The City Trail events are basically an opportunity to try out a selection of Salomon’s running shoes for free on either 2km or 5 km pre-marked trails. At the Newcastle event this choice was between the Speedcross 3 which I already use, the XR Crossmax 2’s or the Sense Mantra’s. Along with the opportunity to test run some shoes, Salomon staff, were on hand to chat Trail Running, fit, and technologies of their shoes and clothing.
I’ve wanted to try the Sense Mantra’s for a while. Designed as a lightweight high mileage training shoe for mid-foot strikers who want natural motion, protection and neutral cushioning, they tick plenty of boxes on paper. Pulling them on, and the fit was perfect, slightly roomer in the toe box than my Speedcross, but with the same foot wrapping fit of the forefoot.
I set off for a rather hot, 5 km loop of the Town Moor, which offers a mix of pavement and hard packed grass paths. It was hot… 27 degrees by all accounts… The shoes felt really good from the go. Noticeably light on the feet, but with enough cushioning to take the edge of the hard pavement surface. 20 minutes later I reluctantly handed back the shoes, knowing they fill a hole between my Salomon Speedcross 3’s and Mammut MTR 201’s.
I picked up a free pair of Salomon XA Sonic 2 Socks, which almost make turning up worth it in themselves, had a quick look at the brand new hyped up Salomon Fellraiser (the shoe I would really have liked to try) and headed home.The Salomon City Trail is touring the UK this summer, with dates left in Leeds, Edinburgh and London.