Ok, I feel that we are getting somewhere, even as slow as its going. Thanks for the continued support.
Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 Trail Running Shoes
Name: Alex Legg
Height: 6'4" (1.93 m)
Weight: 195 lbs (88 kg)
Email address: alexlegg2@...
City, State, Country: Tucson, Arizona, USA
Date: August 20, 2011
Backpacking Background: I grew up in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. I have been backpacking my entire life. I currently live in Tucson, Arizona during the winter months where I hike extensively in the surrounding mountain ranges. In the summertime, I go to Colorado where I conquer as many peaks as possible. I experience many conditions. From 100 F (56 C) plus days in the desert to extreme winter conditions. I explore everything from the desert floor around 2,000' (610 m), to the 14,000' (4,267 m) peaks of the Rockies.
Product Information and Specifications:
Year of Manufacture: 2011
Listed weight: 2 lbs (0.91kg)
Weight as delivered: 30 oz (850 g) each
Length: 13.5" (0.34 m)
Width: 4.5" (0.11 m)
Size: US Mens 13
The Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra trail runners are a lightweight, breathable, and stable trail running shoe that can handle most anything except water. They have a Quick-Fit lacing system that tightens around my foot in a way conventional laces cant. The reason for this is an extra point of contact where the laces are pulled in from the outer side of my big toe. Once tightened, the laces can be easily tucked into the pocket on the tongue. The laces are made of kevlar and tighten similar to a stuff bag or back pack. The hardened rubber toe is no comparison to that of a boot, but does offer a way to minimally protect the toes while running on a very lightweight shoe. An important factor for me considering the excessively rocky terrain that dominates many of the desert mountains near Tucson. I especially like the breathable mesh lining which I can feel a breeze through on the hot Arizona days. The soles "bear" the Salomon "logo", and are multi
colored. I was surprised at the amount of traction, having never walked on a Salomon sole before. The soles are soft and more flexible than other top brands. This could be good at first but perhaps bad for longevity. These shoes fit me like a glove and feel as though I am not wearing anything at all. They take absolutely no time to break in and are extremely comfortable on my feet. They have great traction, and are comfortable enough to be an every day shoe.
The Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultras and I have experienced many different conditions over the past four months. From the scalding hot desert with temperatures pushing 110 F (61 C) in the summer, to the Rocky Mountain alpines in near freezing temperatures. The Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultras preformed above my expectations in everything except extremely wet conditions. A little dry snow is fine. I have pushed these shoes on rocky terrain where every step can result in the end of my trip as well as a tough time getting home. I have also been wearing them exclusively on a daily around town basis. In this review I will discuss 3 trips where I put the Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra trail running shoes to the test.
Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs, Colorado:
I went home to climb the 14er that has been mocking me for years. How could I have never climbed it in all this time?. It was mid July and perfect weather. Pikes Peak sits majestically above the city of Colorado Springs, Colorado, its summit standing proud at 14,110' (4,301 m ). I bought these shoes the day before my hike. My other hiking boots had been destroying my feet whenever I projected them downward. They were bothering me so much that I knew I needed an emergency fix to the situation. I came all the way out here with one main intention. I was not going to be let down and not get on top of that mountain that had been standing like a big middle finger flipping me off in every picture I looked at of my home town. I needed a pair of shoes that would need no breaking in time, and I needed them now! Did I ever find it! These shoes took zero time to break in, and I can hardly tell that they are on my feet. I did a quick three
mile trek with my dogs the night before to get some sort of feel for these shoes that I was gambling my hike with. To my surprise, I noticed the Quick-Fit lacing system was rad. It takes no time whatsoever to loosen up the laces on an easy section of trail, letting my foot relax for a few moments before quickly tightening them again to continue up the steep incline ahead. I did 26 miles (49 km) with an elevation gain of 7,800' (2,377 m). 13 miles (21 km) up and 13 miles (21 km) down. I ended the day with NO blisters whatsoever! The Quick-Fit lacing system works wonders for an impatient climber as myself. There is no way I can tie my conventional shoe laces faster than I can tighten these. Literally in mid step, I can pull them from the pocket, clamp down on the plastic handle, and stuff them back into the pocket. I also found that the soles of the shoes held their own on everything from slick rock , to snow, to gravel. Easily the
best performing shoes I have ever worn. At the top of this mountain, I crossed the train tracks of the tram that comes and goes like clockwork, delivering the eager tourists who want so desperately to take in the view at 14,110' (4,301 m), but either can't, or won't take on the journey to get there the hard way. Looking down at my feet, I was amazed at how comfortable I felt. My feet were tired, but not drained. The weight of the Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra trail running shoe is the lightest of any shoe I have ever worn. I have been a "Boot guy" my entire life. I feel my ignorance of trail runners has cost me years of unnecessary work. Sure, boots are important if your trudging through mud and snow for ten days while carrying 60 lbs (27 kg) on your back, but all the day hikes and peak bagging that I have done could have been so much easier... 1 lbs (0.45 kg) on your feet is like 5 lbs (2 kg) on your back. I am at this point totally
enamored with this shoe.
