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Salomon Speedcross 3 & 3 CS Trail Running Shoe

Per the manufacturers website, the Speedcross 3's feature many different technologies and have many features, you can refer to their website for details.  I am going to be reviewing two different versions, the standard Speedcross 3 (in gray) and the Speedcross 3 CS Trail version (in black). CS stands for ClimateShield, Salomons trademarked breathable waterproof material.  I purchased both off Amazon -> Speedcross 3 CS Trail , Speedcross 3 <- for around $100 each.  I bought the gray version 8/13 and have been wearing them since and I bought the black version around 4/12 and wore them until I bought the gray.

( Pictures I first took when I bought the gray version )

Reason for Purchase:
I bought the black CS version because I needed a sneaker that I could wear everyday and be comfortable.  At that point I was wearing various versions of Puma's motorsport sneaker, which was comfortable (especially to drive in) but horrible for comfort and any prolonged activity on my feet during the day.  I bought the gray version after the black version became unwearable, specifically because the rear heel area developed a hole and took in water slightly, which defeated the purpose of owning a ClimateShield branded sneaker.  Before purchasing the gray version I bought a pair of Salomon Wings XT and they did not meet my performance expectations.  I was going to purchase Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 WP but stuck it out with the black version until they became unusable, moving onto the gray version.  Before anyone gets the wrong idea, I do not wear these in the winter so as soon as the temperature drops below the 50 degree mark, I dust off my boots.  Where I am that is usually from late November to around early April.  I do, however, put them on if I have some sort of training or range days (usually once or twice a week), because movement and overall grip in them is far superior than any boot I own, more on that later.

First Opinion:
Out of the box they both felt like you were wearing an inch high heel, but that was not the case, obviously.  The heel drop on both of these versions is 9mm, which falls in the middle of the road for performance and design for the natural movement of your body (legs, specifically).  If you don't understand what heel drop is, read this about heel drop.  Of course, with all footwear, there is a maximum usage level, or mileage traveled, I will get to that later.

The cushion inside the sneakers is very comfortable and form fitting.

Ortholite branded and helps the heel not become fatigued.

Also allows for the front toe area to breath through perforations which help the foot stay dry.

The very aggressively designed and branded with their "Contagrip" technology logo.  At first it feels like you are walking on very soft cleats, but that goes away quickly.

Both shoes have the M&S Contagrip technology logo on the edge.  The bottom half is what Salomon labels a "mud guard" which is basically a slick, goretex like, non-breathable coating.

Coolest feature on these shoes is the quick lace system.  Very minimalist, and has a lace pocket at the top of the mesh-lined tongue.

In the Field:
I wore both of these shoes, every single day, for months on end.  They became very comfortable to the point I forgot I was even wearing them.  I completely lost the concept of foot fatigue or pain from standing for long hours, so much so that I went out and bought Salomon XA Pro 3D Mid LTR GTX shoes for work/duty, that review will be coming eventually.  I wore the Speedcross 3's in different classes I have taken, nearly all training sessions.

The biggest difference between these shoes and others I have owned in the past (puma, nike, new balance, etc) is the wet weather and rugged terrain performance.   The bottom of my feet always stayed dry and with the CS Trial version my whole foot stayed completely dry.  If I was running or doing some sort of physical activity during the rain or wet pavement/ground slipping never even came into my mind, which is important since I want to make sure I am as safe as possible.  No reason to get injured because of poor footwear choice.

As you can tell, the aggressive nature of these shoes is one of its best and worst features.  Awesome because of the grip, not so awesome because of it deteriorates very quickly.

Ownership and Usage:
I wore these shoes with all types of different socks, from low cut runner's socks to 4 inch 5.11 socks, and my feet stayed mostly dry.  The breathable mesh tops of both shoes really push these shoes into the next level in terms of active performance.  Like I said, the wet weather performance is uncharacteristic for such light shoes and the rough terrain performance is consistent with the aggressively styled cleat like holes.

Final Thoughts and Recommendations:
The Speedcross 3 and 3 CS Trials are very comfortable and provide excellent arch support.  I have heard some people post on forums and say that they run a little narrow.  This was not my experience, then again I am not a doctor of any kind, so take that for what its worth.  All footwear has a maximum mileage it will go, if shoes/boots/etc are advertised as something else its complete BS.  I do a lot of running and I swap out running sneakers (usually New Balance 880SR2 or the like) every 300-400 miles which I have been told by some that is too long of time and may induce injury.  Which I have experienced and since moved on to buying new sneakers/shoes after they no longer perform the way the way they are designed to.  These shoes are good for about one year worth of everyday wearing without anything super heavy like running constantly in them, just everyday wearing.  As I stated previously, I will be going with a different shoe once these Speedcross 3's are completely done, more than likely Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 GTX Trail Running Shoe in multicam, since you know, who does not like multicam?  There are comparable shoe's out there, Merrell, UA, 5.11, Salewa and others.  Really depends on what your experience are with a certain brand and expectations.  If you are looking for a shoe that you buy and have for a few years, this is not it.  If you are looking for a shoe that will give you a very high level of performance and comfort, this is it.