The Salomon Speed Cross 4 is a seriously light trail running shoe with a lot of grip. I have used them for trail running, day hiking, and backpacking from mid-spring to mid-fall. They are breathable, water resistant, and their traction is designed for everything from mud to snow.
The first thing I noticed when I was looking at these shoes was how big the tread is. They perform great in slippery and wet conditions. Unless it’s icy, I’ve never felt like these shoes were about to slip out underneath me. The contagrip really grips onto everything.
These shoes also sport a water and debris resistant mesh. I’ve never used gaiters with them and never felt like I’ve had to. The mesh does a good job of keeping out the dirt and dust.
The water resistance will stop minor splashes, but it isn’t going to do much if you step in a puddle or if it’s raining heavily. On the flipside if your feet get wet they will dry out very quickly as the water goes both ways.
I’ve had these shoes for a year now and they have held up fine. They have been my primary trail shoe, handling everything from trail runs to Presidential Traverses. So far I have not noticed any wear and tear beyond the tread shrinking down a bit as expected.
I would advise against using these shoes on pavement, concrete, or any surface other than a trail. While the huge tread is great for traction on the trail, it will be eaten up quickly if used on these harder surfaces. I use a separate pair of shoes as my running shoes around town so I can preserve my Speed Crosses.
Be warned, these shoes fit very narrowly. When I was first breaking them in I almost returned them they were so uncomfortable. I routinely had to stop hiking to take them off because the sides of my feet were in pain.
I’m glad I gave them the benefit of the doubt though, because once broken in they feel like feathers on my feet. A tip for improving comfort while breaking them in is to wear them a little bit looser. This helped my feet a lot, and now I can fully tighten them with no problems.
The Salomon Speed Cross 4 comes with speed lacing, which is so much nicer than standard shoe laces. I had never used speed laces before, and was a little skeptical at first, but with them you can get a tight fit and be on the trail in an instant. Just got to camp and you’re ready to put on your camp shoes? The speed laces will be off in seconds and your feet free of confinement.
If you plan to use these shoes in the shoulder seasons, the lightweight breathability of this shoe also means it lacks any real insulation. I hiked with these on a 30 degree day through a light snowfall for about 7.5 miles and my feet were decently cold by the end. This is not what these shoes are designed to do, and I would recommend something a little thicker for such conditions.