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Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra GTX

Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra GTX: by Jodi Balazs

When I get a product to test, I don’t just use it once and then write a review on it. I like to run it through the ringer first. The Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra was one such item that not only went through the ringer, but also the steamroller. I got these shoes over a year ago and have worn them more than any other shoe I own. The versatility and comfort that these shoes offer kept me turning to them time and time again.
I must admit that the first thing that sold me on these shoes was how comfortable they are. Because of this, I soon found myself wearing them all the time. They have a bigger fit, which is good for people with wide feet, monstrous bunions or those of us that don’t like a shoe that constricts the blood flow to our toes. I like to wear lofty, polypro socks for maximum moisture retention and comfort, so these shoes were perfect. The second feature which took me about a week to get used to, but which I LOVE now is the quick lace system. All those hours your parents spent teaching you how to tie your shoes are for naught in the world of Salomon. The Quicklace system allows you to slide your foot into the shoe, pull on the lace once and slide the little qoodad down for the perfect fit. I wish all my shoes had this system, with the exception of my rugged hiking boots.  
The XA Pro 3D is advertised as a trail running shoe, so you guessed it, I couldn’t resist the urge to take it out for a spin.   I’ve been an avid runner (please don’t tell my orthopedic surgeon who thinks I quit running two years ago) for years.   Please don’t tell my Dad, either. My right knee has been operated on four times and it is an absolute must that I buy a good running shoe. When I buy a running shoe, I go to great depths to make sure it’s made for my body weight and the shoe gives me the proper pronation for my arch and step.   After taking these shoes out to my favorite running spots, I must admit that I prefer my regular running shoe when I run the track or the street to the gym. However, when I run on the dirt running trail by our house, this shoe gives me the stability and traction that I could never get with a regular running shoe. I don’t know how many times I have walked down the steep hill on our trail because I was afraid of slipping and falling on my rear. I can run full bore down the hill with my Salomon’s. If you do drive by and see me on my rump, it’s because of my own clumsiness and not because my foot slipped. I prefer trail running because I get to breathe clean air instead of gulping down exhaust. However, it can be ultra challenging at times because you seem to go up hill more than you do down. These shoes are very light and make it seem like you are almost gliding over the rocks and crevices. When I run in them, I can hear the Chariots of Fire theme song in my head as I pretend I’m Super woman flying down the trail. While I’m on the subject of rocks, there is a rubber toe guard to protect the shoe and keep you from stubbing your piggly wigglies. That’s something the other “major” shoe brands don’t offer.
If you are reading this and you aren’t a runner, don’t think this shoe isn’t for you. I wear it more when I’m not running than when I do run. With the Gortex lining, it’s great to wear anywhere you might get wet. I must have put 100 miles on these shoes in Germany this year and never once did my feet get sore. That’s right; Salomon’s trail running shoe was my go to shoe for exploring old castles and medieval towns. 

I’m a Colorado girl, so looks are important to me as well as function. They look super cool with shorts or pants. Oh, I can’t forget to add that I climbed Torreys Peak, a 14,000 foot mountain in them this summer. Anyone who has tried to walk at altitudes above 12,000 feet knows how hard it is. The lightness of this shoe really helped that last 1,000 feet when each leg felt like it weighed 50 pounds. The trail wasn’t super rocky, so I didn’t need my heavy hiking boots. I had all the grip and stability I needed.

The Salomon Pro 3D Ultra GTX is everything one could want in an off road running shoe. I’ve had many other brands of off road shoes over the years, but this is by far my favorite. If I had to pick one all around shoe that I could wear hiking, running, or adventuring to the grocery store with three kids, this is it. I hope Salomon never stops making this shoe because I never want to stop wearing them.

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