If you are a fan of trail running and spend your time looking for the best trail running shoes, it’s highly likely that you’ve seen a pair of Salomon Speedcross 5 and are weighing up whether these will be your next pair of trail shoes. Conversely, if you are new to the trails, you may be weighing up your options and trying to make an informed decision. To help you to do so, we take a look at one of the more popular trail running shoes in more detail with our Salomon Speedcross 5 review.
OK, so let’s start with the cost. We don’t want you to get all the way to the end of the review to discover that a pair of Salomon Speedcross 5 are going to set you back anywhere between £107.99 – £139.99. They aren’t the cheapest shoes on the market but they are one of the best. Of course, buying an older model or last season’s colours will reduce the cost and there are bargains to be had.
The Salomon Speedcross 5 has become one of the mainstream trail running shoes, a popular choice amongst elites and seasoned trail runners. Between these particular shoes, the Hoka Speedgoat and the inov-8 Terraultra, you will see them on the feet of many a hardy ultramarathon runner.
Cost aside, let’s take a look at what you can expect from a pair of these award winning trail shoes.
The Salmon Speedcross 5 are billed as the ideal trail shoes for rugged terrains. They are great for dirt trails, grassy sections, rocky terrain, muddy trails, streams, and snow/ice (not that we get too much of that). We would rate them as a moderate to technical trail shoe suitable for MT events over longer distances.
For a while, Salomon seemed to step away from some of the traits that made the original Speedcross so popular, losing that edge a little amongst the competition but with the Salomon Speedcross 5 they have bought back and enhanced these features, putting them at the forefront of the field.
It’s no secret that this is in our top 3 trail shoes. They tick all the boxes and we, and many of our running friends own at least one pair.
The Upper Shoe
The anti-debris, welded mesh of the upper shoe is designed to allow almost no debris to enter the shoe, even on the sandiest/dustiest of trails. If like us, you find yourself with a stone in the shoe, or can shake the trail out of your shoe at the end of a run, this will come as welcome news. We aren’t saying you won’t get dirty feet, especially running through muddy sections of a course, but less debris will enter the shoe. Despite the anti-debris mesh, the shoe remains breathable, allowing the air to circulate around the feet.
The shoe has a smooth fit – like a glove, wrapping around the foot and offering comfort. The protective toe cap connects to the rand which provides further protection from thorns or rocks. The Quicklaces are a popular feature of the Speedcross, offering a one-pull tightening feature for ease. This means that even when your fingers are freezing, during or after a race, you can remove the shoe with ease. It is also one of the features that make the shoe instantly recognisable. With a lace pocket, you can also hide the laces away to save them getting muddy and the padding on the top of the shoe protects the foot from the Quicklaces digging in.
Additional features include a wider toe box with the Speedcross 5 giving you more wriggle room and a heel cup for security. They are a shoe that you can take right out of the box and start running in, comfortably.
While this shoe is breathable and great at protecting your feet from stones, they aren’t as quick to dry as other leading trail shoes. The fact that the mesh doesn’t let much in means that it doesn’t let it out either. The Goretex version is highly reviewed as a waterproof shoe, however your feet will tend to get quite hot on a sunny day, despite them being billed as breathable. If you are planning on running a very wet or muddy race, the GTX version, if it lets water in, will not let it out again, not a comfortable feeling when doing lots of miles.
Amongst our running companions, it has been said that the Salomon Speedcross are too narrow. While the Salomon Speedcross 5 have a wider toe box, they are still a fairly tight fit. There is a wider option should you require it.
While the Speedcross 5 enhancements don’t include a rock plate, the cushioning in the forefoot has been enhanced. Improved cushioning for the balls of the feet provide a more comfortable ride for ultra distances. Now, coupled with the lugs, it’s significantly less likely you’ll notice those pointy rocks taking aim at the space between the lugs, particularly as you loosen up and fly on the declines.
There is no rock plate in the midsole and over a longer distance, on hard terrain, you may find that the shoes don’t offer the comfort you require, especially on tarmac.
It’s tough to beat the grip of this shoe with the rubber outsole and lugs providing enhanced grip and traction on the trails. In fact, their grip is one of their stand out features and we can testify to this having come down the rocky climb at Cheddar Gorge at quite some speed. The chevron lugs of the Salomon Speedcross 5 are multi-directional and a deeper cut to allow these shoes to gain traction on loose dirt, soft trail, and even mud.
These are not billed as a shoe for the road so, if there is a lot of road, they may not be the best choice however we have found them to perform really well on the road with enough cushioning and support. If you do wear them for road running, you are likely to find that they suffer from premature abrasion on the lugs.
Many trail runners prefer something with a lesser drop for ease of movement and that feeling of control. With a 10mm drop and a high heel they aren’t for everyone.
Our Overall Salomon Speedcross 5 Review
The Salomon Speedcross 5 is a shoe for longer distance multi terrain runs or races. Built for comfort, the shoe is true to size and offers all round foot support. You can wear these straight out of the box without having to break them in. Offering superb grip and traction on the toughest of terrains, you can comfortably handle the ups and downs of an undulating course. If you are looking for a shoe that offers good value for money, the Salomon Speedcross could well become your favourite piece of running gear!
Don’t just take our word for it, there are a wealth of reviews online about these shoes so you can carry out a bit of research for yourself.
Disclaimer: Many of our posts may contain affiliate links. We may earn commissions if you shop through the links on this page although we only ever recommend products that we genuinely believe will enhance your trail running experience.
To discover more about the best trail running shoes, have a look at some of our top picks.