Salomon XScream 3D – Malaysia Launch & Test
The Salomon XScream 3D Malaysia Launch Event
I had the big honour to be invited for the Salomon XScream 3D Malaysia launch at The Apartment, KLCC on May 23, 2015. Salomon being a premium brand very strong in trail running has been trying to penetrate the road running segment for a while now with shoes meant to be used for road and trail at the same time, let’s call them hybrid shoes.
So far I owned one pair of Salomon shoes, the Speedcross 3. I got it very early into my running career in 2012. I clocked 450km in them, finishing TMBT 50km in 2012. The Speedcross 3 is an excellent shoe good for any kind of trail especially slippery and muddy ones due to its long spikes made of soft rubber. It is still being sold today. Based on that experience my expectation was high with the XScream 3D.
On the day of the launch a large number of runners and bloggers met as early as 7:30am at The Apartment, a F&B establishment facing the KLCC lake/park. Invited guests received one pair of Salomon XScream 3D, shorts and shirt as door gift. Subsequently and before the product presentation we took the shoe for a first run in the KLCC park.
After all the fun in the park back to more serious business. Presentations about Salomon as a brand in general and the XScream 3D in particular.
My test and assessment of the Salomon XScream 3D
First Things First …
Let me set the scene for the following. I got my pair of XScream 3D at no cost and for me to use freely. In return I write about the shoe allowing people to make an informed decision if this shoe is for them. This a responsibility that I am more than happy to take.
Anything written in this article is my very own opinion and assessment of the shoe. I provide links to blogs from other event guests allowing you to learn about others perspective as well, hopefully giving you sufficient information at hand to decide if this shoe is for you.
My Running Style & Preference …
To put my test and verdict better into context, let me first share with you about my current view of running and which shoes the XScream 3D has to compete with, see table below:
|Shoe||Terrain||Heel to Toe Drop||Weight||Size||Mileage|
|Salomon XScream 3D||Hybrid (Road & Trail)||10mm||12.3oz|
|Skechers GoRun4||Road||4mm w/o sockliner|
8mm with sockliner
|Newton Distance III||Road||2mm||8.8oz|
|New Balance Zero Trail v2||Trail||0mm||10.1oz|
While I started to run in heavily cushioned shoes with big heel to toe drop (>10mm) I evolved into a runner with a strong preference for minimalist shoes over the last 2 years. Hand in hand with this evolution came my transition from a pure heel strike runner to a mid-foot runner, i.e. natural running. The XScream is a shoe neither emphasizing minimalism nor natural running. Please do keep this in mind for the rest of this review.
The Test …
With size US11 normally fitting well for most brands I also got the XScream 3D in that size. Unpacking was easy, as the shoe laces are based on Salomon QUICKLACE system. Put on the shoes, pull the laces, push down the lace lock, stow the excess shoe lace in the LACE POCKET and done! This system has been well established with Salomon and most shoes are coming with it. Durability is no issue, the QUICKLACE with my Speedcross 3 shoe was in perfect condition when I retired the shoe after 450km.
The fit and feel with the XScream was good. Toes had sufficient space, maybe half a size bigger would have been good but those are not available in Malaysia. I decided to stick with it and not change to size US12. Without knowing of the 10mm heel to toe drop at that time, I could feel this shoe is different from the ones I am used to.
Now it was time for a first test run around KLCC park. I did my usual warm up routine of dynamic stretching to activate most important muscle groups needed for running. Part of the routine is to swing the legs from side to side and front to back. Important for this is to keep a good balance on the standing leg, withstanding the torque of the swinging leg.
Doing that I had more difficulties to hold my balance than usually. This was a sign that the shoe is heavily cushioned, “separating” the foot from the ground. Normally not what I am looking for. During the 3.4km run through the KLCC the shoe felt good though.
