Dashing through the woods, riding over tree roots and rocks, up slippery paths and bounding across boulders; trail running is all about confidence. The most critical piece of equipment for trail running is, undoubtedly, the footwear. Your shoes need to feel reassuring and aggressively grippy underfoot; they need to offer just the right amount of support and flexibility, and be durable; you don’t want them falling apart the day before the big race.
Salomon are masters at making trail running shoes and have, in recent years, been right at the forefront of the category. Just look down at other runners’ feet during a trail race and Salomon will likely dominate, and for a good reason.
Featuring a specially-designed rubber compound on the outsole called Wet Traction Contagrip, this offering from the brand, the men’s and women’s XA Elevate, is made for tackling steep trails that involve not just mud but also wet and slippery rocks.
“When it comes to confident footwear on the trails, it’s often to Salomon we turn to…”
The 5mm trapezoidal lugs help dig and grip into damp ground and are able to shed sticky dirt easily, while there’s a 26mm-thick heel (and a 8mm drop from the heel to toe altogether) meaning there’s a good bit of protection underfoot.
In the midsole there is in fact a double-density compressed EVA foam which has a slight stiffness to it but it’ll still provide enough shock absorption to protect your joints on solid ground. A side reinforcement and mid plate in the chassis as well not only extends the life of the shoe but protects from rocks and roots.