An intro to trail running
When Salomon set about getting people to explore their local trails and broaden the participation in trail running, they developed the ‘City to Trail’ category, which has seen multiple brands move into this segment, however, none have done so with quite the clout of the Annecy based specialists.
The SuperCross is a refinement of this category, encouraging those looking to hit the trails or to try garnlier terrain, to step forward with confidence, with a more aggressive, pronounced outsole and styling that is more reminiscent of the SpeedCross as opposed to the more ultra/road stylings of previous shoes.
*If you’d like to skip to the video – scroll to the bottom*
Muddy shoes. I hear cries of ‘clean them now!’ At least you can see I’ve used them. If you love things clean, the video at the bottom of the page has them pretty spotless, cleaned prior to recording.
If you know your Salomon, you’ll recognise the outsole looks familiar to their Speedcross. It shares a similar chevron pattern, however, the lugs are firmer, shallower, designed for more compact trails, rather than off-piste slop. Whereas I find the Speedcross suits wetter, looser terrain, the SuperCross is more at home on hard pack or dry trails. There’s enough bite should you need it, whether you find a drainage ditch or saturated area, at the same time the lug spacing encourages self cleaning. As you can see from the above excess material, it has held on in the arms that have the most contact with the ground.
Salomon’s Contragrip compound is consistent. I’d say this is an all round compound, with durability as one key factor, given this will come into contact with a lot of harder surfaces. Outright grip isn’t a number one priority.
EnergyCell is chosen midsole and it provides a cushioned ride. Combined with the 10mm heel to toe drop, it’s a shoe that you’re not going to feel fatigued in if you aren’t the most efficient runner or have not built up a lot of foot strength. For me, the SuperCross is a shoe for easy miles on easy trails, when put into my rotation. Something that won’t load up your calfs, hamstrings or quads the day after a long run or tempo session, for those days where you want to take in the surroundings, rather than lock in on pace or perceived intensity.
The rand offers good protection, supported bu the top two chevrons which come up high to increase the range of angle grip can be found.The heel cup is substantial, with a big flappy bit of material which seems a little odd, given the brand styling tends to avoid such things. Additional comfort, achilles protection, urban styling?
The support offered is snug and secure, aided by the welded overlays of the Sensifit and ripstop reinforced upper. These extended through the mid foot and onto the forefoot. Sensifit, as found on the S/LAB series and across the range, is a proven system that locks down your ankle and mid foot to the shoe, giving you the confidence to step forward, without worrying about you shoe going elsewhere.
The upper will take some abuse, with ripstop being a technology the military have used for decades in apparel and equipment construction, to offer abrasion resistance without huge weight. The upper remains flexible and allows moderate air flow.And now to my one major gripe for the SuperCross – the Speedlace system, moreover the absence of the locker/garage for excess lace, which has been a part in parcel of Salomon running shoes for over a decade. Where is it???? Instead there is a piece of elastic on the tongue, which I resorted to tying the excess lace round several times.Why?
Why do this product developers and designers?
It’s a tried and tested system. In my opinion it takes away from an otherwise solid shoe. If you want to see why (it’s easier to show you why I dislike this lace storage option) click HERE to jump ahead to my demonstration of what has happened to me with other shoes using a similar system.
That detail put to one side, the SuperCross is a good shoe for those looking to get into the sport, whether you’re a road runner looking for more grip or someone new to running, who wants a shoe that will let you explore the sport at your own pace. The components that make up the shoe are all well established within Salomon’s portfolio and to me, this is what the City to Trail category was always looking for.
To find out more about the Salomon Supercross – CLICK HERE
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