Salomon Speedcross 3

Product Name: Salomon Speedcross 3

Website: Amazon

Company: Salomon

Awesome Pair of Trail/OCR Shoes
  • 9.8/10
  • 9.8/10
    WEIGHT - 9.8/10
  • 10/10
    DURABILITY - 10/10
  • 10/10
    TRACTION - 10/10
  • 10/10
    EASE OF USE - 10/10


Really one of the best pairs of trial running/obstacle course racing shoes out there. Just ran the Blue Mountain Super with these and had no problems flying down rocky, muddy declines.

User Review
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Look out, trail runners and obstacle course racers, the Salomon Speedcross 3 coming thru! This shoe has been on the market for some time now and it is one that definitely stands out of the crowd. Whether we’re just a recreational trail runner or a professional obstacle course competitor, this shoe has everything that we’d need to dominate the trails.

How is this shoe any different than other existing trail running shoes available? Well, the key lies in its patented technology which we’ll discuss in a bit. But this shoe really shines in other areas that are crucial for optimal trail running and obstacle course ownage, all of which will be included in this review.

But before any of that, let’s take a look at what this shoe is really all about.Salomon Speed Cross 3 Review

Product Intro

The #5 best selling men’s trail running shoes, the Salomon Speedcross 3 does not disappoint. As the name suggests, it is a trail running shoe, not a typical running shoe. Sure you can take them for a jog on the street but don’t expect it to perform better than your typical shoes. Also don’t expect the lugs to last very long if you do decide to punish them with continual pavement pounding. So keep them on the trail!

These shoes comes in 10 different variety of colors, giving everyone something to choose from. It also has very distinguishable lugs all along the sole and even the toe area for traction. The laces are wrapped on the top of the shoe and inserted into 3 lace eyelets located evenly across the length of

Salomon Speedcross 3
              Lugs Nuts All Around                                    Laces Inserted In Evenly Spaced Eyelets

the shoe. This gives it an even, comfortable snug feeling when tightened.


 The Salomon is equipped with a patented lacing system called Quicklace, which allows the lace stopper to be stowed away inside a lace pocket, out of the way of getting tangled or loosened. It also has a 11 mm heel drop, which is just short of 0.5 inches.

The shoe also features a wide forefoot area of about 4 inches, which fits most of us with wider feet. The Speedcross 3’s weigh approximately 10.9 ounces, which is over half a pound.

All of the attributes mentioned contributes to the overall score of 9.9 that I gave this shoe. These attributes are also part of a special technology that was tailored specifically for the Speedcross 3, an improvement from its predecessor and its competitors.

Let’s dissect each of these points and see how they hold up.

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I grouped these 3 attributes together because they all really have to do with the comfort of the shoe. Although protection may be in its own category, it ultimately contributes to how comfortable your feet will be.

Let’s talk about the breathability of these shoes and how much they allow air in and out.


From my experience, the breathability in these shoes are excellent. The way that I determine if the breathability is excellent, great, good, okay, or bad, is by how much attention I have to give them during my runs. The more I have to ficus on them because my feet are getting hot, the lower the rating I give them in this department.

The shoes kept my feet at about the same temperature as it was before starting the run. Of course my overall body temperature was higher but my feet weren’t particular bothered. I’ve had hot days in these shoes as well and my feet didn’t feel any hotter than the rest of my body during my runs. I even had them on during the drive home and they felt fine.

Running on wet trails and streams did soak the shoes somewhat. There is water protection across the tongue and toe sections of the shoes, but the sides absorbed some water when I ran through a stream. This affected the breathability somewhat, although it wasn’t completely choking out my feet, I did feel the compromise on the breathability. This is the only factor that kept this attribute from scoring a 10/10.

Other similar trail running shoes like the Reebok All Terrain Super 2.0 have drain holes in the outsole to release any water collected inside the shoe. From my experience, these holes does a good job with water drainage BUT it sacrifices protection and comfort. If you’re on any decent trail, tons of rocks and sand and grit will find their way inside our shoe through these drain holes. When we get a decent size rock lodged under your feet, it does a little more than tickle. And if we’re in the middle of a race, who has time to stop to dump out the sandbox inside their shoes?

Speaking of which, let’s discuss the protection of the Speedcross 3’s.


Just like the Speedcross 2’s, the Speedcross 3’s are top of the line when it comes to feet protection in rough terrain. I have landed on some awkward terrain on the middle of my feet and they felt fine. Unlike the Speedcross 2’s, these shoes don’t have the steel shank that covers the sole.

This may seem like a compromise of protection for weight, and although it contributed to a lighter shoe, I don’t feel the protection was at all compromised. The forefoot thickness is over 3/4 inch and the heel is almost 1.25 inch thick. This has been enough to protect my feet from hard, rocky surfaces, even at high speeds.

