Salomon XT Wings Review

It was love at first sight.

I worked at Valhalla Pure Outfitters for a couple seasons. The reps would come in now and then to see how we were doing and to do product knowledge sessions. The Salomon rep showed up and did our session. He was giving us a sneak peak at some new stock that could be ordered for next season when I saw the Wings. They were perfect. I hadn’t even tried them on but I knew I had to have them.

I’ve had my second pair of Salmon Wings now for just over a year now and they’re definitely the best shoes I’ve ever had. They’ve been everywhere with me. They were the one pair of shoes I wore every day in Australia and New Zealand when I was there for 4 months last year. They are my go-to runners now, I don’t own a pair of road runners. Any light hikes I go on, I’m wearing the Wings.

I’ve found they’re the ideal combination of stability and cushioning for a trail runner. You can even run on the road with them if you want. Road running is boring so I don’t do much of that but it does happen from time to time. If I could have it my way, I’d have a trail from my front door out to the mountains but, alas, there is only a road. Even still, I’ve not had any problems with the shoes on the pavement or the trail.

Along with coming to Australia and New Zealand with me, they’ve done a few races. Here on Vancouver Island there is a 5 race trail running series called the Gutbusters. Aptly named, the series takes you over some tough terrain and up some grueling hills, through a lot of mud and over a few mountains. Every one of the Gutbusters I’ve run have been in the Wings and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Another wicked race on the island is called the Kusam Klimb. Up and over Mount Kusam near Sayward, the race takes you up a steep mountain, through snow, puddles, streams and lots of mud. The Wings performed flawlessly. I can’t think of a single time in the hundreds of kilometers I’ve put on both my pairs that I’ve had an uncomfortable spot or a blister.

What’s Rad about the Wings?

They’re bomber.

They just keep going, no problems. My second pair I’m running now are getting a couple holes where my heels rub though. I’m not able to feel it when I’m running but I’m sure it will rub through eventually. I’ll be getting a new pair before starting the races next spring.

The laces are wicked

It’s such a pain to tie up runners over and over and these ones just stay done up forever. It takes 1 second to do them up and they don’t move at all. I’ve never had one slip.

Cushioning

They’ve got enough for me to run on the road and on the trails. I mostly run on the trails but I do want to run on the road sometimes for a quick run or to get to the trails. The Wings have enough padding to let me do this without too much trouble. They aren’t quite as squishy as road runners but they hold up a million times better. The last pair of road runners I tried on the trail were torn after the first run. That doesn’t work for me. My first pair of trail runners were the Salomon XA Pros. They were nice shoes and held up ok for trail running but they just didn’t have enough padding. I had to warranty them 6 months in because the lugs were falling off the bottom. After, I got a shiny new pair of Wings.

What isn’t so good?

The laces can be a pain.

If you snap one of your laces you can’t just put in your standard shoe lace. You need some pricey replacements for the laces and even then you don’t get exactly what you had from the factory. The ends that were connected at the factory on the shoe have to be connected somehow. You’ve got to do this yourself with a little connector that comes with the laces. I tried but I couldn’t get the connector to attach as well as it should have. I think the knots in the end of my cords were a little big and didn’t fit into the connector properly.

Insole edges are flimsy.

Be careful with the edges of the insoles that come with the shoes. I’ve had no problems recently but my first pair I had to spend a while getting the edge of the insole folded back to where it should have been after I ran on it once folded in. As long as you don’t slide your foot down the inside or the outside when you’re putting them on you shouldn’t have much trouble. You can always replace the insoles with something better if you really want to or the old ones have packed it in.

Thumbs up for the Wings

All in all, the Wings have proved to be a pretty deadly shoe and I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another pair. I’m already picking out which colour I want next.

Have you tried the Wings? How’d they work out?

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