Wednesday, May 12, 2021

adidas Terrex Speed Ultra Multi Tester Review: Some Old, Something New. A Solid and Speedy Combination!

Article by Renee Krusemark and Sam Winebaum 

adidas Terrex Speed Ultra ($160)

    Introduction

    The Terrex Speed Ultra was developed with feedback from Tom Evans who has won the UTMB CCC race, set a record at the Tarawera 102km Ultra Marathon, and finished 3d at the Marathon des Sables all in the first few years of his running career. 


    The Speed Ultra represents something old and something new from Terrex. 


    The “new” includes:

    • Lightstrike foam under foot and for the entire forefoot instead of the usual adidas EVA foam.
    • A very light yet heavily armored and supportive upper. A single layer dense and thin mesh upper with an array of orange underlays (for support) vaguely reminding in construction of adidas excellent Celermesh in their  road racers such as the Adios Pro but here more longitudinal and external overlays  (for abrasion resistance, protection and yet more support). 

    The “old” includes proven adidas elements:

    • Boost heel to midfoot under Lightstrike for bouncier “energy returning” cushion and longer run comfort
    • Tried and true Continental rubber outsole with multi angled 2.5 mm all terrain lugs
    • Plastic midfoot Torsion System plate for stability and some protection
    • Characteristic front flex as in adidas race flats such as adios but here for climbing and agility.

    It has 26mm heel /18mm midsole stack height plus 2.5mm lugs that is a somewhat lower profile than many recent trail shoes, and here a design one focused on Speed and agility. The Ultra part of the naming had me wondering if it was enough shoe for mere mortals.

     

    It very much reminded me of one of my all time favorite smooth trails with some road fast trail shoes, the adizero Boost XT (shown above my clean of two pairs I still have).


    In the Speed Ultra, Boost, and more of it, moves to the heel from the forefoot where it was in the XT (with its hardened EVA layer below), and gets a considerably more supportive, breathable trail worthy upper, but has lower profile lugs and ends up weighing just 0.4 oz less. So beyond the upper how much progress has really been made? Will the heel Boost and Lightstrike extend its range over the XT and how does it compare to other 2021 trail racers?


    Pros:

    • Totally locked down race fit upper: grippy secure laces, asymmetrical underlays, broad wrap around tongue with small gusset Sam/Renee
    • Soft, squishy, friendly if low Boost heel area. Prefers fast! Sam
    • Very stable, low slung ride with Torsion plastic for some support and protection at midfoot: Sam
    • Surprisingly well cushioned for such a low stack shoe  Sam/Renee
    • Fast and agile on both trail and road.Sam
    • Front climbing flex Sam/Renee
    • Low profile, versatile, and grippy Continental outsole: Sam

    Cons:

    • Some pinky toe narrowness which improved with wear and thin socks at true to size Sam
    • Questionable and light ront rock protection given no plate and low stack. Sam
    • Lowish feeling heel at slow paces on firmer terrain (narrow landing and soft Boost) Sam
    • Some early creasing of the lateral side front Lightstrike foam has me wondering about long term resiliency Sam/Renee
    • Narrowness in the midfoot/arch Renee
    • Pricing at $160 is on the steep side but priced as other “race” shoe are these days Sam


    Tester Profiles

    Renee is a former U. S. Marine journalist, which is when her enjoyment of running and writing started. She isn’t that awesome of a runner, but she tries really hard. Most of her weekly 50-60 miles take place on rural country roads in Nebraska, meaning mud, gravel, dirt, hills, and the occasional field. She has 2020 PR’s of 1:35:44 for the half marathon and 3:26:45 for the marathon

    Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 64 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. Sam has been running for over 48 years and has a 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range training 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah. He is 5’9” tall and weighs about 164 lbs if he is not enjoying to many fine New England IPA.