Mt Wrightson, Tucson, Arizona:
Although we have some good "Sky Island" mountains around here, many of them have a climb through the thick of the Sonoran desert that deem the prize of trees and cooler weather up top just plain not worth it in the summer months. Considering that the summer months last roughly half the year, I was ecstatic to find Mt Wrightson. Standing at 9,453' (2,881 m), Mt Wrightson is the highest point near Tucson. Mt. Wrightson is a great display of a "Sky Island", many Rocky Mountain plants like pine trees and columbine flowers can be found living harmoniously next to Sonoran desert plants such as occotillo and mesquite. The temperature that morning sat at a comfortable 65 F (36.1 C). I was happy. The trail is a fairly steep journey that feels like much more than a 10.8 mile (17 km) round trip. There is an annual event here called the Mt. Wrightson Massacre where competitors attempt to summit the peak as many times as possible within a twenty-four
hour period. I believe the record is six summits. I wonder what kind of shoes that guy had on? This is a very rocky trail by most standards, but mild by the standards of some of the other ranges in the Tucson area. Footing is still of the most importance. I found the gripping ability to be of high caliber. These shoes fit me like they were made for me. They are so breathable and lightweight while managing to be incredibly stable. They took me on a few detours to nearby springs where they traversed across steep, wet, slick rock and up and down streams. I was able to keep them relatively dry which is good because I do not have the water proof version. All in all a good half day hike with a great pair of shoes.
Roosevelt National Forest, Lyons, Colorado:
Every summer I try to escape the desert and stay with my sister in Lyons, Colorado. Its a great area with access to unlimited peaks, some with trails, most without. I spent countless hours for three weeks "Billy goating" around the back country of Roosevelt. Mostly on wild game trails, and often on old mining and settlers trails, I tried to conquer as many of the nearby peaks as possible. On a daily basis I would encounter elevation changes from 5,000' (1,524 m) to 11,500' (3,3505 m), and temperatures ranging from 45 F (25 C) to 90 F (50 C). There are many steep canyons, lush with wildlife and plant life alike. Unlike my native Colorado Springs, Colorado, the creeks here are more of small rivers. They can be quite difficult to cross at times. The Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultras handled the terrain commandingly wether on or off trail, or while trying to avoid getting wet and rock hopping. I must have completed at least 30 m (48 km) while I was
there. I went up and down so many mountains that I found it absolutely necessary to relish in some of the good local beer that is so abundant in Lyons. At this point there is still little to no wear on the shoes except for a few scratches that are perfectly acceptable.
The Salomon XA 3D Ultra 2 trail running shoes are basically the best thing I have ever put on my feet. Super lightweight, breathable and sturdy. I couldn't ask for a better shoe. I have been wearing them exclusively for about four months now with no complaints or problems. I hike up a mountain every weekend, and I take my dogs on about a four mile walk every evening through deep sand and overgrown mesquite trees in our local washes.
3. Drawstring laces are awesome
1. Not going to last like a backpacking boot.
2. After 20 miles or so, the lightweight feature becomes a burden as I can feel every rock under my foot.
3. Not waterproof.
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