Salomon Spikecross 3 CS Review
I’ve been running in Salomon shoes on and off for many years. I typically find their regular trail shoes a little too firm for my running style, so I rotate with other brands for summer trail activities. However, winter in Colorado offers some great running in snow conditions. The downside, though, can be ice!
These are the conditions in which Salomon most excels, in my opinion. I have tried many shoe brands on snowy trails and found none better than the Salomon brand for watertight, dry runs. The Spikecross 3 CS is the model best suited, of all the Salomon shoes, for running on those somewhat icy, snowy trails, which I have in abundance outside my front door at 6,500ft above Boulder.
Salomon describes the Spikecross as a “winter racing shoe with innovative Climashield weatherproofing and embedded metal spikes for gripping on wet, icy trail conditions”. Think of it this way: If you’ve ever driven a vehicle on icy roads fitted with summer tires you’ll know how hard it is to stay on the black-top. The Spikecross is the equivalent of a studded snow tire for runners.
The metal studs protruding from the sole are designed to prevent a fall on icy surfaces, while the tractor-tire-style ContaGrip treads keep your feet from slipping in mud or snow. The non-marking ContaGrip rubber materials also enhance the eco-friendly approach that Salomon has to trail running. The innovative sole is only part of the story; they included Climashield insulation technology, designed to keep your feet nice and warm during those sub-zero run days, a water-resistant upper that has anti-debris mesh, and a mud-guard. When you then consider that all of this sturdy tech comes in a light 8.5 oz package, it becomes fairly clear why the Spikecross 3 CS is an award-winner.
During the course of several runs, the Spikecross felt comfy and snug, as one would expect from Salomon’s Sensifit. I was running with a friend who was wearing regular trail shoes and she clearly lacked the traction and confidence I had running in these spiked versions. If there is a need to run on some sort of pavement for a stretch, the studs are fairly loud, but they don’t spoil the cushioning of the shoe. The Spikecross, however, are not meant to run on asphalt, they were bred to run in the backcountry.
I must admit, at times I felt almost invincible running in these ‘studly’ shoes. I could rip down icy trails and blast up hills with such confidence that I tended to forget I was running in icy conditions that would normally make me much more tentative. The grip is just superb.
Finally, you get the Salomon Quicklace system which involves no tying; simply tug the laces tight, and then stow them neatly in the tongue sleeve, where they stay put. Quicklace is super user-friendly, and one of the best lacing systems on the planet, in my opinion.
In summary, The Salomon Spikecross 3 CS is basically safety equipment in the form of a shoe for those hardcore trail runners who brave inclement weather to race or train. The technology on board provides a confidence-inspiring ride in any form of snow, sleet or mud. I have yet to test a better shoe for running on winter trails .