    Stats

    Estimated Weight: men's 9.15 oz / 259g  (US9 )  women's 8.24oz /234g (US8) 

      Samples: men’s 8.9 oz  / 252g US8.5 women’s 8.24oz /234g US8

    Stack Height: 26mm heel / 18mm forefoot+2.5mm lugs + sockiner

    Available now. $160


    First Impressions and Fit

    Sam: A striking color for a trail shoe in Cloud White / Clear Mint / Screaming Pink. Not to worry with mud and dirt they end up more subdued with the grit given the colors let’s just say a fine “patina”. 

    It is  also available in a more subdued but equally striking Cloud White / Crystal White / Core Black


    The fit is true to size for me but more race fit than comfort fit. The fit stretched some with use so I don't advise sizing up.

    During my first run with medium weight socks I felt some pinky toe pressures. 

    Changing to thinner socks and some break in (upper and shoe flex)  eliminated the toe pressures.




     





    The lacing is very easy to dial in with the textured flat and fairly rigid laces having grip through the eyelets. I did not use the outer lower lace hole designed to narrow the volume but Renee dis. The wide leatherette tongue with some padding at lace up, ventilation holes and a thin gusset fabric provides a superb lock down and a comfortable one. 


    Renee: The Terrex Speed Ultra will find its place on some “best of” shoe lists for 2021, particularly for its category as an ultra distance race shoe. The Speed Ultra gave me Inov8 TerraUltra G 270 vibes, aka my favorite shoe of 2020. I dare to say the Speed Ultra is the zero drop TerraUltra G 270 with 8mm of drop and a different midsole geometry. Developed with elite ultra runners, I’m happy to report the Speed Ultra works for mere-mortal, more mediocre runners too, such as me! 

    I wore a women’s size 8, my usual size. I wear a women’s 7.5 occasionally. For runner’s between half size, choose your battle: half size up for a roomy toebox, half size down if you like a tight race-fitting upper. I had no issues with the toebox room in my size 8 and overall I had a good secure fit. My only major negative about the shoe is they feel tight/narrow in the midfoot, right under my arch.   I ran a 17-miler (rain, horse trails) with no issues, but my arch fit issue does make the fit “good” instead “perfect.” 


    Upper

    Sam The upper is more than just the white thin mesh. In fact the mesh itself is really secondary to the rest of the upper construction. The mesh itself is a dense, soft and very pliable material. It is really a holder or substrate for all the underlays and overlays which extensively wrap and secure the foot while providing abrasion and other external protection. 

    The internal orange underlays are fairly thin and almost as equally pliable as the rest of the upper. 

    On the lateral side we have 3 Stripes of a thicker welded on material. 

    On the the medial side we have single pink overlay covering the stitching which joins the 2 sides of the upper. 

    There is no full hard heel counter in the Speed Ultra. It is pliable except for the far rear and at  the lower sides where there is a stiffer real plastic counter material but the Speed Ultra cannot be said to have a full wrap the heel counter yet the design delivers a very secure and comfortable hold that only starts to give a bit on steep sidehills while the rest of the foot stays solidly locked to the platform in those conditions, 

    The rear side charcoal colored overlays help lock the heel with the entire heel area highly supportive but not conventionally stiff. The collars are lightly and fairly firmly padded. 

    The toe bumper is a pliable rubbery material with an extra layer, the charcoal triangle  extending back after starting below the outer mint overlay. 


    This construct gives the toe bumper more front protection and some nice toe box height. I bumped a few rocks on my last run and felt nothing.

    All in all it is an upper which balances decent comfort with secure seamless support from front to back.


    Renee: The upper is race-ready and comfortable. It’s a win. Sam covered the details. The overlays help with security and protection without adding any extra weight. The triangle-shaped addition to the toe bumper is well placed; this is right where I tend to catch my toe on tree roots when I run sloppy. The thin tongue and heel have enough padding for distance when speed is more important than comfort. The toe box has good width and height for me, but I do need to pull the laces very tight to get a secure fit. 


    I laced using the outer, second eyelet across the forefoot, which helped tighten the upper on my low-volume foot. With that, the tongue bunched. I blame this on my foot shape. I do think the gussets on the sides on the tongue are too long, but again that’s probably only an issue for low volume feet.


