My pair of women's Salomon XT Wings 3 is about 3+ months old and they're probably one of the bigger investments I've made (so far) in terms of my running hobby. We know that Salomon products are sold in Malaysia at a very steep price and during the sale period, you're lucky if you can purchase something with at least some discount to soothe that potential cardiac arrest of your wallet.
The upper is made of a single layer of open air mesh combined with a nylon layer, thereby making it quick drying and very breathable. There are textile parts placed at strategic sections of the upper mesh to help prevent overheating on very warm days.
The tongue cover prevents mud and debris from getting inside the shoes.
With the Quicklace™ system, one quick tug of the laces tightens them, with minimal adjustment required if necessary. I've always been in awe of these minimalistic laces - they look so delicate yet they are quite strong.
Once you've tightened the laces, tuck them into the pocket located at the top of the tongue cover.
(Can they design a similar one for our running shoes with regular tie-on shoelaces? Sometimes they come undone even with double knots!)
Protective TPU toe bumper keeps your digits safe from trail hazards.
The OrthoLite® sockliner is combined with its foam and molded EVA (yeah, I'm not too sure how to describe it) which creates a better cushioned environment for your feet. It's cooler and drier, and provides excellent cushioning, stability and support to your feet.
The Agile Chasis System (ACS) around the midsole area provides sufficient cushioning and assists in forefoot propulsion in your stride.
The outersole is made with ContaGrip® material which provides secure traction to withstand the rough trails as well as varied surfaces.
I've clocked up to 150KM in these shoes and all I can say is that ... I love them to bits!
When I wore them for the first time, it took me a while to adjust myself to the weight, as I was accustomed to the lightness of the Brooks Pure Grit (my reviews here and here) and the Skechers GoTrail (my reviews here and here).
I am usually reserved with shoes that may bite my poor toes due to narrow fitting but I had no issues with these XT Wings 3. With its welded Sensifit™, the shoes eventually expanded (to the right fit) and enveloped my feet well. They feel as thick as boots but once you're on the run, you will forget how chunky they may feel on your feet.
Running in our tropical forests of Malaysia provides us with sweaty feet all the time and imagine if your trail run involves stream crossings, too?
Stream crossings during our Batu Dam runs (blog posts here and here) are unavoidable. As much as I was dismayed with the necessity of dunking my feet into the cold water, I was impressed that after a few minutes of continuing with our run, the shoes drained well.
|I failed to jump across the puddle!)|
Similarly to puddles along the trails in Dandenong (VIC, Australia), you won't hear your feet squelch with each step you take.
3. Grip / Traction
I love that the shoes feel secure and safe, and you can run fast without worrying about the lack of ankle support (a non-issue) and grip.
You can trust these shoes on gravel tracks (for example, Steroid Hill in FRIM), muddy trails (Batu Dam) and other varied surface.
|Oh hey, I didn't fall flat into the puddle, if that's what you're thinking!|
(pic from one of our Batu Dam runs)
*However, I have not run downhill on wet bitumen before nor run in the sand in these shoes so I am unable to comment on their performance on these two surface.
What are my gripes?
Besides the crazy price (RM499 in Malaysia and $207 in Australia), I have only 2 issues.
Somehow debris managed to wriggle their way into my shoes during my Batu Dam runs. I suspect they entered from the ankle collar.
But so far, they have been clean during my trail runs here in You Yangs as well as in Dandenong's (VIC, Australia).
The 2nd thing is that, cleaning them after a run can be such a chore. With such fine mesh on the upper, it takes me a while to clean off the mud with an old toothbrush before my shoes look spic and span for the next outing!
And that reminds me, I'd better go clean them up now ...
Overall, I'd say you won't be disappointed with the performance of this pair of shoes.