Full disclosure, I can’t claim that I’ve always been particularly analytical when it comes to gear in general. However, when scampering up steep hillside, on especially loose dirt and rock, the advantage gained by being equipped with a trail shoe like the Salomon Cross /Pro ($160) is undeniable. The first couple hundred miles in these shoes resulted in an increasingly favorable impression that has been further intensified by a series of high highs and low lows. I’ve learned that all of Salomon’s innovative construction and fabrics hold up notably well against Mount McLoughlin’s rough basaltic andesite in my home state of Oregon; the jaws of my lovely canine companion Diesel, who does irrational things with my shoes when overcome by FOMO; and repeat trips through the washing machine when said canine has gotten us both into a bind with a skunk. I remain impressed by the Cross /Pro’s ability to safely get me everywhere I want to go and then restore themselves to pristine condition after both Diesel and I have taken our turns at testing. I’d say they’re worth every penny of that pretty significant price tag.
Salomon Cross /Pro Upper
The sock-like upper with its MULTI-FIT technology allows the shoe to adapt to your foot shape while effectively deflecting dirt and debris. In my case, that means small ankles, a narrow midfoot, and a bunioned forefoot. My lack of previous experience running in Salomons has been due, in part, to my fear of a less spacious toebox. Despite prominent bunions, I have not felt cramped. While Salomon may not be as noted for accommodating varying foot shapes and volumes, the MULTI-FIT technology’s stretch-fit mesh lives up to its name in my case and these shoes fit like a glove. I have also been impressed by how well the upper mimics the function of a gaiter on dusty and rocky jeep roads as well as sandy singletrack. When matched up against an off-trail and calf-deep shimmy down a field of shale, the shale did persevere in making it inside the upper. However, scenarios that have required me to pop the shoes off and empty their contents have also allowed Salomon to demonstrate its easy on, easy off feature via the minimalistic one-pull tightening lace system.
The Matryx exoskeleton, strengthened with aramid fiber, comfortably hugs the midfoot and adds stability that has successfully served in discouraging my tendency to overpronate. The upper maintains its comfortable hug through stream crossings as well as complete submersion without getting sloppy and squishy.
Salomon Cross /Pro Midsole
Salomon designed the Cross /Pro to serve as a multi-gait shoe with 8mm drop via a stack height of 29.5mm in the heel and 21.5mm in the forefoot. The midsole contains high-performance EVA foam, providing shock attenuation. While I can’t personally speak to how the cushion of this model compares to others in Salomon’s line, I can say that I appreciated every gram of that high-performance foam while descending 6,000 feet off Mount Ashland last month on a freshly stubbed big toe. Without these shoes, I could put zero pressure on the injured, purple toe. In the shoes, I made it all the way down the mountain without significant discomfort and fooled two large bears into thinking I wasn’t worth the effort to pursue.
Salomon Cross /Pro Outsole
The Contagrip TA outsole is designed for maximum grip on loose, soft, rugged, and uneven surfaces; our annual trip up Mount McLoughlin highlighted just that. The deep, sharp, multidirectional lugs are made from a compound that balances durability and adhesion, resulting in somewhat of a sticky, Spider-Woman-like sensation in places where I would typically proceed with a bit more caution. I have yet to run on snow in these, but look forward to the opportunity as I have been very impressed with the traction gained on steep, sandy, and rutty singletrack as well as mountainside shale. Additionally, the Cross /Pros do not feel awkward on the mile or two of pavement that I often hit on my way to the dirt, despite their aggressive outsole.
Salomon Cross /Pro Overall Impressions
My pooch Diesel and I have given this pair a run for their money and they’ve passed each innovative testing approach to a well-rounded gear review. I readily vouch for their versatility on various types of terrain; their remarkably adaptable fit; their ability to support the worst toe jam of my life; and their resilience to dirt, rock, and all of Diesel’s shenanigans. The Salomon Cross /Pros are an excellent choice for a broad range of conditions, and may just transform you into an action figure on your most technical adventures.
Read up on other new trails shoes for spring-summer 2020.
Call for Comments
Are you running in the Salomon Cross /Pros? If so, share your thoughts in the comments section about the shoe’s overall feel and specific features.
[Editor’s Note: If you’re affiliated (i.e., an employee, ambassador, etc.) with a brand, please share your relation in each of your comments on this article. Thanks!]