SPEED DEMONS

We re­view a se­lec­tion of footwear de­signed to have you fly­ing flfly­ingfly­ing over the trails

Trail Running (UK) - - Contents -

Light­weight, super-fast shoes on test

De­signed with Skyrun­ning in mind, this shoe is claimed to of­fer “per­fect sta­bil­ity” on all types of off-road ter­rain. We found the sole is won­der­fully grippy on a wide range of sur­faces, in­clud­ing wet rock. It’s not ex­ten­sively cush­ioned, yet the foot feels pro­tected enough on rocky sur­faces and the re­sult is that you feel close to the ground for speedy run­ning with pre­ci­sion. The heel cup is very se­cure, which along with eas­ily tight­ened laces creates a great snug fit. The grips also ex­tend over the edge of the shoe to go slightly around the sides – great for con­tour­ing. The fit comes up small, so go up by half a size when buy­ing; 6mm drop. As the name 'FKT' sug­gests, speed is the key fea­ture. This is a very com­fort­able all-rounder shoe for speedy, multi-ter­rain trail run­ning. The gus­seted tongue is espe­cially comfy. The heel fit isn’t quite as snug as some of the oth­ers, but the grip is very good on all sur­faces apart from the mud­di­est of muddy trails. The cush­ion­ing is plenty suf­fi­cient for com­fort with­out los­ing the feel of the un­even trails un­der­foot, mak­ing it a re­spon­sive, pre­cise shoe. The lower-than-av­er­age price and 10mm drop are good for be­gin­ners tran­si­tion­ing to trail shoes from tra­di­tional road shoes. Go up one size on your usual when or­der­ing. The toe box ta­pers quite early so it’s not nec­es­sar­ily one for run­ners with spread toes. The sole’s widely spaced lugs make it fan­tas­ti­cally grippy on all sur­faces in­clud­ing mud, while the am­ple cush­ion­ing means you can run to the trails on roads with no dis­com­fort. You feel close to the ground de­spite the cush­ion­ing and 10mm heelto-toe drop. Al­though it's on the heav­ier side com­pared to the oth­ers on test, that makes it a bril­liant shoe for be­gin­ners tran­si­tion­ing from tra­di­tional road shoes to trail. The very thin quick-lac­ing cord can be tricky to pull tight with cold fin­gers. The fit comes up small so a half-size big­ger was re­quired. Su­perlight, th­ese are a great op­tion for rac­ing and they feel like slip­pers to put on. The in­cor­po­rated On 'Speed­board' is de­signed to pro­mote ex­plo­sive for­ward mo­tion on the as­cent. The unique, mul­ti­arched sole def­i­nitely creates bounce, but also in­sta­bil­ity. It's like run­ning on rub­ber bub­bles, which takes some get­ting used to. "Soft land­ings and firm take­offs" is what the man­u­fac­tur­ers prom­ise. We found the grip to be OK but the sole slip­pier on damp rock than most here. Also, the lugs could ben­e­fit from more bite for mud­dier trails. The laces are thin, mak­ing them harder to use with freez­ing fin­gers; 6mm drop.

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