    I ran a 17-miler through wet grass and mild rain and the pretty blues and pinks didn’t last long. Too much wet conditions and mileage will likely cause some tears in the upper prematurely, but this is mainly a race shoe and not a trainer.


    Midsole


    The midsole combines adidas newer Lightstrike (mint and pink above) directly underfoot and as the entire midsole at the forefoot with a long heel through midfoot insert of Boost, an expanded TPU beads midsole material that has been around a while and really ushered in the something other than EVA era. 


    Boost is quite bouncy and squishy with some “energy return” and in true performance running shoes such the Boston and adios of old, and when used in conjunction with a firmer denser foam, make for a great if more traditional and heavier shoe than many of the more recent newer foam shod ones. The advantage of Boost and TPU in general is its resilience and temperature stability vs the EVA's and blends.


    Basically. we have an adizero Boston for trail as that shoe shares a similar stack height (lower by 2mm at the heel here) and overall midsole layering with Boost and another more stable foam but here with a different more shaped rectangular Torsion insert vs the "rod" like layout in the Boston 9.


    Sandwiched in the midfoot is the adidas plastic Torsion System for stability, some propulsion towards toe off and some  mid foot protection.

    The Torsion System extends a couple of lugs forward of the front of the green cavity above and is a lug longer on the lateral side as felt when pressing. There is no apparent additional rock protection further forward beyond what the midsole and outsole provide and with a 18mm midsole stack and 2.5mm lugs that is to be considered as rock protection is not this shoe’s strong point but it is adequate if you are agile and quick on your feet as the shoe is intended.


    The Torsion System makes the shoe...very torsionally rigid while the easy front flex point up front ahead of the Torsion near the toe gives it climbing flexibility and agility. 


    The midsole feel is soft at the heel and moderately firm at the forefoot but my sense Lightstriike is softer than any trail shoe midsoles.  The platform is only moderately responsive (a distinct snap or pop off the ground). It is somewhat bouncier and softer in feel.

    I found the narrow heel landing soft and a bit low feeling at slow paces but always very stable, a strange combination but one that makes sense given the comparatively low stack height. Things shift as the pace picks up with less heel lingering and more action coming from the Torsion and Lightstrike upfront leading to moderately well cushioned ride with some rebound. 


    I am reminded of the all Lightsrike foam SL 20 road shoe which while while quite firm on road, almost too much so and really for me only suitable for faster tempo and actually felt more like a trail shoe midsole rather than road underfoot.  Terrex also has the Trail Speed Pro with an all Lightstrike midsole. I wonder what an all Lightstrike midsole would feel like here with a small insert of Boost at the forefoot surrounded by a hardened ring of EVA  as in the Boost XT. Likely more responsive and snappier but recall there is Ultra in the name here so a more “relaxed” midsole feel may have been the spec.


    Renee: Sam covers the details. An 8mm drop with an unique midsole geometry does not sound appealing for uneven terrain, but it works and it works well. The midsole felt great for me on hill workouts, uneven horse trails, short runs, and long runs. The stack height and midsole itself are ultra distance ready for me. My only caveat with the midsole/fit is the midfoot/arch area is narrow and causes a slight amount of discomfort for me. Maybe discomfort is not the right word.  I am aware of it but the issue caused no blistering or pain. My longest run was 17 miles, and every mile was fun. For an ultra distance, the midsole and stack height are fine, but I would question if that narrowness in the midfoot would cause problems for me after 26.2 miles.


    Outsole

    The outsole is Continental rubber with 2.5mm lugs in an elaborate multi directional pattern which is hard to see or photograph through the pink and black camo pattern.

    The outsole so far has surprised me although most of my terrain to date has been non technical dirt gravel roads, rail trail, forest paths, mountain bike single track, and pavement. Grip is excellent everywhere with the outsole never an additional noticed burden on firmer ground, tribute in part to the excellent front flexibility. Even some very slippery shallow mud was handled with ease.


