Salomon XR Crossmax Trail First Impression:
The test pair was red/grey with white accent pops. I thought the shoe coloring was a little more masculine than my personal preference.
Do not be put off by the color, as they also come in an Aqua/Grey/White and Black/Grey/White color options. While running on the trails, the red did eventually win me over as it was easily noticed against the brown trails and hid stains well.
The white accent color highlighted the midsole rubber design over the red mesh overlay. The thick outsole looks sturdy, the TPU Toe Cap looks resilient, and the overall shoe is lightweight.
Salomon XR Crossmax 2 Trail Upper:
The upper is composed of lightweight air mesh. It dried quickly and did not stretch out after a long run against unpleasant elements. The abrasion resistant lining helps the shoe dry faster and allows more breathability during your run.
The mesh tongue is fully attached to the shoe, and has an additional protective layer over it as well. This keeps debris out of the shoe, and provides an additional layer of support against any smaller debris such as loose stone or twigs. The mesh is flexible and durable.
The QUICKLACE™ technology is very different from other trail running shoes that I have run in. Instead of a tie lacing system, the cord lace is pulled through the lace eyelets with minimal friction in one-pull. At first I was a bit hesitant about this technology, but during a long distance run I didn’t have to stop and knot or tie those pesky laces. They were easy to pull tight and tuck under the excess lace under the upper tongue Lace Pocket, and didn’t loosen during the runs. After a few runs using this system, I’m sold.
The textured Ortholite sockliner helped keep socks from sliding down, and the thicker cushioned heel gave ultimate comfort.
Salomon XR Crossmax 2 Trail Sole Unit:
The unstable ground requires a shoe that protects, stabilizes, and your foot feels secure in. The Salomon XR Crossmax 2 firm midsole “TLC” (Transition Link Carriage construction) foam gives stability and structure for trail runs. The firm midsole foam helps with the responsiveness of the shoe and a stable transition of energy. The female model is specifically designed with a medial midsole to “respect the natural ride of women feet-anatomical women specificities”. Although it gave maximum comfort, the foam felt high and made the shoes feel chunky when running on smoother surfaces.
Additionally, the double density foam plus molded EVA gives firmer arch support to stabilize the shoe. Pronation helps the foot’s shock absorption. As an overpronation, my arch is flat, and it requires additional stability in the midsole to reduce the stress on my calves. The medial misole built in the Salomon Crossmax 2 helped stabilize my pronation and supported the inside of my foot to correct my stride.
The Protective TPU Toe Cap gave additional support at the front and side of the shoe when running in tough terrain. The midfoot and forefoot SensiFit technologies provides a secure and “cradled” fit. On rockier terrain, these shoes felt chunky, but on smoother trails the secure fit was comfortable and protective.
The Non Marking Contagrip Outsole is composed of a variety of rubber patterns to stabilize the shoe. From a chevron “V” pattern to grip terrain, to the backfoot “brick” pattern that helps a smooth transition in strides, the advanced technological design is not unnoticed. Although this design is supposed to help with rockier terrain, the thick outsole gave some unstability in my run. On smoother trails, it provided easy transitions, a comfortable ride, and ample cushion.
Salomon XR Crossmax 2 Trail Opinion:
The Salomon XR Crossmax 2 Trail Running Shoe provides a customed fit and protection while running on the trails. Specifically designed for women, the technology put into the shoe enhances your run and gives a smooth ride. The shoe was responsive and provided a fast energy shift, although having thicker outsoles to protect the foot against trail running.
The higher medial midsole helped stabilize my lower arch, and would suggest these running shoes to anyone who overprontate. The lacing system takes getting used to, but once you run in them and don’t have to stop to tie your shoe, you’re hooked.
Overall this is a great outdoor trail shoe, it provides ample protection against the elements, and it’s overall lightweight enough to not weigh down your run. It felt too heavy on pavement/concrete smooth runs, but was comfortable on trail runs. After running many miles in this shoe, I didn’t feel a lack of cushion or support, and it withheld all the elements.
We thank the nice people at Salomon for sending us a pair of XR Crossmax 2 to test. This did not influence the outcome of the review, written after running more than 50 miles in them.