The Salomon Speedcross 3 is a fan favorite in the world of Obstacle Course Racing. If you check any OCR community you will see multiple recommendations for this shoe and there are many reasons why. The Speedcross 3 would be what I refer to as a “workhorse”, as it has many features that make it a good option for almost any terrain. If you are looking for one shoe to tackle all of your races in, then the Salomon Speedcross 3 is worth considering.
Salomon Speedcross 3 Features
5mm chevron lugs – Salomon refers to its grip as M&S Contagrip, which excels in Mud and Snow and is designed to dig into softer ground.
Quicklace speed lacing system – Which are laces made of durable Kevlar fibers and a plastic pulley mechanism that allow you to quickly pull and lock the shoe into place. When mud gets in the Quicklace system it can be tough to loosen the shoe, but with enough of a tug it opens up. I personally love the feature, but have heard others complain about it. A quick cure is to submerge the Quicklace plastic under water and push and pull it with the strings so the mud loosens up and clears out. In addition to the Quicklace system, there is a pocket in the tongue of the shoe where you can tuck away the slack of the lace. On more than one occasion I have met folks with these shoes that were not aware that this feature existed.
Anti debris mesh – The upper is made out of a material that helps keep out dirt and debris. Compared to other trail runners I have worn, this material is very good at keeping debris out.
29mm Heel height – The molded EVA provides plenty of cushion and is ideal for heel strikers. It also has a drop that would tend to favor heel strikers at around 9mm (sometimes reported as 11mm).
Salomon Speedcross 3 Usage
I have worn my Speedcross 3’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 300-350 miles on a mixture of training runs, mud runs, trail races and most recently mowing my lawn. The traction that the 5mm chevron lugs provide in wet and muddy conditions is easily once of the best available in a trail shoe. The traction of the shoe, or the ability of the rubber compound to stick to surfaces like wood and rocks, is above average.
The only real complaints I have with the shoe have developed over time as I developed as a runner. As I move more towards a forefoot strike and away from a heel strike in my running stride, I began to notice that the front of the shoe was narrow and would cramp my toes (and even blister on rare occasions). I didn’t previously have this complaint as my toes weren’t propelled forward and splaying as much as when I was striking with my heel. Additionally, I began to feel that in absence of heel striking the heel itself was bulky and could be problematic on technical trails. These complaints are subjective as they will depend on the width of your feet as well as how your foot lands on your running stride.
My second complaint is that the shoe drains poorly. It is made of a durable anti debris mesh upper material that can withstand a lot of abuse, but because of this it is not very good at letting water drain out. While it eventually drains, it may take a fair amount of squishy wet strides to get the water out. In the meantime, you may be running in a shoe that has taken on some weight from mud and water which can become more of an issue if it is very cold out.
Aside from that, this shoe has served me well. I have participated in multi lap Tough Mudders and gotten up both Everest as well as slick muddy hills in this shoe and have never met a surface that I could not dig into (other than ice and pavement).
Salomon Speedcross 3 Durability
This is a very durable show with the exception of wear to the pinky toe area of the forefoot. This generally happens because the shoe tends to be narrow on many people and the pinky begins to rub excessively in that spot, and over time can lead to a hole. Luckily, Salomon has a very strong warranty and if you email them with your issue they have been known to replace shoes that show excessive wear. As long as you use this shoe on the surfaces it is meant to be used on (softground trails and mud) the lugs take a very long time to wear down. This will not be the case if you take it out on pavement or rocky technical trails. If you use the Speedcross 3 properly, the lugs will more than likely outlast the upper.
Salomon Speedcross 3 Pros and Cons
- Aggressive tread providing grip on any terrain
- Durable Construction combined with Salomon’s Warranty ensures they will last you for many muddy miles
- If you are flexible on colors there are many ways to get the Speedcross 3 at an affordable cost.
- Drainage leaves something to be desired
- Narrow forefoot can cause wear spot to pinky toe area.
- The bulky heel is a negative on technical trails.
|Salomon Speedcross 3||Reebok TR Wild||Inov-8 X-Talon 212||Reebok All Terrain Super OR|
Salomon Speedcross 3 Conclusion
As I stated at the beginning of this review, I think the Speedcross 3 is a good option to consider if you are looking for one shoe to tackle all of your OCR needs. While there are certainly other options to consider that will better address drainage, few shoes will be as durable or grippy as the Salomon Speedcross 3.