The best cross-country spikes reviewed
CROSS COUNTRY LEAGUES GET UNDERWAY THIS WEEKEND. PAUL FREARY CHECKS OUT THE FOOTWEAR TO SEE YOU SAFELY THROUGH THE MUD
adidas – XCS
Price: £60.00 Stockist: adidas.co.uk Similar to previous versions of this spike, this model retains a familiar fit and feel yet is a little lighter and a little more flexible. The outsole has the same pattern and offers the same level of grip in the mud, but the added flexibility makes the shoe feel a little faster. It’s easier to cover the ground in them as they adapt quickly as it adapts quickly to the uneven surface. A one-piece upper construction creates a good fit around the foot and means there are no internal seams to the shoe to cause irritation. Full-length cushioning adds to the comfort making this a very capable cross-country
Brooks – Mach 18
Essentially a new colour of the shoe launched last season, but then if it’s not broken there’s no need to fix it. The shoe offers excellent grip thanks to the spikes and a pyramid shaped studded outsole that covers the majority of the shoe. Midsole cushioning runs the full length so comfort isn’t compromised and the shoes feel well balanced, giving a nice combination of comfort and control at any speed. The upper is a neat, wrap-around seamless fit to keep the shoes securely in place on even the muddiest of courses. Our testers praised the lightness of this shoe, suggesting it’s well suited to winter track sessions.
An update to the very popular Kilkenny shoe, this model is available in both men’s and women’s colourways and lives up to the great fit and performance of its predecessor. The cushioning runs the length of the shoe to give a comfortable feel on even the roughest terrain. The spikes sit into the rugged outsole, which offers additional grip in the mud.
A wrap-around upper offers a secure fit making the shoe instantly feel part of the foot for an added sense of feel on uneven ground. The shoe is very durable thanks to the six-pin Pebax spike plate which is superbly rigid and the carbon rubber added to highwear areas.
Puma – Haraka XCS V4
Another largely cosmetic update to a previous version of a cross country shoe. The midsole cushioning and outsole and spike configuration remain unchanged and provide comfort and grip on any course. The upper has a new lacing design, which maintains a great, secure fit, and there are extra reinforcements to shed off the worst of the mud and enhance the hardwearing design. With a full-length EVA midsole and light, low profile design this shoe feels instantly fast and comfortable. ‘Like a road racing shoe with spikes’ was how one tester described it and, as such, it’s very easy to run quickly in. The shoe delivers a smooth ride and good traction thanks to the spikes and rugged outsole.
The upper features a one-piece design with internal support strap incorporated into the shoe to hold the foot securely in place and provide good, stable footing.
It’s light and flexible, too, meaning it’s sure to be an instant success this season. While not a specific cross-country spike, many testers tell us they prefer to use their ‘long distance’ track spikes on the country. This model offers great cushioning thanks to the full length EVA midsole, as well as a good fit in a very lightweight design. For those that prefer a lighter, more flexible and slightly less ‘bulky’ feel in a spike, this distance shoe may be just the
Saucony – Havok XC Price: £60.00 Stockist: saucony.co.uk
ASICS– Hyper LD 5 Price: £65.00 Stockist: asics.co.uk
New Balance – XC700 v5 Price: £60.00 Stockist: newbalance.co.uk