I was really excited to get to test out my new Salomon Speedcross 3’s on a crazy muddy course at the North Carolina Spartan Sprint. I have been a huge fan of my Inov-8 Talon x-212’s, so deciding to try a new shoe was a huge decision for me, especially at the sale price point of $106.00.
When I first put the shoes on my feet, they felt like I was walking on a cloud. My Inov-8’s are more of a minimalist shoe, so when I put these shoes on my feet, they immediately felt very cushioned and supported — but wearing them around my house and on a race course are 2 completely different things!
I normally wear 2 pairs of socks — nothing special, just Meijer sport knee high socks and then my Sock it to Me Bad Ass socks over the Meijer brand socks. My feet still had plenty of room in the shoes and there was no extra pressure on my toes — roomy but not loose feeling.
The lacing system was new to me — took me a minute to figure it out — once they were pulled tight, there was a pocket in the tongue of the shoe to tuck the lacing mechanism into so it does not flop around — I actually like this a lot, but I was a little skeptical if the laces would stay tight out on the course. I did not want to lose one of my new shoes in the thick Carolina mud!
Once I started running, the shoes felt great on my feet. Race day was cold, and they kept my feet warm and protected. I did not feel any rocks as I went thru the rough terrain. When I got to the THICK mud (seriously, people were stuck and losing their shoes left and right) I was able to get through it fairly quickly and it actually took several minutes before the water even penetrated the shoe and my socks to get my feet wet. But when the water did penetrate, it drained right out.
Once I hit the mud hills and pits filled with water, I knew this would be the true test — it was a SLOPPY MESS of red clay mud. I got up and down the first 2 hills, and thru the water pits with perfect grip and no slidding. I got up to the top of the third hill, lost my footing and slid all the way down the hill and splashed into the cold, muddy water pit at the bottom– when courses are as muddy as this one was, there is always a point where the mud build up on the bottom of your shoes cover the lugs and you slip and slide until the mud works its way off — so it really wasn’t a surprise as this happens with all shoes. Thankfully, after that one slip, the water pit cleaned the shoes off enough and I had my grip back for the last 2 mud hills!
That was really the only time I slipped out on the course. The shoes drained very well, and felt light on my feet. At no time did my feet hurt or feel cold (of course, they may have been numb — but I didn’t feel it). In my opinion, these shoes would be great for longer distances because of the support and comfort of the shoe. This race was only a Sprint (around 4 miles) and they felt great throughout this entire race — looking forward to testing them with a Super and a Beast soon!!
The only negative experience I had with this shoe was after the race. I had pulled the laces very tight, and so much mud got into the mechanism that it wouldn’t slide and I had issues getting the shoes off of my feet. I partially blame my frozen non-functioning hands, but even once the shoes were clean and my hands were warm, it took some effort to get the mechanism to slide properly. Once I got it going again, then it once again worked fine.
Cleaning the shoes was super easy. I sprayed them down with a car wash hose and then took them home, took the inserts out of the shoes and threw all the pieces into the washer. They came out very clean — which was great because that red clay mud is really hard to get out and it stains really badly!! I set the shoes on the dryer and let them air dry and they look brand new!!
On a scale of 1 — 10:
Clean Up: 10
I highly recommend this shoe!