I also found that my ankles feel much more stable with this shoes on. Although ankle stabilization wasn’t one of the selling points of the Speedcross 3’s, I found that I never had problems with rolling my ankle or even getting close to it. I believe it has to do with the width of the shoe, giving it less potential to roll.


These shoes fit around the entire foot very comfortably. The Sensifit lacing system makes sure the laces tighten evenly along the length of the foot. The comfortable feeling of the snug and even fit cannot be overstated. It may be that it’s so hard to find a shoe with even tightness throughout the whole shoe.

Sensifit Salomon Speedcross 3
The concentration of the Sensifit lacing eyelets around the midfoot gives the toes the much needed room. I’ve had too much experience with athletic shoes that crams the toes into the front. They always resulted in either sore toes the next day or jammed toes during running or jumping or other activities. These shoes definitely allows for enough toe room even for wide feet like mine.

The heel drop is about 0.5 inches, which is a little bit more than I’m used to. I wasn’t sure if this will cause me to heel strike more than usual before I tried it on the first time. I can say now that after having ran in these for over a year, the heel drop is ideal for this specific shoe. If we’re planning to do long distances, we’d ideally want to have some cushioning in the heel to avoid burning out our achilles tendon. Especially with steep hilly courses, that little bit extra heel drop actually saved my achilles tendon a few times when they were getting tired.

As mentioned, the breathability is compromised slightly when running through ankle high streams and creeks. This is the only drawback I see for breathability, and for that it scored a 9.8/10.


The Speedcross 3’s weigh approximately 310 grams, which is a bit over half a pound. To me, that’s on the heavier side compared to some of its competitors. The weight of the shoe may not be such a big deal in a Spartan Sprint, but when it comes to a Spartan Beast or Ultrabeast, I’d like to have less weight on my feet over the course of the marathon-distance course.

But the silver lining in its weight is that the material of the shoe keeps the weight about the same throughout an obstacle course. Yes, some water can get inside the shoe and increase its weight. But I’ve noticed that mud slides off this shoe quite easily. Nothing really sticks or stay stuck on this shoe and slow you down. So you can expect the weight on your feet at the beginning of the race to be about the same at the last quarter mile stretch.

Although I’m not a fan of feather light shoes, I have a narrow margin of how much I like my shoes to weigh. This falls just right outside of that on the heavy side and for that the score is 9.8/10.


I’ve had these shoes for well over a year now and they’re still holding up strong. I’ve taken them on mountains, rocky descents, soft muddy terrains, and sandy, hilly climbs. These shoes tackled all of those course with no problems. The lugs are all still intact and there are no sides of tearing or damage.

Yes, the shoes look a bit dirty and dusty from the sand. Although I wash them every time I’m done using them, some of the trail dust seem to be ingrained into the mesh. But it hasn’t affect the performance as far as I can tell.

And that’s the key to keeping this shoe long lasting. If we never clean the shoe and remove the debris and pieces of terrain that we carried on it, the shoes are bound to wear and tear much faster. Any specks of mud will harden over the shoe surface, effectively sealing that specific area from breathing.

Salomon Speedcross 3
My Very Own Pair of Slightly Dirty Speedcross 3’s

Leaving the shoe in a wet condition and not allowing it to dry quickly encourages mold and bacterial growth. No matter how anti-fungal a surface is or how much anti-bacterial spray you apply, a wet shoe left in a moist, humid condition and not allowed to dry out properly will have mold issues over time.

So doing our own due diligence in its upkeeping, these shoes will last you a long time to come. I see no issues with durability for these and therefore I give it a score of 10/10.


There is a lot of speak of for this shoe when it comes to traction. The lugs distributed across the entire outsole gives this shoe incredible grip on slippery surfaces. It’s perfect for soft, uneven terrain as well, since the lugs can dig deep into the sand or mud. Steep climbs? No problem with lugs even along the front of the toe. Steep descents? Got that taken care of with the Contagrip over the heel of the shoe.

Salomon Speedcross 3
Cutting corners and stopping on a dime on this shoe comes naturally. On a wild trail, the terrain is ever-changing and we never know where a slippery rock or mud patch might be. This shoe will make sure that our feet won’t give out from underneath us in those conditions.

In a obstacle course, having the right amount of traction is even more important than on a trail. Wet, slippery, uneven, soft, hard, and everything in between are to be expected. Without compromising speed and liftoff, the traction of this shoe really shines among its competitors. For these reasons I score the traction a 10/10.

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Ease Of Use

The last but equally important attribute is the ease of use or handling of the shoe. The obvious factor in this attribute is how easy is it to put on, to stay on, and take off.

