Late last year I was honored to have been given the opportunity to try out a pair of new Salomon Fellraisers. For the past few months I have put the shoes through a rigor of tests. I did not want this review to be a first impression as anybody could perform that. I wanted to get in over 50 miles of trail running, foot submerging in water for long duration and snow filled prior to completion review 1 or 2.
I mention review 1 of 2 as I have yet to take these shoes into a race, but plan on changing that in the next couple of months as I live in the Northeast.
The product specs from their site show the following:
Weight: 8.5 oz, 290 G
Midsole Height: 12MM / 6MM
The shoes are not a minimalist shoe so the weight will not compare; however, the forefront of the shoe will be comparable to an Inov-8 X-Talon 212 shoe with 6MM. The difference though on each I will share further down.
Features of the shoe include (Bold features were recognized as true winner):
- Breachable open mesh
- Lace Pocket (Provides easy storage for the Quick Fit lacing system)
- Tongue Cover (Tongue Protection from mud and debris getting inside the shoe)
- Protective TPU Toe Cap (Provides strong foothold support and side protection)
- Sensifit (Sensifit system works to cradle the foot providing a precise and secure fit)
- Quicklace (Minimalistic and strong lace for one-pull tightening. Easy-Op, easy off)
- Fell running last
- Non-marking Contagrip (Delivering optimal traction on varied surfaces)
- Low Profile
- Injected EVA
- Molded EVA (Provides excellent next to foot cushioning and anatomical support)
- EVA Shaped Footbed (Provides excellent cushioning and anatomically designed support)
- Ortholite (Combines a specific Ortholite foam and an EVA heel cup. Ortholite foam creates a cooler, drier, healthier, better cushioned environment under the foot. It will not break down or lose effectiveness over time. Recycled tire content to protect the environment. EVA heel cups allows for a better heel support and added cushioning.
With these features and items I recognized as true winners, let me break down each and why:
- Lace Pocket: During the last 2 years of racing I have had numerous occasions in which I needed to retie my shoe. I double knot prior to every race, but somehow the obstacles loosen them.
- Tongue Cover: From the top of the shoe to the forefront the tongue the mesh lining protects any debris from entering your shoe.
- Protective TPU Toe Cap: this is by far the biggest plus of this toe. The toe cap is strong enough for me to chip ice off my deck, hit into rocks on climbs and allow me to be more aggressive on my descents.
- QuickLace: Similar to the Lace Pocket this feature allows my shoe to remain secure throughout my run. At the end of my run I do not feel any piece of the lace that had loosened. So far I have not seen this same benefit with a traditional lace system.
- Low Profile: To date my races have been with a minimalist shoe. With a 6MM forefront the feel of my forefront impact into the trail provides the same grip and power.
Additionally one item that is not list in their technology, but is a benefit to those OCR racers is drainage. For testing I fully submerged my shoe is a river for a few minutes. Thereafter I ran up an incline trail for 30 yards. By the time I was at the top of this trail the shoe cushioning was drained. I mention the cushioning as my sock was still wet… I have yet to find a sock that is best for OCR without moisture and drying during races.
With the benefits and winners in this shoe it would be remorse to not provide you with a list of items that did not find up to par with this shoe.
- Breathability: At the end of each run I found my trail running socks moist. The effect of this is most likely due to the lace tightening all aspects of the foot to secure it against the shoe. This is a benefit and challenge of the shoe.
- Wet traction: Like most shoes I’ve worn the running of the shoe on wet rock is not best. It will grip the wet rock well; however, a long stretch to the rock without a proper foot placement will cause a slippage.
Overall I consider this a very well designed shoe. It provides stability, low profile and protection. I look forward to taking this onto a trail with a handful of obstacles in providing my final review of the shoe.
** Note – I was given these shoes for a open opinion and is no way was swayed by Salomon in such.