I own 2 pairs of Salomon Speedcross 3 shoes and I’ve only used one of those pairs to do several mud runs and dozens of hikes. This review will explain why they’re so good.
First, here is how they helped me on Tough Mudder:
I actually did 2 Tough Mudders with these SAME pair, one which was in 2016 and another in 2017.
Here is a picture of me using the Salomon Speedcross 3 on both events (oh and it’s the same pair by the way, these babies are resilient beyond belief and I still have them in 2019, ready to go for the next one):
Describing the experience:
The very first time I used these shoes was in the 2016 Tough Mudder (My first one). I did a few races like that one before, but I really miscalculated and wore some completely unreliable sneakers that almost ended up breaking my feet.
These races will absolutely have you slipping no matter how good your balance is and in the wrong area, that slip can easily lead to an injury.
In anticipation of the 2016 event, I decided that I couldn’t take these crazy risks no more, did some research, saw that the most popular sneaker used in these events was the Salomon Speedcross 3, invested in a pair and never looked back since.
On the day of the race, I was totally BLOWN away at what a difference wearing these things made. People, I’m telling you, if you’re doing a mud run, you need these shoes, period. Here’s just a small list of the immediate things I noticed:
-Incredible balance no matter where I was standing or running through.
-I barely slipped during the race and keep in mind, I ran through dirt, mud, water, and various other things.
-I have to honestly reiterate at how shocked I was at how little I slipped. I was literally sprinting uphills while people were CRAWLING on them…
And here is another picture:
I was also amazed at how comfortable they were. Even though I was racing for HOURS straight, I never felt discomfort on my feet.
I though for sure that when I finished the race, that I’d have to throw them out because of how dirty they were, but I decided to put them in a bag, take them home and take my chance at washing them. I am SO glad I did, because they were right back to their awesomeness after a few rinses with soap:
And so they were used again, on the second mud run: A Spartan Beast event.
I was so impressed by the upgraded experience I got from wearing these things, that I ended up taking them on many hikes I did. I even ordered a second pair to keep as a clean alternative (just in case). In hindsight, I didn’t expect my original pair to still last to THIS DAY. I’ve been using the same paid since 2016 and my second pair is still waiting.
But anyway, I will explain some stuff I did while on those hikes in a bit, but the point is, before I did the Spartan Beast, I still used these same shoes again and again, and by the time the Spartan Race rolled around, they were ready to go once again, and once more, after finishing the race, they were washed and ready yet again:
By the way, if you do mud runs and want to know about my personal list of must have clothing, here it is.
Now keep in mind once again that we’re talking about 2 seriously long and difficult mud runs that these shoes went through AND several hikes. And they still keep going and going.
I cannot say enough about the resilience of these things. And again, they are showing NO signs of tear and I am still shocked whenever I look at them…
Onto mud run 3, another Tough Mudder, a year later!
Despite having a second pair available to me, I still decided to take my original pair with me and I was not disappointed again. Basically the same things I said I experience on the first Tough Mudder, I also experienced here (details on the second Tough Mudder).
Now I will say certain obstacles on both these events have you crossing on narrow pathways and man made props and they are so narrow that you have to tip toe on many of them and in these cases, you really need good balance. No kinds of shoes will save you here, but for the MAJORITY of these races which involves getting into dirty places and having to cross them (like 90% of it), this is where these shoes shine consistently.
Now that I’ve shared my experiences, let me get into details on the Salomon Speedcross 3:
Let me show you what to expect from them, what they look like from different angles and more:
How it looks: I think it looks awesome. In fact, when I did my hikes/mud runs, I did receive a compliments from hikers and fellow runners.
Who these shoes are for: Regardless if you’re a man or woman, these shoes are available for both.
Different colors available! See which colors suite you best.
