Salomon Speedcross 3 CS Review Facts
The Salomon Speedcross 3 CS is designed to be the ultimate off-road shoe for trail runners. This is going to be a technical shoe for runners who need lots of features to get them through challenging trail runs. The Speedcross 3 CS has the lightweight construction to make it fast enough for trail races while still having enough protection to get through rugged terrain and variable weather. You’re unlikely to find a shoe with more aggressive traction and the ability to withstand such a variety of conditions. Salomon has improved on past models to create a shoe that has very few compromises for extreme trail runners.
Salomon has always been known for its rugged shoes that can withstand rugged terrain. This reputation stems from their amazing outsole designs. With the Speedcross
3 CS, they've improved upon the outsole design of previous models and added some new features. Salomon uses something called a "Mud & Snow Contagrip®" that allows for amazing traction
in harsh winter conditions. The bottom of the outsole has a chevron-shaped lug pattern. The raised lugs also have an additional rubber nub that gives even more traction when needed. The arrangement of the lugs also minimizes the amount of material that remains attached to the shoe.
The midsole of the Speedcross 3 CS is filled with plenty of EVA cushioning to help soften the blow of rugged trail running
. This injected EVA runs through the length of the shoe from heel to toe to protect the foot more than previous Speedcross models. Salomon has also removed the dual-density foam that was found on the Speedcross 2. This may compromise the stability just a bit for some runners, but it makes it a comfortable option for those who have a more natural stride. Note that the midsole doesn't offer any additional rock plate rigid support for technical trail runs. Salomon is banking on the EVA cushioning to be enough to protect the foot through the most rugged terrain.
The upper portions of the Speedcross 3 CS are where Salomon really added the technology. There is ample toe box room for the toes to comfortable splay out. The material used here is a rip-stop nylon which makes it some of the most durable material you'll be able to find on a trail running shoe. The dense weave of this material does a great job of keeping the foot warm and dry. Unfortunately, this may be a concern when running in warmer climates. The Quicklace lacing system does a great job of keeping the foot secure while also remaining snug enough to keep rocks, dirt, and debris from entering the shoe. The upper material will resistant the moisture of light rain and wet grass. But those looking for a completely waterproof shoe
may need to look elsewhere.
Salomon did an amazing job of packing so much technology into a shoe while still keeping the weight relatively low. A men's size 9.5 shoe weighs in at just 11.2 oz. This won't put it on the list of the top lightweight running shoes
, but it is still impressive. This lightweight design allows it to be a speed training option while still being rugged enough to handle the brunt of what mother nature throws at it. These shoes will be perfect for trail races, hill repeats or any other technical speed work that happens on rugged terrain.
Breathability is vitally important when running through particularly cold or hot climates. In an ideal situation, your trail running shoe should allow the foot to breathe in warm weather, but protect it enough in cold or wet weather. Salomon has included its Climashield technology that is designed to be breathable and quick-drying for the wet and sweaty trail runs. Some runners may find these shoes to be slightly warm when running at high temperatures. Cooler climates will be where these shoes really excel. Whether you wear them with or without socks, they should offer a comfortable, breathable run in temperate climates.
Salomon has done a great job making the Speedcross 3 CS a comfortable option even when running on less than ideal terrain. The soft touch of the upper material feels great against the skin and should minimize and chaffing or irritation. The Sensifit system gives the foot a comfortable, precise fit while keeping things snug. This will limit any excessive movement within the shoe and cut down on the potential for blisters or hot spots. The molded EVA midsole provides ample cushioning that will make even the longest trail runs comfortable. Finally, the Quicklace system makes the Speedcross 3 CS easy to get on and off while offering fast tightening and loosening to find the perfect fit.
Style is always a tricky subject when it comes to running shoes. Even the top-rated trail running shoes
may not rate highly on the style scale. Salomon has created a shoe that proudly displays its technology in a style that is all its own. The rugged outsole is prominent in the design of the shoe. The innovative Quicklace system does make the shoe stand out from its competition that uses traditional laces. The color options are fairly subdued with this shoe but they won't be mistaken for anything other than what they are. These shoes aren't really meant to be worn around casually, but they are styled in a way that makes them a rugged choice for technical trail running.
Durability may be one of the most important factors when choosing a trail running shoe. Extreme trail runners put a lot of rugged mileage on their shoes and they expect them to hold up. Fortunately, Salomon has a history of making very durable shoes for all types of alpine activities. The Speedcross 3 CS should have no durability issues on its outsole. The chevron pattern lugs are raised enough to withstand friction and hold up over time. The only area where durability could be a concern is the mesh inserts found on the forefoot of the shoe. Most of the ripstop nylon upper should hold up for a long time but do take care around the mesh inserts on this shoe.
