Salomon XR Mission
My first race experience with the shoes came in the form of the Storm The Trent 9-hour adventure race. This race covered approximately 90km’s overall. I used these shoes for all sections except the mountain biking.
My first impression of the shoes were that they were very light and had a very wide front-foot. I broke them in with a few runs (purely road running) of about 5k and 10k in the weeks ahead of the race. They are not an ideal road running shoe, although light the wide front foot does not relate to a comfortable feel in longer runs. Also, the stiffer construction and hard shielded toe cover make the shoe less ideal for road races.
As far as adventure racing goes, these shoes were great! The stiffer sole provides the support you need when traversing a mixture of mud, rocks, gravel, roots, etc. The aggressive treads provide enough traction for all surfaces, which was great because most of my race was completed in a mixture of sandy terrain, and muddy sink holes… the treads on the shoe didn’t suffer too badly from clogging with muck which was nice! No need carrying around heavier shoes than necessary.
The shoe really impressed when it came time to get really wet. A great amount of our trekking was spent crossing bogs, swamps and small streams. The sidewalls of the shoe are very thin, with a strong mesh style fabric covered in spots with strips of translucent supporting plastic. This provided the shoe with a great balance between sidewall strength and drainage. Upon leaving the bogs and such, the shoe drained very quickly leaving no noticeable standing water inside. This increased the rate at which my feet could dry out and become comfortable again. This was perhaps the most impressive aspect of the shoe. If your adventure is likely to take you places where your feet will get wet, this is a great shoe for you!
The quick tie pull zip laces held perfectly without any slippage or loosening over the course of the race. They also provided for very quick on and off transitions without the need to tie traditional laces. The small mesh pocket at the top of the tongue provided a great place to tuck the extra length of the lace so as not to be lose and catching on items when traversing rough terrain.
Overall I was very impressed with the shoes performance and look forward to using them again in my future races.
For what it’s worth, my teammate with the same shoes was also very impressed with the shoes.