    Renee: The lugs are small and mighty at 2.5mm. The outsole worked well for me on some mild mud, dirt, and gravel. I wouldn’t use them in intense mud, but otherwise they are versatile. There is enough flex to be comfortable on harder surfaces and enough hardiness to offer some protection. 



    Ride

    Renee: The ride is sweet. I ran hill repeats, intervals, moderate paces, easy paces, short runs, long runs, and everything felt good. I was excited to wear this shoe each day, and that’s really what we want from a shoe, right? I was surprised that the drop and propulsion provided a smooth ride on even surfaces and a nimble ride on uneven surfaces. The ride is smooth and best suited for faster efforts or race days. For the comfort and cushion underfoot, the weight is fairly decent and they feel lighter underfoot than the total weight suggests.

    Sam: Before running the Speed Ultra I was a bit skeptical or maybe used to testing so many high stack more max cushion trail and road shoes. Low slung, kind of minimal with a new age upper and a pretty old school undercarriage. That said, I remembered how much I had enjoyed the XT Boost, adios Boost, and older Bostons.


    My first runs were pavement with rail trail and very mellow trails in the mix. I was immediately struck on the firm how much forgiving Boost heel cushion there actually was and how easily they ran even slow paces due to the nice front flex and some rebound from the Lightstrike upfront. Yet they also always felt as they appeared, low slung and kind of minimal for a trail shoe. But don’t judge a book by its cover!


    I took them on my usual trail test loop which includes dirt paths through fields, fairly rocky rooty flatter mountain bike trails, and 3 sharp short climbs. The ride was nimble and agile everywhere with lots of trail feel. Front protection without a plate was adequate but at least for me I don’t think mountain worthy unless you are super agile and nimble as Tom is!  The shoe climbs extremely well with the low profile outsole and fairly broad forefoot platform and front flex all playing a role.  The ride is stable on uneven terrain with the upper doing a great job locking the foot to the platform. The outsole grips all kinds of terrain and is not in the way on road . On a previous run, I ran through some slick wet thin mud and was surprised how well they gripped. 


    In conclusion, the low slung close to the ground feeling ride is fun and versatile at least for me for non technical trail and even road running. The ride is not snappy responsive but can be characterized as flowing easily over terrain changes with just enough trail feel but not too much, enough softness not to be harsh, and enough forgiving cushion to handle longer distances than I would have imagined at first glance,



    Conclusions and Recommendations

    Trail Scoring Rubric

    Sam: Something old, something new here. Tried and true Boost is well implemented for forgiving cushion in what in today’s shoe world of nitro infused and other light and resilient new foams is a fairly low stack height shoe. The newer Lightstrike foam upfront and underfoot has more rebound and is also more forgiving than older EVA’s. The state of the art upper is light on the foot, very breathable and highly supportive. The Continental outsole compound and design grips very well everywhere I took them and was never in the way on the firm as trail outsoles can be. The shoe has an easy and agile forward flex while remaining quite torsionally rigid and midfoot supportive, something I like and is a long time characteristic of all adidas racers and here becomes very useful for climbing and the Speed Ultra has plenty of decently protected trail feel.  So a very well executed combination of attributes I say.


    Unlike some such shoes (say the S/Lab Pulsar or S/Lab Sense) or max cushion rigid trail shoes such as many HOka it is just as effective slow as faster with no hard surfaces harshness. It can easily be a road trainer as well as trail trainer/racer.  I can’t wait to get them on Park City’s smoother single track where I likely will race a trail half marathon in them. Last year I wore the Sense Pro 4 and they were firmer, the lugs noticed and overkill in terms of overall support, stability, grip and far denser upper for that terrain. 


    It may be Ultra worthy for some but it likely isn’t enough shoe for me for over 20 miles or so and it  is not a mountain running class shoe either but if you are agile and nimble and want to feel the terrain it may be. 


