Four months ago, I purchased a pair of Salomon Speedcross 4 GTX shoes. Since then, I have put over 250 miles on them. About 75 precent of that has been trail running and 25 percent has been hiking and backpacking.
Most of the trails I have used them on have been narrow foot paths on the lower mountain slopes near Tucson, Arizona. The trails here are littered with boulders and decomposed granite that turns to scree in some places. The routes are steep and involve a great deal of elevation gain and loss.
So far, I have been impressed with how well these shoes have performed. They have shown minimal wear, are comfortable, and have some notable features that are quite clever.
In my view, the most defining characteristic of Salomon’s Speedcross 4 GTX shoes are the shoelaces. They use Salomon’s esteemed Quicklace System, which allows you to keep your feet laced tight without the added fuss of knots. Unlike tied shoelaces, Salomon’s system won’t loosen easily and doesn’t ever come undone.
Another attribute Salomon nailed with these shoes is their aggressive grip. The outsole provides excellent traction on uneven surfaces thanks to beefy lugs arranged in a tractor tyre pattern. It is clear that Salomon has put a lot of research and testing into their Contragrip technology and it feels good to be the beneficiary of that.
According to Salomon, the Contragrip outsole is supposed to give premium traction in wet conditions. In the desert southwest, when rocks become wet, they get impossibly slick. The Contragrip has not displayed any secret powers compared to other aggressive outsoles for this.
The Speedcross 4 GTX shoes also feature a Gore Tex membrane that helps to keep your feet dry when you cross waterways or stomp through mud puddles on a rainy day. To add to that, the tongue is water resistant and constructed not to allow debris in.
In terms of comfort and fit, these shoes have knocked it out of the park for me. The EVA sock liner offers just the right amount of cushion without overdoing it and molds to your foot nicely. For those with wider than average feet, the toe box might be too narrow, but if you are in the normal range or a bit narrower then you will feel right at home.
I have been extremely satisfied with Salomon’s Speedcross 4 GTX shoes and when the time comes to retire my current pair, I will definitely buy them again.
If there are any downsides to these shoes that I can think of, it’s that they don’t work well on paved surfaces. Between the cushioning and 10mm heel-to-toe drop, they just don’t feel right on them. Like most, I use a different pair of shoes when I run on pavement. I bought these with the intention of using them on trails so for me it’s a nonissue.
With its Speedcross 4 GTX, Salomon has created an outstanding trail running shoe that excels on technical terrain. After 250 miles in my current pair, my feet are happy, the shoes are holding up, and I can tell you with certainty that these are a good buy.
- Best For: Trail Running
- Waterproof: Yes
- Cushion: Moderate
- Midsole: EVA
- Outsole: Contragrip
- Drop: 10 mm
- Weight (Pair): 1 lb 7.3 oz
- Gender: Male