I am a sucker for trail shoes. So when I saw these guys in a Stellenbosch outdoor store some time ago, I just knew they would be my next pair.
Having run in Salomon XT Wings, Speedcross and Crossmax, I am rather familiar with their shoes and unique technology. All the usual suspects are present:
- QUICKLACE system with Lace pocket to ensure those “easy on, easy off” laces are tucked away on your run.
- The Tongue cover is completely stitched to the very durable looking upper preventing mud and trail debris halting your stride.
- The protective PTU TOE CAP acts as insurance policy against broken appendages suffered on rocks and roots.
- The much loved SENSIFIT SYSTEM that cradles the foot to provide a precise and snug fit is also present. Combine that with the ORHTOLITE SOCKLINER and you’ve got a cooler, drier, better cushioned feel underfoot which (as Salomon claims) does not break down or lose effectiveness over time. The EVA HEEL CUP allows for optimal heel support and added cushioning.
- Then the chevron shaped MUD&SNOW NON-MARKING CONTRAGRIP sole are designed with the sole idea of getting rid of mud (and snow, should you need it down here in Afrique d’Sud).
By just looking at these shoes you get that urge to race, and really race fast. Cause that’s what you see (and get), a fast racer. The focus of the design is fit, grip and durability. The latter normally comes with added weight, but not with the FELLRAISER 2 as at 260grams (UK10) it is quite a light shoe! They are also very low to the ground, with 4mm heel to toe drop, which enhances that rearing-to-race look.
I like the fact that the lightweight upper is surrounded by Rip-stop to withstand the beating running trail will no doubt throw at them. Another observation I made after a couple of outings is that the chevron shaped lugs grips very well on looser surface, but to my surprise they really come alive on harder surfaces. Having being designed with British conditions in mind, I was somewhat weary of their capabilities on harder, drier trails, but thus far no complaints here!
The only (current) gripe I have with the FELLRAISER 2 is the rather narrow fit. But I do have a wider-than-most-foot, so that should not be a worry for most.
This is not a shoe you will find in every sport store, but compared to the better known Speedcross, this shoe is “less fashion, more racing” which makes the hunt to find them all the more worthwhile!