    I see only two relatively minor negatives here. A thin front plate extension of the Torsion plate, maybe a wider flavor of the famous adios Pro Energy Rods might provide more protection and maybe some propulsion as is clearly felt in the North Face Vectiv’s and Skechers Speed TRL although I would not want to lose that forward flex point or the overall agility.  


    At $160 it is priced as many trail “racing” shoes are from Salomon and the upcoming Hoka Zinal (test and review soon). There is nothing really special or new in Boost or Lightstrike although here they work very well together. Boost adds weight and at 9.1 oz the weight is reasonable but one might expect for such a racing oriented platform one coming in below 9 oz with some of the newer foams and on top of that it is only 0.6 oz less than the largely comparable XT Boost I reviewed 6 years ago which had not only deeper lugs but a sort of rock plate if a firmer ride. 

     

    The value and cost to manufacture more likely comes from the upper as from than the rest of shoe. It  has one heck of a comfortable secure upper to go with its fast yet easy going vibe.


    The Speed Ultra is an ideal smoother terrain shoe at both training and racing paces with lots of trail feel yet also with very good forgiving cushion, low slung stability,  and agility. 


    Sam’s Score: 9.20 /10

    Ride:9.3(30%) Fit:9.7(30%) Value:8(10%) Style:9(5%) Traction:9.3(15%) Rock Protect:8.5(10%)


    Renee: The Adidas Terrex Speed Ultra is a race ultra-distance shoe, even for mere mortal, mediocre runners like me. The shoes work great for shorter distances too. The upper is comfortable and race-ready. The midsole and stack height are comforting yet performance-ready. I don’t run mountain terrain, but the shoes work well on buffed gravel, rolling hills, and single track with mild elevation (200-300 ft per mile). The midfoot/arch area is just a tad narrow for me. I had no issues running up to 17 miles, but I would question running more than 26.2 miles for that reason. I tied the laces super tight and the tongue bunched. The upper durability is questionable if running through wet/rain conditions. That said, this is a race shoe, not a trainer. 

    Renee’s score: 9.2/10 (-.10 upper durability, -.60 narrowness in midfoot/arch, -.10 tongue bunches)



    Comparisons

    Index to all RTR reviews: HERE


    Saucony Switchback 2 (RTR Review)

    Renee: The Switchback 2 has slightly more aggressive lugs and a rock plate, so if you need protection the Switchback 2 might work better, for shorter distances only. I found the midsole to be too firm/hard for anything more than 15 miles (and that’s generous). For longer distances and pretty much anything else, the Speed Ultra is superior. I wore a women’s size 8 in both. The size is comparable, but the Switchback 2 has more width in the midfoot. The Switchback is lighter, but it’s not noticeable. 

    Sam: I agree with Renee. The Switchback 2 while it has the front protection is firmer and borderline harsh and its upper with BOA doesn’t keep up with the rest of the shoe or the Speed Ultra’s.


    Salomon Sense Pro 4 (RTR Review)

    At the same weight you get more traction from considerably bigger lugs, a noticeably firmer midsole feel with more dense cushion stack and more rock protection in the Sense Pro 4 (it has a ProFeel layer)  so it's the shoe for fast going on technical terrain or in loose terrain conditions. It is not nearly as friendly or agile a ride due to its firmness and outsole on smoother hard pack terrain. For example I stay away from roads, even dirt roads as much as possible in the Sense Pro 4 but welcome them in the Speed Ultra. I have run a trail half in the Sense Pro 4 in Utah and that was about the limit but would go further on such smoother terrain in the Speed Ultra. 


    Hoka One One Challenger ATR (RTR Review)

    Renee: I ran in the Challenger ATR 5, not the 6. I wore a size 7.5 in the Challenger and found the sizing similar to my size 8 in the Speed Ultra. At the same sizes they are about the same weight, but my 7.5 Challenger is lighter than my size 8 Speed Ultra. The Speed Ultra is the obvious better choice for trails because of the outsole, and it is more race/speed focused. Both shoes felt narrow in the midfoot/arch for me. I had blisters in the Challenger for runs of more than 10 miles. 


