I am continually looking for gear that is better than what I currently use. I tested out the SPEEDCROSS 3 from Salomon this fall. Salomon shoes are well known for their trail running performance. They have since transitioned as a crossover shoe to the early season archery hunting crowd. The SPEEDCROSS 3 are very light and have some great soles for keeping your grip on almost any landscape your feet may encounter. Salomon has incorporated some design features that make this shoe feel like you are wearing slippers, yet grips the ground like football cleats.

The SPEEDCROSS 3 is built to last for many runs on the trail. They started the process with injection molded EVA midsoles to give the shoe some great cushioning and stability. I felt very comfortable when walking in rocky desert sagebrush or in the timber on the mountains. If you’re expecting the same feel as a traditional hiking boot, then you’re in for a shock. This shoe definitely flexes when stepping on logs or rocks, but not enough to cause discomfort. The Ortholite foot bed and heel cup really take the impact from your weight very well. When I would strike down on my heel, it felt like a shock on a vehicle that takes the weight and stabilizes it.

The material that surrounds the foot is the one feature that impressed me the most. The weave of the nylon is extremely durable. One problem that can come into play with a shoe like this for a hunting application is that sticks, rocks and other forest debris can play havoc on the outside of the shoe or boot. The SPEEDCROSS 3 handled these obstacles with flying colors. Sensifit technology hugs your feet when you walk up, across a side hill or in any direction, eliminating any slip inside the shoe. The peed lace has its own compartment on the top of the tongue to keep the lace in place, another of my favorite features.

The Contagrip sole really caught my attention when I first put them on. I was curious at how well the lugs would perform under hiking conditions. I was blown away with the traction I was able to have in many types of terrain. It was a pleasant feeling to think my feet would slide back a few inches when climbing a hill and my foot locked into place. It also held the same traction in muddy dirt and the sole design shed the mud from the sole. Weighing only 24 ounces, it was nice getting back to camp without that feeling like I had 10 lb. workout weights strapped to my ankles. I love to cover many miles of country in the early season and the lightweight and secure fitting that the SPEEDCROSS 3 offers makes it perfect for stalking and trying to be as light on your feet as possible.