There are no shoelaces on these kinds of models, only kevlar. I suggest you put the lace behind the tongue of the sneaker when you’re jogging. Tightening and loosening the laces is easy. I honestly found this to be a HUGE perk for mud runs. Regular shoe laces are going to come untied during these events, but the specific lace system in place for the Salomon Speedcross 3 is completely different and convenient.
I was surprised by the immediate comfort. Usually there is some kind of “break in” period to wearing sneakers but I did not have that with the Salomon, I immediately felt like I had been wearing them for a long time, when I put the on the first time. Putting these sneakers on the first time felt like my feet were stepping on some kind of memory foam mattress in that it felt so natural and comfortable.
The outer sole and mid sole had many bumps on them (I don’t know what the name of this part of the shoe is), but they are made for traction which played an important role later when I began hiking with them.
Besides the Spartan & Tough Mudder Races, see what I put my Salmon sneakers through!
As I said earlier, I did many hikes between the mud runs I completed and here are a few I documented with these shoes on:
The first hike I took with these shoes consisted of 2 stages:
Hiking up a 2,000 foot mountain to reach an outlook. Then driving up to the next hike which was up a large waterfall (over 150 feet high). Total distance of the hike was about 3 miles, but obviously in up and down elevations.
This hike had many traction testing elements such as:
- Wet, slippery grass.
- Gravel in different varieties.
- Dry and wet dirt, sometimes about an inch deep.
- Dry and wet leaves over dirt.
- Steep climbs up branches of trees.
- Hopping in between large rocks.
- Going through wet, slippery rocks.
All of those challenges are in a mud run too and on them, some people choose to time themselves so throughout this hike, I was also timing myself to see how fast and comfortably I could jog through many of the obstacles the hike had.
- I was jogging up and down the slippery leaves.
- I was jogging through the grass, no matter if was dry or wet.
- I was jogging through the dirt areas and gravel.
- Many times the ground was mixed in these things and had large rocks which required me to hop on and over.
- I had times where I would hop of a rock to reach another to make it look like a wall jump obstacle.
Basically, after seeing what these sneakers did for me on Tough Mudder, I didn’t hesitate to put these sneakers to the test.
More tests: I hiked with these shoes on during the fall/winter seasons (when it’s extra slippery):
Recently I did another hike on the same trail but only in the fall season. Lucky for us (I went with a friend), there was also snow, but in the above picture what I did was dash through a slippery trail, DOWNHILL.
The picture above is a little blurry in areas because I was literally running down that hill (And by the way, I do not recommend you do this unless you have good balance) WHILE holding onto 2 GoPro cameras! Yes, I was really passionate about testing the traction and comfort of these shoes and let me tell you, they passed with flying colors (yet again).
Though my shoes did get dirty, they washed easily and I don’t recall having any slips. You just CANNOT do this with regular sneakers/trail running shoes and I know, because the same friend I hiked with was totally slipping on the same course I was running through as he was wearing regular sneakers.
Another important pro: There’s something different about the energy when you wear these shoes:
What I also noticed was that because I didn’t have tiny, yet dangerous problems like slipping which used to constantly force me to exert energy to readjust and balance myself or the dis-balance from stepping in mixed level ground, I actually ended up having much more stamina left over throughout the hikes and mud runs I did and I really felt like I was dashing, not really jogging through most of the areas.
Any complaints about the shoes?
If there is one thing I found that could have been improved upon, it’s that the Salomon Speedcross 3 is not well suited to crossing wet, large rocks, which for hikes is something you rarely come across unless you’re aiming to cross any area with water.
On obstacle races, it almost never happens (unless it rains and you’re climbing on rocks) and typically courses are designed to avoid that scenario because of the danger of how slippery wet rocks can be.
Now small rocks like gravel, whether they are underwater or wet from rain, those aren’t dangerous, but large ones, that’s when it’s going to get slippery.
The problem with large wet rocks, besides the slipperiness is the fact that because there is no area for the traction to set in, it becomes very difficult to cross these places.
I have honestly never heard of any types of sneakers that can conquer large wet rocks, but the Salomon is a bit better at helping you keep your balance vs all those other shoes.
