Review: Salomon XR Crossmax Neutral

The Salomon XR Crossmax is the new hybrid shoe from Salomon that is refers to as a door-to-trail shoe

The Salomon XR Crossmax comes in 2 version Neutral & Guidance. They may appear similar but they are completely different as they have been specifically design =to provide optimal support base on a runners’ foot type. The XR Crossmax Neutral is design to mild pronator while the guidance is more of a stability shoe both for use on Road and trail. They also come in Gender specific models for men and women.

I was fortunate to be able to run in the Salomon XR Crossmax during my recent Sabah Adventure Challenge 60km Trail Run in Borneo and I got to say it serve it’s has serve me well throughout the race.

The Salomon XR Crossmax Neutral is a lightweight (320 grams), moderate featured shoe engineered for neutral runners who want one shoe from door to trail for ultimate versatility. It delivers superior comfort, a smooth ride and great arch support and cushioning. It is a perfect trail-running shoes that provide an ideal platform for high-mileage runners looking for a single pair of shoes to take them from the street to the dirty, dusty muddy trail and back again.

Equip with a Nylon mesh uppers feature the SensiFit system creates a secure lateral hold on your foot providing a precise and secure fit inside the shoe while SensiFlex system in the forefoot stretched to adapt to the width of your forefoot for great foothold and added comfort.

It’s highly breathable upper materials keep air circulating, so even on scorching hot days, your feet stay cool inside these versatile trail shoe.

Asymmetrical Quicklace one-pull Kevlar Lacing system is engineered to provide a snug supportive fit adapting to feet need of extra forefoot and arch support, lace is then store inside pocket hides lacing away. Gusseted Tongue helps keep debris such as pebbles, sands, grass and tiny branches or plants out of the shoe.

For a fluid heel-to-toe transition and high energy return A set semi-rigid OS Tendon bars set into the length of the sole encourage efficient and powerful foot roll. it offers impact protection and propulsion that will keep you going even when the trail ends. It uses Triple-density EVA midsoles Cushioning to isolate you from trail impacts, and thermoplastic urethane inserts provide a barrier against sharp rocks underfoot

Contagrip LT® and Contragrip HA® combination outsoles provide solid traction and tenacious grip and conform to feet for improved lateral fit regardless of wet or dry terrain. Contagrip LT uses lightweight sole materials to offer superior forefoot grip and traction, Contagrip HA uses more abrasion-resistant sole material to offer increased support and durability.

Running in them for the past month also have been a great positive experience for myself. Every runner regardless trail or road runner would agree that a perfect shoe is a shoe that can be use to adapt to any kind of terrain, the shoe must provide superior grip and cushioning and most importantly great support and comfort to the user with the XR Crossmax you got all of those.

Competing in the 12th Sabah Adventure Challenge 60km Trail Run in Borneo, Over te 2 days race race I was able to put the XR Crossmax to the test. Sabah  is known for its tough terrains from undulating tarred road to steep and slippery downhill trails. Running in them across terrains such as slippery uphill scaling up the infamous Hamburger hill where the ground is slippery and muddy and elevation was about 65 degrees up slope. The Crossmax Contagrip does its magic in providing that forefoot grip required for scaling up the hill. When descending the heel contragrip sole grip the ground providing slow and secure support when running down the steep slopes.

The Crossmax modified sole reminded me of the Salomon SpeedCross II winter Contagrip outsole which is built for snow and excellent for trail. The Sole also have multi-directional lugs that provide excellent grip whether it’s uphill running or downhill which is similar to the XT Wings. I would say that the Contagrip is a hybrid between the SpeedCross II Winter Contragrip and the Contagrip use for the XT Wings. Personally, the only thing I dislike that I feel that the Quicklace pocket is too small thus, I find it an issue to store all the lace in the pocket. Another thing will be, I feel that the Crossmax could better if it is made waterproof. Running on Mud and puddle is part of trail running, the crossmax is good in these condition as it keeps the foot dry still but when running in the rain, the crossmax soaks up water and it gets a little to run in with, even though it will only take about 10 mins for it to dry, i find that 10mins a little but too long.

I’m not sure if anyone notice but there is no stitching on the upper part of the shoe unlike the other Salomon range in the past and I think it’s a good thing as it provide less abrasion contact between the skin and the shoe.  Cleaning the muddy Crossmax is also easy as the dirt will come off the shoe without much scrubbing.

Overall, I really find the XR Crossmax really does live up to Salomon promise of providing runners with a hybrid shoe that can go from door to trail and back while still providing the superior support and comfort. Being someone who stay a distance away from the nearest trail. With the XR Crossmax, instead of me taking the bus to the nearest nature trail, I can now run further from my place to the trail adding more distance and mileage to my runs. I would say the Salomon XR Crossmax Neutral is an excellent pair of shoe for runners who wishes to transition to Trail running, it will be a good shoe to use for their normal Urban Trail (road/ concrete pavement running) and also for their Nature trail running, thus saving money in the process. No wonder it was awarded the best new trail runner for 2011 from Runners World magazine.

Give it a go, It is the only shoe that can take you from Door to the Urban concrete Jungle to the nature Jungle and Back. Take Cross terrain run to the Max with the XR Crossmax.

“Light flexible energetic, this is Salomon’s most runnable trail shoe ever” Jonathan Wyatt (Six-Time World Mountain Running Champion)

Salomon XR Crossmax is available in Singapore at all World of  Sport Store for S$199

Cheers! (:

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