Sunday, November 11, 2018

Salomon Running Winter 2019 Preview: X Alpine Pro, Supercross, Spikecross 5 GTX, Snowspike CS WP, Advanced Skin Set Vests

Article by Jeff Valliere

X Alpine Pro ($160)
Update: X Alpine Pro initial video review
Weight:  10.6 oz //300 g (US M9), 9.5 oz // 270 g (US W7)
Stack: 24mm/18mm, 6 mm drop

Having had a deep love affair with my now well abused (but still hanging tough) and 2017 trail shoe of the year, the Salomon XA Elevate (RTR review here), I nearly blew a gasket when introduced to the upcoming Salomon Alpine Pro. The X Alpine Pro is a hybrid of the waterproof winter shoe, the S/Lab XA Alpine (RTR review here) and the XA Elevate.  The X Alpine Pro at first glance looks like the XA Elevate in a new colorway, with very similar styling and outsole, but dig deeper and there are a few differences.
Styling is similar with the internal Sensi Fit underlays remain for clean lines and what I expect will be an impeccably secure and precise fit for pushing hard in mountainous terrain.  The toe bumper had been expanded and beefed up a bit, though I never had protection issues with the Elevate. The quicklace is similar, however the XA Alpine has none of the hard plastic lace grommets that can be found in other models and sometimes create a pressure point.  
Above the medial instep, the upper is also beefed up to protect against rock hits, which I know I’ll particularly appreciate when pushing through rock gardens and boulder/scree fields.  
The outsole lugs and lug pattern look very much like the XA Elevate, with 5mm lugs and sticky Premium Wet Traction Contagrip rubber, which on the XA Elevate, has proven to have the best combination of versatile traction coupled with durability. New for the X Alpine Pro however is, as in the S/Lab XA Alpine, we see the addition of the Carbon Edging Chassis and climbing zone which provides a nice stable edge for climbing/rock scrambling.  Release date has not yet been announced, but we are guessing late next summer and hope to get to testing these in earnest much sooner than that. Stay tuned.

Supercross ($110)
Weight: 10.9 oz // 310 g  (US M9), 9.5 oz // 270 g (US W7)
Stack Height: 29mm/19mm, 10mm drop
Update: Read our full written review here

The Supercross is aimed at the Speed Cross crowd who might be looking for a shoe that is a little less expensive and toned down from the more fully featured Speedcross.  An all around trail shoe for the masses looking for the traction, fit, security and all mountain competency that Salomon is known for in a budget package. Don’t be fooled though, the Supercross looks like a more expensive shoe and is clear that many of the premium features of higher end shoes have trickled down here.

SpikeCross 5 GTX ($185)
Weight: 12.9 oz // 365  g (US M9)
Stack Height: 31mm/21 mm, 10mm drop
Gore-Tex bootie, winter Contragrip, 12 tungsten spikes

We tested and loved the waterproof Speedspike CS last year (RTR review here) which quickly became my preferred winter shoe, with very pronounced lugs, capped by even more pointy carbide studs.  The SpikeCross 5 GTX is the replacement for the Speedspike and is similar, though a bit beefier and chunky, gaining over an ounce per shoe.  I did appreciate the lighter weight of the Speedspike CS, making it one of the more zippy and nimble winter shoes out there. Still anxious to check these out though, as carbide studded shoes have been my go to on most winter days on our trails that vary from ice to snow to bare rock and gravel.

Snowspike  CS WP
Weight: 14.1  oz // 400 g (US M9)
Stack Height: 30mm/20 mm, 10mm drop
Complete water protection, 12 tungsten spikes

Very similar to the Spike Cross, the Snowspike CS adds a built in gaiter for running in deeper snow and more serious winter conditions, though there is a weight penalty of just over an ounce as a result.

Advanced Skin 12/5 Set and Advanced Skin 8 Set W:

Some really nice changes to the Advanced Skin line, which now with SensiFit more closely resemble the S/Lab Sense Ultra vests  that integrate and fit more like a piece of clothing vs. the previous versions that appeared to more resemble a backpack. Additionally, the closure system has been improved for more comfort and ease of adjustment.  

The women’s version below the Adv Skin 8 Set W shares all the same attributes, plus a lower repositioning of the front soft flask pockets for better comfort. Salomon took great care in designing its first women's specific run vests. The flask pockets are placed lower and slightly more to the side, below the breasts, than in previous unisex models. The two included 500ml flasks are shorter and wider and contour to the body and have long straws for easy drinking. Available February 2019. $145.

Comments Questions Welcome Below!
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kiwirevo said...

Tell me the Adv Skin packs are custom quiver compatible? Will be so silly if they've left that off but I can't see the loops in the photo.

Jeff Valliere said...

kiwirevo, my visit was brief and we did not get to quivers unfortunately, so not entirely sure. There was a generous passthrough pocket, lower rear near the lumbar, so was figuring that would be a good place to quickly and easily stash poles.

ninedeeb said...

Sam, has there been an update yet on the XA Alpine pro?Ever since I read this article a half year ago, I've been salivating for this shoe. There's just little information on it this year. What's crazy is that prime time trail running season is here and no word! I hope Salomon doesn't decide to release this in the early fall like they did with the sense 7, sense pro 3. It makes zero sense. By the way, thank you for this resource. It it is a wonderful review site that has assisted me in several running shoe purchasing decisions.

ninedeeb said...

I'm sorry, Jeff! I mean the above comment for you!