During the product presentation I then learnt more about the comprehensive technology this shoe enjoys. The material of the sole is called CONTAGRIP, obviously designed to endure the pounding on road and trail. The heel part of the sole is implemented with CONTAGRIP HA, an especially hard rubber, as this part of the shoe touches the ground first with heel strike runners.
So there we go, the shoe accomodates heel strike runners. This is of course fine, I had this gait as well a few years back. Thus a shoe for heel strike runners may not be able to fully address the needs of a mid-foot runner (me).
To keep things short, the shoe is full of Salomon innovations. Refer to the Salomon webpage for details. What counts for me is how well the shoe serves me. Minimalist shoe runners with mid-foot strike do not need much technology in the shoe, it has to provide some protection from the stuff on the ground (stones, nails, bits of broken glass, etc.), it has to be soft allowing the foot do its natural movements and the toe box has to be big enough for the toes to move freely – that is pretty much it.
I decided to test this shoe a bit more before writing this post. In total I ran more than 58km in 4 runs with that shoe. Here the details:
|Date||Type of Run||Place||Distance||Remarks|
|26-May-15||Intervals||MPSJ Track||15.0km||Warm-Up, 6*1km, 2*200m, Cool-Down|
|29-May-15||Long Run||Bukit Cinta loop||30.0km||568m elevation|
Here the shoe after the test, looking as if nothing happened.
The XScream 3D is an unlikely shoe for the track, when you would look for a very light racer. Still it performed very well, I ran 6 x 1km in a pace of 3:50, 3:59, 4:01, 4:05, 4:09, 4:10 and the 2 x 200m in 3:21, 2:59. Very good result considering that only two days earlier I raced 9km at the Melawati Run and my muscles were still sore. As such and from my perspective the shoe passed the track test.
The recovery run the next day was of course no big deal as far as pace is concerned but I could feel discomfort in my Achilles tendons. I had that at the beginning of my running in 2011 as well. Then I used a heavily cushioned adidas shoe with arch support. At that time it got really bad and I had to see a podiatrist and it jeopardized my first Full Marathon.
After one day of rest then the big test for this shoe, the long run. Joining the monthly long run organized by the Bukit Cinta Ultra Marathon I planned to do at least 30km over hilly terrain. The XScream 3D with its sturdy sole and strong cushioning should be ideal for such long runs on tar roads.
I managed to clock the envisaged 30km, doing the Bukit Cinta loop six times plus 2 extra km to hit the 30km overall. During the run I could feel the discomfort at my Achilles tendons again. For me that was the proof that this shoe is not for me, not for mid foot runners with sensitive Achilles tendons.
Here the explanation …
The relatively big heel to toe drop (10mm) of the shoe inhibits the range of motion of my ankle joint, not stretching the tendon enough but keeping it too short for my needs. This led to irritation of my Achilles tendons over long distances or frequent use of the shoe as described.
I am quite disappointed with the outcome of my test. I really would have loved to continue my training with this shoe. It has a very nice design, with the QUICKLACE system it has an useful differentiator to other shoes and by right it comes with everything you need from a training shoe. Especially the versatility of this shoe, being at home on road as well as on trail. You could just go to FRIM with this shoe and decide last minute to run trail or road.
For those out there interested in this shoe let me advice you to give it a try. Go to a Salomon store (e.g. World of Sports in Malaysia) and just slip into it, checking out how you feel. If you feel good, looking as a heel strike runner for a well cushioned shoe, this shoe may be good for you.
The shoe costs RM489 at the moment but if you are a PACM member with valid membership card you are eligible to 30% discount at World of Sports shops and its affiliates. For this price the shoe is a bargain really. If you are not a PACM member yet and consider to get this shoe, sign up with PACM first, the membership fee for example for 3 years is well compensated by the savings you make with the discount.
Here the links to other articles about the event and the shoe from my fellow runners and bloggers. Many of them are really satisfied with this shoe and even tried it on some serious trail. Give it a read.
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