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Standing eyes glazed over staring at the selection of running shoes trying to decide trail or road is something most of us have dealt with at some time during our running lives. Salomon says stop the madness and showcases the first door to trail running shoe.
Weight: 320 grams
Salomon has been in the outdoor industry for years and has the will and foresight to tackle one of a runner's deepest dilemmas, trail or road. Breaking down the basics of a running shoe is pretty simple, a trail runner has mare aggressive tread, a longer lasting sole and a fit that generally helps stabilize your foot and ankle in anticipation of all of the dynamics a trail might present. Where as a road shoe is generally softer all the way around specifically designed to protect the runner from impact injury due to the nastiness that is urban sprawl (aka concrete cancer). For years I have only purchased trail shoes because like most of you if you are a trail runner you not only loath the roads but you enjoy the solitude on the trail…no dogs, sirens, semis or smoking pintos. The problem occurs when you do decide to run in the city and you tend to suffer a bit due to the lack of cushion. Alright I know the whole minimalist and barefoot trended thinkers are groaning…I don't care. The facts are the facts; concrete and asphalt are harder substances than dirt and will cause greater impact force which will equal injury. Ok so the true issue is how do we get to the trail? Like most of you I live in a town that is primarily paved. From my porch I can see the masses of open spaces and national forest lands, I know of concrete paths our city refers to as urban trails and I hate them. However, I usually run from the house which is 4 miles on the road then I am off into the hills with miles of beautiful trails in front of me. So the trail running shoe does not have the cushioning to make the road comfy and the road shoe doesn't have the flexibility for the trail. Until now, you see as I mentioned Salomon has suggested just a solution to this with their XR Crossmax series. Built to cushion on the road and stabilize and grip on the trail they have made the jack of all trades shoe! Wearing them is truly an interesting experience because for me the pavement section was unnoticed while the trail section was bomber but more cushioned. So it seems to me as though I am now getting the best of both worlds! And apparently I am not the only one that noticed this bit of genius as the Crossmax recently was awarded the best new trail runner for 2011 from Runners World magazine! The shoe feels great and even with the substantial padding it offers it still remains flexible enough for technical trails. To date I have put just under 200 miles on mine and the only thing that has bugged me is the insole, which I switched out and now I have a dialed anytime, anywhere road and trail machine.