Icebug Acceleritas7 RB9X Trail Shoe | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Trail and Scramble Shoes

Icebug Acceleritas7 RB9X Trail Shoe | Review

The Swedish brand is on a mission to produce the world’s best trail shoes without costing the earth

Why We Chose The Acceleritas7 Women’s RB9X Trail Shoe: Grippy, lightweight, sustainable

Price: £130
Weight: 190g
More info: icebug.com

As a brand, Icebug is matter-of-fact about its products. You can’t save the planet by buying Icebug shoes – and they’re not environmentally friendly either. Wait, what? But it’s true – think about it. Trail shoes, like any other bit of outdoor kit, are consumer goods, and consumption uses up resources. But, as Icebug also points out, since they’re in the business of making trail shoes, it’s their responsibility to do so in a way that reduces the impact on the environment as much as possible. Still, no consumer goods are really ‘environmentally friendly’, so that’s a term they never use. 

“The brand has gone further by recycling waste production, ensuring that in future 20% less new resources will be needed to produce their soles.”

This is a refreshingly honest approach in an industry that seems to be trying harder than ever to continually tell people that more and more of their products are greener, eco-conscious or sustainably produced and manufactured. I suppose we’re guilty of it too – after all, this is a green gear guide.

The Acceleritas7 RB9X shoes are a good case study of the Icebug approach. The mesh upper is made from Bluesign-approved polyester, while the lining of the shoe is Bluesign-approved recycled mesh. The Bluesign system is an industry-wide certification for sustainable textile production that guarantees harmful substances have been eliminated from the manufacturing process.

Related: Best Trail Running Shoes Reviewed 2019

The brand is rigorous about the materials it uses in its shoes, prioritising performance and durability as a key part of sustainability – that is, building products that will last so runners don’t have to go out and buy new shoes every few months. It’s the design ethos that has been applied to their RB9X rubber. Along with the physical tread pattern of the outsole, it’s this rubber compound that provides grip. But unlike softer compounds, RBX9 is also extremely durable, giving the product a longer life and thereby minimising the negative environmental impacts inherent in production. The brand has gone further by recycling waste production, ensuring that in future 20% less new resources will be needed to produce their soles.

Plenty of grippy lugs cover the outsole. Photo: Chris Johnson
The Icebug fit is narrow – similar to that of Inov8’s precision fit. Photo: Chris Johnson
Durability as a key part of sustainability, so you don’t have to go out and buy new shoes every few months. Photo Chris Johnson

As of this year, Icebug is also the world’s first climate-positive footwear brand. That means they haven’t just offset their total carbon emissions, they’ve actually overcompensated. The Icebug carbon account is not just balanced, it is in credit.

So, these are all indisputably commendable initiatives. Top marks all round. But what are the shoes like? Er, they’re good. Actually, they’re really good. They’re extremely lightweight, but the uppers are durable enough to offer decent levels of protection on technical terrain. They’re not waterproof, but water pickup is minimal and drainage is excellent, so they don’t get soggy. That makes them a great option not just for trail running, but also for swimruns and adventure racing. The heel cup is soft and comfortable in order to reduce pressure on the Achilles tendon. The midsole flexes well and underfoot feel is good thanks to the low profile sole. The aggressive outsole doesn’t clog and grips well in the wet or the dry.

The shoes are narrow fitting – similar to Inov8’s precision fit – so we’d recommend sizing up one full size from your standard street shoe. Other than that, there is little to fault.

All in all, Icebug seem to be making trail shoes that are taking real strides in terms of both outright performance and sustainability. Other brands are going to struggle to keep up.

Tester’s Verdict

Chlöe McLeod, Outdoors Magic tester

“I’ve been super impressed by the cushioning and support in these lightweight shoes. They’re really comfy to run in and protective of the foot on uneven surfaces. There’s a good amount of padding around the cuff and a snug fit all-round, but they don’t feel tight. The biggest credit I can give to them, is the fact I didn’t feel shin splits running in them, even though I’ve been suffering from this really badly when running recently – a real plus from me.

“The traction on muddy and tricky surfaces was excellent, as you’d expect from a shoe with such an aggressive looking tread, and I found mud shed well also.”

 

Chosen For The Green Gear Guide 2019/20

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