runABC's Jane Holt, a real ultra and trail running enthusiast, willingly accepted an assignment to put the new Supercross GTX Women's trail running shoe through its paces. Shoes delivered, she headed out...
Overall, a very good shoe and made for trails especially if they're muddy! I tested them on a couple of long trail runs in the Bishop's Wood, just five minutes from home. I do most, if not all, of my off-road training in there and it is perfect environment to really see what the new Supercross GTX was capable of.
The first test was in warm, sunny weather on dry trails and single track with some fire road; the second session was on wet, muddy trails, some of which were technical and slippery in parts. You have to run on half a mile of road to get into the woods which can be hard going in trail shoes due to the chunky grip and minimal cushioning. I wear Inov-8 shoes as well as Salomon and find that Inov-8 have an excellent grip but are unforgiving if you run on any stretch of road.
The Salomon Supercross were fine and felt very comfortable. I wear 10mm drop shoes irrespective of brand which is down to episodes of heel bursitis meaning I can go with a low or even zero drop shoe. No problems whatsoever with the Supercross. Lightweight, snug fit, easy lacing system and black is a practical colour if you run in mud! The GTX appendage is a GORE-TEX reference with these shoes made from this waterproof membrane.
The shoe is constructed with Salomon's Sensifit technology and the manufacturer's claim that ' it cradles your foot for a precise fit', was reflected in my experience.
The cushioning which I appreciated on tarmac is presumably down to the EneryCell EVA midsole and Ortholite diecut footbed which "work together to provide supreme cushioning and comfort underfoot". They also offer high shock absorbency, which protects your knees as you run and helps to reduce fatigue.
In terms of traction, the Supercross has a Contragrip rubber outsole, giving you good grip across mixed terrain. The shoe has an aggressive chevron lug pattern offering multi-directional grip. This worked well on softer ground and surfaces with loose dirt.
I noticed that the GORE-TEX kept most of the water out. You will always get some water in a running shoe and that squelchy feeling but that was far less in these shoes and any water drained away. Whether you will have a 100% waterproof shoe remains to be seen as whilst these did a good job my feet were a bit damp afterwards. The shoes took a day or two to dry out in our greenhouse but are ready to be worn again.
I like the black as it makes a change from the garish colours and designs you often seen at races and it gives the shoe a low-key, sturdy appearance. (However if 'garish' colours are you're thing - there are Beet Red and Bluestone variations - Ed)
I own a pair of S-Lab Sense Ultra shoes and Sense Ride and they both fit like a glove - similar to the Supercross - which suits me. The snug fit worked for me in several ultras including my 100-miler last year.
Full details of the Supercross GTX at the Salomon website.