in all weather on non- to mildly-technical trails.
Fit: With a roomy, bunion-friendly toebox, the X-Scream best suits medium- to high-volume feet.
The Downsides: “An extra-breathable toebox makes a nice sieve for the mud-water of snow-melt,” reported one Northeastern tester.
Tester-Monial: “The tread gives just enough traction but is not too aggressive. I love the fit and protection these shoes gave my feet.”
—Joel O’Polka, North Liberty, IA