Any good trail running shoe needs to offer enough protection to withstand the rugged terrain found on most trails. The Salomon Speedcross 3 CS delivers protection primarily through its EVA midsole cushioning. This protects the foot from heel to toe with comfortable support. The foot is also protected thanks to Salomon's Mud Guard technology that has protective material all around the base of the shoe to keep mud and debris out. The rip-stop nylon used in the upper material also protects the toes and ankle from debris and abrasion from the elements found on the trail.
For such a durable, rugged trail shoe, the Speedcross 3 CS remains flexible and responsive for runners. The injected EVA midsole cushioning helps provide a bouncy, responsive foundation. Salomon also employs their Lightweight Muscle technology that absorbs impact and provides a much more responsive ride than previous models. Both heel strikers and forefoot strikers will appreciate the amount of lightweight cushioning and responsiveness that is provided by the molded EVA material and construction of this shoe. The responsiveness may not be equal to that found on the best minimalist shoes
, but it's still impressive.
Salomon has done a great job of maximizing the support in this shoe while still keeping a relatively svelte and lightweight shape. They use an OrthoLite® sock liner that adds foam cushioning to the already supportive EVA heel cup. The other benefit to Ortholite® foam is that it minimizes odor and moisture inside of the shoe and promises stay effective through the life of the shoe. This environment is optimal for comfort and support in a variety of conditions. The EVA heel cups not only add cushioning but support.
The Salomon Speedcross 3 CS is really designed to handle nearly every type of terrain you can throw at it. Runners should have no issues at all when covering some of the most common running surfaces
. The Mud & Snow non-marking Contagrip® technology found in the outsole is amazing for keeping a grip in all types of terrain. Especially valuable in the winter months, this material will have no trouble keeping traction across snow, ice, and mud. Runners should take care not to prematurely wear down the lugs of this shoe on rough asphalt or pavement. This shoe is designed for the trail and that's where it shines the brightest.
Salomon has long been a trusted brand in the world of alpine sports. Their running shoes, in particular, have some of the best technology you can find on trail running shoes today. Even compared to some of the more expensive and highest-rated trail running shoes
, the Speedcross 3 CS stacks up nicely. All of this technology won't come at a cheap price. While there are occasional sales and deals to be had, the Speedcross 3 CS will still be found at the higher end of the trail running shoe price spectrum. Overall, you tend to get what you pay for in this category and serious trail runners will have no remorse for the value afforded by the Speedcross 3 CS.
Traction is where the Salomon Speedcross 3 CS really outshines its competition. The size and shape of the lugs found on the bottom of the outsole are fantastic at connecting with all types of terrain under the foot. Snow, mud, rain, or ice will be no problem for this rugged trail running shoe. Runners should be comfortable keeping their footing on all types of terrain. It should be known that some of the lugs may be prone to premature wear and tear if worn too often on rough asphalt or pavement. These shoes are designed for the trail and that's where their traction will be truly appreciated.
For such a rugged trail running shoe, the Salomon Speedcross 3 CS maintains a great deal of flexibility. The upper material really stretches to accommodate the foot. The innovative lacing system allows for easy on and off with flexibility. The roomy toe box allows for the foot to achieve its natural stride with all of the flexibility a runner could want. The injected EVA midsole cushioning also provides an easy, cushioned, flexible ride across a variety of terrains.
Despite the removal of some stability features from the previous model, the Speedcross 3 CS will still have enough stability for the average trail runner. Lacking in this model, is the dual-density foam pronation insert that added stability to its predecessor.
The tradeoff here is that this shoe offers more flexibility than the previous model. Runners will still get plenty of stability from the Quicklace™ system that keeps the foot secure. The EVA heel cup also stabilizes the rear portion of the foot quite nicely. These won't be confused with some of the more stability-focused shoes
on the market, but they're still quite stable for a trail running shoe.
The heel-to-toe drop found on the Salomon Speedcross 3 CS is 11 mm. This is a fairly high drop that gives good support and stability from the heel to the forefoot. The extra height will come in handy when scaling uneven, rugged terrain. This falls on the opposite end of the spectrum than some of the more popular 0 drop shoes
on the market. Runners who are transitioning from the more minimal drop shoes should take precaution and ease into the use of the Speedcross 3 CS. Those who are used to this high of a drop will find these shoes to be quite comfortable from day one.
Key FeaturesTremendous traction
Durable ripstop nylon upper
EVA molded heel cup
Rugged outsole for all climates
Experienced trail runners who are looking for the ultimate all-terrain shoe should look no further than the Salomon Speedcross 3 CS. This shoe is jam-packed with all of the necessary technology to conquer rugged terrain and challenging speedwork. The lightweight construction paired with water-resistance, durability, and cushioning make this an easy purchase for trail runners on any budget. This shoe is a welcome addition to the Salomon family and is comparable to the best trail shoes
they've offered to date.