I recently purchased a pair of Salomon XR Shift as my first trail runners. I picked them on the basis that a) They were cheap and b) I liked the look of them – so how good (or bad) can a pair of trail runners that cost €30 (£24 or $34) be?
Since I rarely do trail running (thus why I wanted cheap runners!), I had these for a few weeks before they got to see any actual trails. They are not the most aggressive looking trail runners, so I wore them for casual wear, and on a few short runs (3-4 miles) on tarmac to break them in. I found them comfortable, if a little more of a snug fit than I am used to. They are described as “Hybrid” runners, designed for a mix of trail types, including road, and I found that was certainly true. I had no problems running on tarmac with them, and they felt comfortable on my feet. The only issue I had was that I found my feet got much hotter in them than in my road runners, probably due to the fact that they have a lot more padding in the uppers. This isn’t a problem on short runs, but might be for me on longer runs – time will tell. I was surprised at how light they are despite their chunky appearance.
On Saturday I got to give them their first real test, as I was running the Tralee Tri Club Trail Race. This race could have been tailor made for these shoes, as it consisted of a mixture of tarmac road, gravel forest trails, muddy farm tracks, and just about everything else in between. I found the Salomon XR Shift ideal for this race – the thread pattern is aggressive enough to give confidence on muddy tracks, while it isn’t too extreme for the road, allowing me to run the road section as if I was wearing regular road shoes.
I had no problems with loss of grip at any stage, despite some fairly severe climbs, fast descents on loose gravel, and lots of surface changes. The rubber toe guard works well to prevent stubbed toes on the rocky sections too.
The ankle support feels good, and this, combined with the excellent grip, gave confidence on the trails.
Overall I am very happy with these – they are a quality product, that work well, at a very reasonable price point. I will update once I’ve put some serious mileage on them, but for now, they look like they will hold up well.
Salomon XR Shift Stats:
Weight: 11.5 Ounces (Mens) 8.5 Ounces (Womens)