I am fortunate that my feet seem to be the same shape as the last that Salomon use for their shoes and boots. I can be fairly confident that any Salomon footwear that I order online will fit straight from the box. I’ve been looking around for a trail shoe since walking the Peddars Way. For lowland trails, boots are overkill. I still prefer lightweight boots like the Fastpackers for the hills but using trail shoes on the PW would have been more sensible than the boots I used.
Most “trail shoes” are really designed for running. The X-Overs take many of the features of running shoes but turn them into an approach shoe. They remind me a bit of the Montrail CTC shoes. The soles are relatively soft rubber with chevron treads. I suspect they will be grippy in most circumstances but I also expect they would get clogged in very muddy conditions.
It’s a personal thing, but I don’t particularly like the very open mesh used in running shoes when I’m walking. I find them a bit cold in breezy conditions. They are also a bit like blotting paper. The mesh on the X-Overs is more closed and I suspect wind resistant. I doubt whether they will keep out water for very long, being unlined, but they do have a low profile rubber rand, which should give some modest protection against puddles. There is also a soft rubber toe bumper.
While the forefoot is flexible, the heel has a very solid cup. The X-Over uses the Salomon 3D chassis system, similar to the Quest and Comet boots. Consequently the heel section is fairly rigid and gives good support.
The tongue is quite heavily padded, which is a help as the laces are very thin. The lacing system uses the Salomon Quicklace system. All it requires is one pull on the laces and they lock using a pulley system. I’ve found this to be very effective on other Salomon shoes, but it takes some time to get used to and benefits from a bit of micro adjustment. The only drawback is that you can’t really adjust the upper and lower laces. I’ve not found this a problem in the past, but it might be an issue for others.
At 365g per shoe (size 9), they are fairly light. I rather like the colour scheme. I bought mine for £85. Once the weather improves a bit, I shall take them out on a few dog walks to see how they shape up.