Stuart is co-owner and buying director at Facewest. Stuart has 20 years experience of mountain and endurance sports. He is now in the very fortunate position of being offered lots of kit to test from a host of brands. Although he does not often test the long term durability of many products, having a high turnover of kit allows some great comparisons (like changing jacket mid run to compare breathability and comfort). The ultimate accolade for any product is that stays an everyday item long after it has been fully tested.
The FellCross is the most “British” of the Salomon S-Lab line up. It’s an out and out fell running shoe with well spaced aggressive lugs for grip on mud and wet grass. The upper is minimalist and fast draining. The Quicklace system works very well both in terms of comfort and in not loosening or coming undone. Once in the little tongue pocket, the spare lace stays there.
I felt the last was on the narrow side and the shoe was pinching me till I removed the insole and then the fit was perfect. I can run with either zero, one or two insoles depending on the shoe and the state of my feet and apart from the room there seems to be no problem with this. The Fellcross are also an english half size short I felt so that I had to step up from a 10 to a 10.5 to get the right length.
Like most fell runners I have had a fair few pairs of inov8s and I changed my racing / competition shoe from the X-Talon 212 to the Fellcross 3. In my size the Fellcross is 38g heavier than the X-Talon. The FellCross is torsionally stiffer and the sole more protective than the X-Talon, sometimes you want a shoe that conforms to the ground and sometimes you want protection from the rocks, I thought the Fellcross gives more protection than the Talon but didn’t notice a reduction in grip when traversing. The Fellcross has 41 lugs to the X-Talons 43 so lug sizing and spacing is pretty much the same. The Fellcross has a 4mm drop from heel to toe compared to the X-Talon’s 6mm. The Fellcross has a more rigid toe box which gives much greater stub protection and the rand is also stiffer and more protective.
I wasn’t unhappy racing with the X-Talon, it’s still a great shoe but overall I prefer the Fellcross. For me it offers everything the X-Talon does plus extra protection from rough ground. The FellCross is quite a bit more expensive than the X-Talon but I get a long life out of a racing shoe because I only use them for that so I feel it’s worth it.
Salomon S-Lab Fellcross 3
- Anti debris mesh upper
- Quicklace system
- Fell running last
- Mud & snow Contragrip sole
- Midsole: Dual density EVA and Molded EVA
- Die cut EVA sockliner
Colour: Black Red