    Hoka One One Torrent (RTR Review)

    Renee: The Torrent 2 is one my favorites. For a more traditional and nimble ride, the Torrent 2 is better than the Speed Ultra for me. They are lighter than Speed Ultra are lighter in weight at same sizes. I can wear a size 7.5 in the Torrent 2 as compared to size 8 in the Speed Ultra. The cushion in the Speed Ultra works better for me as a long distance shoe, but otherwise I give the Torrent 2 the edge. Plus the Torrent 2 costs less.


    Topo MTN Racer 2 (RTR Review)

    Sam: The MTN Racer 2 coming late May has been one of  the RTR test team's favorite early 2021 trail shoes. Amply cushioned it pulls off a very secure upper and roomy toe box brilliantly if a bit more heavily in feel, and somewhat more supportive in action than the whisper thin foot confirming Speed Ultra's. Underfoot the tri density midsole is more cushioned if denser in feel and somewhat more stable and broader on the ground. While neither has a rock plate the MTN Racer's forefoot due to its outsole and stack height is more protective. It  does not quite have the agile low to ground feel of the Speed Ultra despite having a lower 5mm stack height. Rocker based (vs front flex) with a far more substantial outsole it is more technical terrain and also distance oriented than the Speed Ultra for me while it is also fine on hard and smooth but not quite at the level of the SU. All of this comes at a weight penalty of about 1.2 oz  at 10.3 oz / 295g  and while in no way an issue for the substance provided or the ride feel the weight difference is sensed.  

    Adizero XT Boost (RTR Review)

    Sam: Firmer, yet lower slung and more responsive the XT Boost I reviewed in 2015 was a door to trail and smooth trails rocket. It won’t go the distance of the Speed Ultra or be as comfortable underfoot with its firm rear EVA, TPU stabilizing similar to current Torsion, and thin Boost forefoot insert. but from memory (and will retest)  was faster yet on the same terrain and it had beefy 4mm lugs vs. the 2.5mm ones here. It was held back by its upper which just doesn’t compare to the Speed Ultra’s impeccable hold, security  and comfort but was near state of the art back then. I think bringing it back with Lightstrike and the Speed Ultra’s upper would be special.


    Skechers Razor TRL (RTR Review)

    Renee: For more technical trails, the Speed Ultra is a better choice because of the secure upper and hardier outsole. The midsole of the Razor TRL is more cushioned and its lighter weight make it a better choice for faster, shorter runs. I ran 20 miles with the Razor TRL but overall I think the Speed Ultra offers more cushion and performance for longer runs. Both are great shoes, depending on your needs. 

    Sam: Take the Skechers Razor TRL add a beefier outsole but less cushion stack and feel and you get the Speed Ultra, a shoe than leans more technical trails than the TRL  If your “near” trails are smooth more obstacle free and firm the Skechers is a faster shoe with better overall and more cushioning and a at lighter weight by over an ounce. If your trails lean somewhat more technical and you need agility and feel, go Speed Ultra.   


    Salomon S/Lab Pulsar (RTR Review)

    Sam: The Pulsar is an incredible almost 3 oz / 85g  lighter with a similar forefoot stack (with light rock protect) and a lower heel at 23mm vs 26mm here. It gets to that weight with a superb Matryx single layer upper, a new Energy Surge EVA/Olefin blend midsole and a yet more minimal outsole. Unlike the any pace friendly Speed Ultra, it pretty much needs to be run fast with a focus on mid foot to forefoot strike as the heel is low and quite soft. Few will get away training in this shoe as one can in the Speed Ultra and fewer yet will race it ultra as more than a few will likely the Speed Ultra. Requiring good form and fast paces it is a far more specialized less versatile shoe that is totally state of the art and only $20 more than the somewhat dated tech wise if friendlier Speed Ultra so..


