I recently purchased a new pair of Salomon Fellraiser’s online in a sale. I had used the 2015 version for quite a while and they fit really well on rugged trails like Superior Hiking Trail and Zumbro. However, when I received the 2016 version of the shoe it just didn’t fit right. It almost felt like a defect in how the right foot wrapped around my midfoot, squeezing harder than the left. I sent the shoes back and started looking around at a replacement.
Monday night I spent a good hour at Twin Cities Running Company trying on different shoes. I ended up trying on close to 9 pairs of different trail shoes as I searched for my next pair. I narrowed my search down to three: Saucony Xodus 6.0, Brooks Cascadia 11, and Salomon Speedcross 4. The Saucony Perigrine 6 was also a close runner up, but it was just a bit too soft on the side for rugged trails, and I felt my feet slip off the side a bit.
The Xodus were a nice rugged shoe, with a really comfortable sock-like fit. However, they didn’t feel very cushioned, especially compared to the Speedcross. The Salomon’s were by far the most cushioned of any of these, and they felt really good on my feet. In the end though, I decided on the Brooks Cascadia 11.
When I tried on the Books and the Salomon, one on each foot, I felt very comfortable in either shoe. They both had a fair amount of cushion, and the uppers were rugged, but flexible. What it came down to, for me, was that the Brooks just seemed to fit a slight bit better. In Salomon I have to wear a size larger than other shoes in order to accommodate my midfoot. This means that there is a bit of a gap in the toe, and although it probably wouldn’t be an issue, I decided that the Brooks were probably the safer choice.
What’s funny is that my very first pair of trail shoes were Brooks Cascadia 10’s. They saw me through two big trail races, and many, many training runs at Elm Creek. These new ones will hopefully serve me just as well as I head into my busy fall trail racing season.