To start off, loosening and tightening the shoe is very easy, so putting it on and taking it off is no problem at all. The lacing system is a patented technology invented by Salomon that tightens the laces evenly and keeps them tightened. Along with that technology is the Sensifit lacing that provides a snug fit around the entire foot.

Salomon Speedcross 3
After putting on the shoe, simply pull on the lace grip until you feel the desired tightness. Then just slide the stopper down to the tongue of the shoe to keep the laces tightened. Now comes the cool part of the Quicklace technology.

After the stopper is in place, roll up the laces with the lace grip until you each the lace stopper. I found that rolling it away is easier than rolling towards our body but it really doesn’t matter which way you choose. Then you tuck the lace grip and the stopper inside the pocket located on the top of the tongue of the shoe together.

This is a fantastic setup that provides multiple levels of defense against the laces loosening or getting tangled on foreign objects. The stopper is the first line of defense that keeps the shoe tight. Then the rolled up laces on the lace grip provides the second line of defense. Tucking the lace grip and the stopper away in the tongue pocket is the final defensive mechanism against loose laces. It also keeps the “vulnerable” end of the lacing system tucked in a safe place, away from potential twigs or branches that might catch and loosen our laces.

Just imagine that, no more bunny ears or even tucking our laces inside of our shoes next to our feet, sacrificing comfort for temporary laced up shoes. I say temporary because in any decent trail or obstacle course, laces simply tucked inside your shoe next to your feet are bound to come out and stay out. Who has time to re-tie their shoes every 5 minutes? That’s a nuisance for the recreational trail runner and a potential income loss for a professional obstacle course racer.

This lacing system has never failed me as of yet. The shoes are tightened and once the stopper and lace grip are in place, the shoe stays tightened.

Take the them off is just as easy (that’s what she said, sorry, couldn’t resist). Just reverse the process; take the lace grip and stopper out of the pocket and unroll the laces around the grip. Pull the stopper up and away from the tongue and the shoe is loosened easily.

A lot of people feel the ease of use is one of the less important concerns for shoes but I think it’s just as important as any other attribute. If the shoe is cumbersome to work with, you encounter those problems every time you use the shoes. That’s a big hassle to me and I don’t like having to deal with something that can be avoided with better design and engineering. The Speedcross 3’s definitely has taken care of these problems and for that, I scored this attribute a 10/10.


The Pros

  • Very Comfortable
  • Great Protection
  • Breathable When Dry
  • Great Heel Drop for Long Distances
  • Very Durable
  • Mud and Debris Don’t Stick
  • Awesome Traction
  • Extremely Easy to Tighten and Loosen
  • Stays Tightened with Patent Technology

The Cons

  • Breathability Compromised a Bit When Wet
  • Slightly On The Heavy Side for Long Distance

Final Verdict

Regardless if you’re a professional obstacle course racer, a weekend warrior, or just starting out on trail running for recreational purposes, the Salomon Speedcross 3’s will definitely surprise you and how well they perform. Once you try them, you won’t want any other trail running shoe ever again.

Feel more comfortable with more reviews and feedback? No problem! See what others have to say!

So go ahead, give these shoes a try. I promise you won’t be disappointed

Stay healthy,


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I've just started getting serious about health and fitness around 2014. Since then I've learned the insider info on how to optimize athletic performance and healthy living through both nutrition and proper training. The most important thing I've discovered however, is the connection between the mindset of those that excel in athletics, and those that succeed in their life pursuits. I've spent the last couple years observing and drawing these connections and similarities, finally created a platform to share with you all what I've found, and how to apply them in your own life to get similar results.

12 thoughts on “Salomon Speedcross 3 Review – Spartans Look Out!

  1. Hi, these Salomon shoes look really great and you have done a great job in reviewing them with so much detail. I particularly like this Sensifit lacing you have here, and traction. I can see already from the picture that traction must be excellent. I just wonder about waterproofness, for your activity this is not important as I understand. I am asking because of Adidas Terrex Swift R Gtx which looks similar but it is waterproof of course.

    Is there mid-type of these Salomon available? If so I would be interested in them for hiking. Need some ankle support for this activity. Thank you, great text.

    1. Jovo,

      For recreational trail runners, waterproofing is more of a comfort issue. But to anyone serious about obstacle racing, waterproofing is one of the top attributes to look for in shoes. The extra weight from accumulated water is a HUGE burden when you still have 10+ miles of steep, mountainous terrain to go.

      Waterproofing for trail running shoes can be tough because the weight of the material has to be light. The Adidas Terrex Swift you mentioned is great for waterproofing, but the overall weight is on the heavy side, which defeats part of the purpose to begin with for trail running. It is a great outdoor hiking shoe nevertheless.