    Inov-8 Terraultra G270 (RTR Review)

    9.1 oz 21/21

    Renee: The TU G 270 is one of my favorite shoes. This is probably the closest comparison to the Speed Ultra in my opinion. Both have similar fitting uppers and are lightweight for ultra distance shoes. The outsole of TU G 270 is probably better for a variety of terrain. The midsole and stack height of the Speed Ultra are better for me to handle the distance (I need to be in training in a 0 drop shoe to run with them). The TU G 270 works better for me, mostly because of the width. That shoe disappears on foot whereas I feel some narrowness in the midfoot of the Speed Ultra. 


    Sam: Yes very close in cushion stack upfront with the 8mm drop Speed Ultra more cushioned by stack but on a narrower platform at the heel so ending up about the same with SU a bit softer and mushier at slower paces. Both are at  exactly the same weight so that is not the decider.  Neither has a front rock plate although Speed Ultra has its mid foot Torsion. That said at the forefoot the thick graphene rubber and its great grip also goes a long way to protecting from rocks bites. Both are agile shoes although I find the G 270 is more versatile leaning more towards technical but able to also handle any surfaces while the Speed Ultra with a less aggressive outsole and less front protection leans towards smoother terrain and when figuring in the zero drop of the G270 for me is not a shoe I would take beyond a half marathon race but would for long hikes on technical rocky terrain as I have done and something I don’t think I will do with the Speed Ultra although I would take it further than G270 on smooth terrain. 


    Brooks Catamount (RTR Review)

    Sam: In this match up of identically priced shoes both versatile and light, the Catamount with its the nitrogen infused DNA Flash foam midsole, rock plate, and somewhat deeper cushion is somewhat more responsive but also stiffer and slightly firmer. It's upper is also a lightweight construction but not up to the level of security and breathability of the Speed Ultra. A bit more stable and cushioned it does not have the agility and flexibility of the Speed Ultra and weighs 0.4 oz more. I think the scale tips slightly towards the Speed Ultra for me as I prefer its more flexible ride, upper and the Boost heel but would take the Catamount to slightly longer distances assuming not technical.


    Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. No other compensation was received by RTR or the authors for this review beyond potential commissions from the shopping links in the article. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

    Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by Following RoadTrailRun News Feed

    Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
    Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and currently preferred shoes

    RoadTrailRun receives a commission on purchases at the stores below.
    Your purchases help support RoadTrailRun. Thanks!

    RUNNING WAREHOUSE
    USA  Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
    FREE 2 Day Shipping EASY No Sweat Returns
    EUROPE Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
    AUSTRALIA Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
     
    ROADRUNNER SPORTS
    Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
    Join VIP Family, Get Free Shipping and 15% in VIP Benefits on every order, Details here

    HOLABIRD SPORTS
    Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
    FREE Shipping on most orders over $40

    REI 
    Men's & Women's  SHOP HERE

    AMAZON  
    Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

    WATCH OUR YOUTUBE REVIEWS ON THE ROADTRAILRUN CHANNEL


    Please Like and Follow RoadTrailRun
    Facebook: RoadTrailRun.com  Instagram: @roadtrailrun
    Twitter: @RoadTrailRun You Tube: @RoadTrailRun

    2 comments:

    steve said...

    I think these shoes might surprise you on more technical, rocky terrain. I’ve tested a number of trail shoes side by side for adhesion to smooth wet rock and even wet floor tiles (weird hobby I know but after a few scary slips coming down steep rocky trails I’d had enough). The most adhesion: continental rubber>vj butyl>asicsgrip>megagrip>inov8 g>la sportiva frixion white>PWRTRAC and contragrip ta were about the same. If i'm going out on wet trails I draw the line at megagrip(and those ranked above it) and wear the others on dry days. By the way, I think the ultras are fantastic.
    Keep up the good work!

    Sam Winebaum said...

    Hi Steve, Thanks for your great insights. What kind of rock do you generally run across? While I haven't taken them on wet rock I have through thin but very slippery mud and grip there was good. The low profile with many angles to the lugs surely helps on both and also is not in the way on smooth and firm. How do you find the rock protection?
    Sam, Editor