Joined: 06 Sep 2018
|Undeniably, the Speedcross 4 has amazing traction. Its chevron tread bites dirt, and the lugs are tall enough to dig into the terrain underfoot and absorb impact.Its midsole is traditional, including a big heel and a thinner forefoot. This results in a drop of about 11mm, which is high compared to many trail shoes on the market.Salomon’s Kevlar, one-pull laces skip the shoe-tying lesson altogether, but it took our kid testers a little while to get used to both loosening and tightening them on their own and agreeing to tuck the laces away. Aside from that, these are the most durable kid shoes we've reviewed this year. They’re made for trail running, and one tester wore them to a youth running club practice and loved the traction on all surfaces, noting how, “they were pretty sticky.”
These shoes will protect your kid's feet with a hard rubber toecap, reinforced sidewalls, and super durable materials all around. They’re technically designed for trail running, and the Contagrip outsoles performed as advertised, grabbing loose dirt and feeling good on grass during testing.Because of their protectiveness and super durability, the Speedcross J are ideal for littles who are hard chargers, whether they’re actually trail running or just living life as a kid. Some of our kids testers thought the Speedcross J’s “felt good and soft.” Another said about the traction, “They were pretty sticky,” and one raved, “They’re the best shoes ever.”
All of this puts the Speedcross 4 a step above most of the competition.The fit is somewhat narrow, so try these on first if you have wider feet. Weight per shoe is average, at about 12 ounces in a size 12 men’s.Compared to the Speedcross 3, the new model has a tighter lug pattern, with more lugs for the surface area, and thus improved traction. The 4s seem to be a bit “shallower” than the 3s, too, as the latter had a deeper heel cup and higher arch support.The Collegiate Triple was my debut test of the Speedcross 4, and right out of the box they cradled my feet. On the run, a lower arch allowed for a shallower, lower profile fit that still held my foot securely whether I was cranking up hill or leaning back in a sprint on the way down.
The shoes are reinforced with abrasion-resistant sidewalls that do a decent job protecting your feet in loose talus fields, of which there were a few on this route. I learned that it was imperative to stay nimble and run delicately through these segments: If I tried to run more aggressively, I would inevitably get stung in the ankle or forefoot by sharp rocks that rolled underfoot.In other words, the protective features of this shoe are not as all-encompassing as some of Salomon’s more aggressive trail shoes, especially in off-trail environments. If you are looking to spend hours on end swiftly hopping around in rock gardens full of sharp shale, check out a different model, like the XA Pro 3D or S-Lab XA Alpine.
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