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Winter Running: Top 5 Best Trail Running Shoes for Off-Road 2014/15 (Salomon, Adidas, Saucony and Inov-8)

What makes a good trail running shoe?

Well like other running shoes the key is comfort however when dealing with off road running, protection and stability becomes even more important. The best trail running shoes therefore provide more impact protection for those heavy downhill strides on rocky or loose ground. Many also feature tougher plates or bars of material in the mid sole for further protection against sharp rocks, and larger lugs to grip the loose or muddy ground and provide traction.

Trail running shoes usually place the foot slightly lower to the ground than regular shoes for greater stability and also tend to place more emphasis on using durable materials.

Top 5 Best Trail Running Shoes

1. Salomon Speedcross 3 CS Trail Running shoes

Price: NOW £69.99 at Wiggle

Weight: 313g
Heel / Toe Offset: 9mm – 12mm
Waterproof? No
Hi-vis? No

Salomon have really carved out a niche as the go-to brand for trail shoes with an instantly recognisable aesthetic and a reputation for high quality products from their other outdoor pursuit offerings.

The Speedcross series is used by top fell runners and the Speedcross 3 CS is no less popular. The CS in the name stands for the ‘Climashield protective upper

Shoe Review - Salomon Speedcross 3 CS

Shoe Review – Salomon Speedcross 3 CS

All manner of trademarked names indicate the measures that Salomon have taken to ensure this shoe fits well. Ortholite and Sensifit among others provide for a very comfortable fit. The ‘Contagrip’ outer sole system provides lugs for traction uphill and on flats, as well as ‘braking’ lugs for those downhill sprints. There’s also a mud guard and the lugs are self-cleaning.

Some people have reported that the shoe took a while to bed in, whilst other suggest this is a shoe best used in a truely off road environment – mud, snow, sand and other soft ground. Salomon describe these shoes as best for those looking for good grip, a precise fit and weather protection.

Comes in four different colour options too! See them all here

 2. Inov-8 X-Talon 212 Precision Fit Running Shoes SS15

Price: £85.50 (20% discount) here

Weight: 212g
Heel / Toe Offset: 5mm – 8mm
Waterproof? No
Hi-vis? No

The Inov-8 X-Talon  212 claims more World Championship wins than any other off-road running shoe – an exceptional claim for a relatively small brand based in the Pennine hills of North England.

Shoe review of Inov8 X-Talon 212

Shoe review of Inov8 X-Talon 212

This is a shoe that weighs 100g less than the Salomon Speedcross 3 yet still claims to offer maximum durability. The upper is synthetic and DWR coated, whilst the mid sole boasts an EVA foam for shock absorption. The out sole has the X-Talon treads with a cleat depth of 5.5mm so you’re going to find it difficult to come unstuck from the trail!

For me, the more minimalist look and feel isn’t what I want in a trail shoe. I want to have something of substance covering my feet as I thunder down a rock strewn gully but that’s personal preference and the pay off between lightweight and protective.

 3. Salomon Fellraiser Trail Shoes – SS15

Price: £65.99  here

Weight: 290g
Heel / Toe Offset: 9mm – 12mm
Waterproof? No
Hi-vis? No

Inspired by the S-LAB Fellcross 2, the Fellraiser is a low, lightweight, and fast-drying trail shoe for training in muddy and wet conditions. This is the shoe chosen by Ricky Lightfoot when he won the 2013 IAU World Trail Championships.

 

Shoe Review - Salomon Fellraiser

Shoe Review – Salomon Fellraiser

 

4. Adidas Kanadia 6 Trail Shoe – SS15

Price: £54.00 here

Weight: 308g
Heel / Toe Offset: 9mm – 12mm
Waterproof? No
Hi-vis? No

Agile and aggressive, trail runner with midfoot panels for a secure, lock-down fit on the upper. Bold, aggressive and agile, with the signature Kanadia mud-shedding outsole and gusseted tongue. These are the most road like shoes of the list but with a rugged feel to them with a ‘Traxion’ lug system and polished upper that shed mud and dirt. At £41.95 on sale at the moment, they are one of the best value trail running shoes out there from the AW14 collection.

Shoe Review - Adidas Kanadia 6 Trail Shoe

Shoe Review – Adidas Kanadia 6 Trail Shoe

 

5. Saucony Xodus 5.0

Price: £79.99 (20% discount) here

Weight: 303g
Heel / Toe Offset: 1mm – 4mm
Waterproof? No
Hi-vis? No

The Saucony Xodus 5.0 carries through Saucony’s excellent PowerGrid cushioning technology as used in their road shoes, so these feel great. The weight is average and the aesthetic doesn’t scream ‘trail’ like the Kanadia’s, however the Vibram XS-Trek really does stick to the ground like Velcro! The low heel to toe offset keeps them responsive and low which is exactly what I want in a trail shoe. Improvements on the previous version include a tougher mid foot section to protect from sharp rocks and the 5.0 is slightly lighter.

Shoe Review - Saucony Xodus 5

Shoe Review – Saucony Xodus 5

Go for the GTX version if you want to be fully waterproof.

 

Rob Murray

A 100%, bona fide running geek! Rob loves running, running gear, and doing races then writing about them!
Author: Rob Murray

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  • http://thesuffolkstrider.wordpress.com thesuffolkstrider

    I’ve never worn any of the other brands but I can certainly attest for the Adidas Kanadia’s. A relatively cheap trail shoe, I had a few pairs over the years & they’ve served me well. I’ve now loved onto Puma trail shoe as I find them more comfortable but the Mrs still swears by Kanadia.

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