Born in the French Alps, the Salomon Company has been creating innovative, high-performance sporting goods for the better of 60 years, and has maintained a huge following in Europe, especially for their trail running shoes.
The Speedcross 3-GTX, is priced at the higher end of the market, is an all-in-one trail running shoe. It was created to triumph over the steepest slopes, dirt, snow and general outdoor ruggedness. Because the shoe has worked so well for so many years, its need for updates is minimal. The design is cushioned, durable, rugged and protective, and without a doubt, built for high performance without adding a ton of extra weight. Though the price tag may seem a bit steep, it doesn’t hinder the 3-GTX’s popularity.
To start, the upper includes a “gusseted” tongue, which connects to the upper and eliminates debris from entering the shoe. Its laces are strong and should require minimal effort for an easy on and off and one-pull tightening. The shoe works with a 10mm heel-to-toe drop, and the upper also supports Gore-Tex, Sensifit and OrthoLite technologies.
Salomon guarantees that the Gore-Tex material in the upper should keep your foot dry. Its waterproof protection is coupled with breathability so that it remains comfortable during activity. Coupled with the Gore-Tex, OrthoLite should work to cushion your foot on all terrains. It is a sock-like liner that combines both foam and an “EVA heel cupd” work together to offer a cool, dry and cushioned experience. Though, it has been notated that the 3-GTX offers an incredibly confortable ride even in the toughest environments (mud, rubble, puddles, rain, ETC), once the shoe does get wet, the OrthoLite lining has the tendency to bunch.
The upper’s durability makes it a great contender for outdoor, high performance activities. In addition to its Gore-Tex and OrthoLite technology, it also contains Sensifit that works to add a snug fit that conforms to the runner’s foot.
The 3-GTX contains non-marking Contagrip in its sole. This tacky rubber provides a strong stick to steep inclines, rocks and other rubble. The Contragrip sole is than covered by arrow-shaped lugs, which deliver an unmatched traction to take on the most arduous trails. However, this comes with a price. The lugs have the tendency to wear quickly over time.
The midsole is comprised of EVA to provide more rebound, cushioning, protection from sharp objects and stability for runners prone to pronation.
The shoe does not have a rockplate, but it does have a lot of cushioning in the heel, which coexists beautifully with the forefront if your concern is sensitivity. Yes, with a cushioned heel you won’t be able to feel as much (until the lugs begin to wear down), but because a rockplate doesn’t exist in the forefront, it doesn’t totally eliminate trail feel. The cushion in the heel also acts as a form of protective from impact.
For a performance shoe, weighting in at 12.15 ounces is quite a feat, especially considering the types of ground you can cover in them. Weight wise, it sits at a moderate range between really “burlyd” shoes and the lightest the industry has to offer.
Summing up, the Salomon Speedcross 3-GTX is a high-performance shoe designed primarily with an athlete’s fortitude in mind. It was made for the toughest outside settings and terrain, and in that environment it excels in every way. Even considering the few issues with stability, the deterioration of the sole lugs and the hefty price tag, the 3-GTX is still a top-pick if you’re looking for a shoe to combat rough outside terrain.
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