      As far as mid-ankle Salomons for hiking, I’d recommend these.

      Comfort, stability, traction, it’s all there. You won’t find pure trail running shoes at mid ankle height with the same traction, but those hiking shoes are the next best thing.

      Hope this helps!


  2. Hey Wing – really thorough write up. I’ve been looking at buying some of these for hubby who is right into his trail running. Quick question, how do you find the arch support in these shoes? It’s something that he often suffers from when running long distances. Thanks in advance 🙂

    1. Amanda,

      As far as arch support, no shoe really provides built in arch support because they can cause discomfort in people that don’t need them. With that being said, I’d recommend finding the right insole for the specific shoes that your husband wants. If he hasn’t tried it already, he can do the wet test and see the level of arch his feet has. This will help in determining the right insole for him.

      It’s easy to run on the balls of our feet and the arch takes a beating after a while. My guess is that’s what happening to your husband when he runs. The Salomon’s is better than most trail running shoes by having a higher heel drop because the heel support gives the foot arch more of a break with each foot strike.

      Hope this helps!


  3. Very good review on these shoes i personally love the way they look and the name Salomon Speedcross 3. Sounds really BA me and a buddy of mine recently started trail running but we have really crappy nike shoes. Do you recommend these for novice trail runners or is this a shoe for veterans in the game? Thanks

    1. Hi Gant,

      These shoes are actually great for runners at all levels. It’s definitely better to use a good shoe when you’re starting out. It teaches you the right form for footstrikes and the feel of the terrain. You’ll also gain more confidence on risky looking terrain too. There’s more traction to good shoes than some of us think.

      I know a few professional obstacle course racers wear these during their championship races and have great things to say about them (Ryan Atkins is one). So it seems they work well for elite athletes as well.

      Hope that was helpful and happy trail running!


  4. Thanks a lot for the review. Your site is looking really good and your review was very helpful.I notice you score the shoes really highly in every category, so do you think that these are the best ones on the market right now? If not, do you have any others that you would recommended to a part time enthusiast?

    1. Matt,

      As far as availability, price, and its functionality, yes, I feel these are the best ones on the market still. There are indeed better shoes out there but the price and availability in our area to try them on might not be ideal.

      I actually just ran a Spartan Super at Blue Mountain Palmerton PA yesterday in these and they help up very well. Going down muddy and rocky terrain was no problem.


  5. Wow! I never realized how much goes into a cross training shoe! Design, comfort, breathability, protection, weight, durability, and so on. Training like this is a serious workout and seems to fit well for weekend hikers as well. No questions I can think of after that thorough review, I don’t think?

    1. Andrew,

      Yes, there are indeed a lot of attributes manufacturers think of when designing these products. The competition is so high that they need to stay on top of any aspect they can think of. That’s what makes these shoes so good cuz it builds on top of its previous version, which was already amazing, and makes them even better!


  6. HI Wing,
    Wow has the sneaker industry gotten way more sophisticated compared to back in the day when I ran to keep myself in shape after graduating from college. We’re talking from around 1980 to 1992 or so when after repeated weekly pounding on hard pavement while running one of my Achilles heel/tendons told me that I’d better stop or else it would just snap.

    Back in the day they certainly did not manufacture specialized sneakers meant solely for off-trail/terrain running. Sneakers/running shoes back then also did not cost close to $200 either. Yes the prices of things such as sneakers have gone up. But then again so hasn’t the high level of quality.

    From what I gather in your review of the speedcross 3 running shoe it very much is state of the art, superior even to its predecessor the speedcross 2 edition. The protection provided to the runner while running over unsteady, rough and at times rocky terrain is so superior to the average Nike/New Balance shoe that I used to wear, and solely meant for running on natural road/street pavement.

    The fact that this shoe has special lug nuts placed in the sole to provide better traction while still having the ability to protect your feet and ankle almost makes me want to start running again – joke! At almost 59 years old I’ll stick to my bicycling as it places no strain whatsoever on my Achilles tendons. 20+ years after I stopped running, and although that part of my leg is fine still if I do a lot of walking on uneven ground it becomes just a little sore on occassions.

    This was a superior review Wing. Anyone serious into off-trail running would benefit by reading your review of this excellent product.


    1. Jeff,

      I’m glad you’re still keeping active at your age. It sounds that you’re doing a lot better than most of your peers.

      Running is probably the highest impact activity on our lower body. And as you said, doing it over and over takes its toll. That’s one of the reasons I love trail running. It’s usually softer ground than pavement, and with that our small foot muscles also gets a workout. It’s similar to running on soft sand on the beach for a while and our feet feels sore.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the review. Although you may not take on running, keep cycling and staying active!


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