The ONLY kind of footwear I’ve found that helps with large wet rocks is a regular water shoe, but with regards to hiking and doing mud runs with them, forget it, you’re asking to have a horrible experience. I did look for trail sneakers which had the same outersole material as the water shoes, but there are none available. Maybe it’s because they aren’t intended to be used for those kinds of obstacles and tear quickly?
Anyway, should you encounter wet large rocks, your best option is to avoid them. If you have no choice, proceed very slowly through these rocks and ensure you are using your hands for additional balance.
Other than this issue, I found no problems with the Salamon Speedcross 3.
There are just a PLETHORA of good things to say about them. And I’m not the only one:
Now I do want to say one thing about the reviews you read:
While a overly major amount of people LOVE them like I do, the only common issue I found was that people said that everything is great except the sole wore of quickly.
However, I noticed many of these people were kind of contradicted in their own testimonials because they admitted to using this shoe on things it wasn’t made for, namely…concrete.
People, why would you want to wear a shoe like this on concrete when the soles are clearly designed for nature? Do not do it!
Finalizing the pros and cons of the salomon speedcross 3:
- The Salamon Speedcross 3 is just about perfect for any kind of hike.
- Where it’s dirt, mud or other things, it conquers pretty much any obstacle nature will have.
- Extremely comfortable to wear.
- The traction is crazy good.
- Greatly increases safety all outdoor activities because there’s less slips and more balance.
- This shoe helps preserve your energy.
- It is rated as the top shoes to wear for Spartan Races and Tough Mudders (I see them worn by a lot of people).
- There are greater odds you’ll finish your mud run/hike when wearing this.
- Don’t use it for jogging on concrete unless you want your shoe to have a short life span. That literally is the kryptonite of the Salomon SpeedCross 3…
- Try to avoid large rocks that are slippery or underwater with this or any kind of shoes other than water shoes.
Some final recommendations & other things you can do with these shoes:
If you do outdoor adventures, the Salomon Speedcross 3 will create a completely better & safer experience:
As I said before, I didn’t realize how different wearing a good quality shoe like this one can help my improve my hikes/mud runs until I wore them. So many things changed that I was completed oblivious to before and I am sure if you haven’t worn a pair of shoes like these, for these specific events, you will experience the same thing I did.
These shoes are definitely coming with me on my next hike/mud run and I recommend you take them on yours too!
The conclusion on the Salomon Speed Cross 3:
These shoes proved to match their reputation easily and more. I honestly did not think they would perform this well on the race/s and be in such a great condition afterwards.
I am curious to see how many races I can keep taking them on. At this point, we’re at 3 mud runs, numerous hikes and counting and like I said, there’s no sign they are slowing down on the quality, it’s still top notch.
I absolutely love these shoes and with all the varieties (including MANY versions/colors for women), I strongly recommend getting them for any outdoor plans you may have.
38 thoughts on “Salomon Speedcross 3 Review. How They Saved me on 3 Mud Runs.”
I am impressed with your review! I am not a hiker and I was actually wondering if they would be a good street shoe. However, after what you said about the other people complaining about the wear, I understand that it probably is not a good use.
My daughter is an avid hiker though. She is planning a one-month hike where she will have someone drop her at a remote location and she will have to hike back. Not my idea of fun, but to each their own!
Would you expect that the shoe would be good for this length of time? One month hiking over every imaginable obstacle, except concrete?
If so, I think that I may get them for her as a present.
These shoes will definitely last way longer than 1 month Richard. I think if you make sure to use them in the proper environment, you can hike with them for a combined several hundred miles easy.
I know for a fact that these shoes work. While I do not have a pair myself my buddy got a pair and they worked excellent for him in combination with compression socks. Looking back I wish that I had invested in a pair similar to the Speed Cross 3’s he had earlier because there were a couple of times where I had to completely throw away shoes after a mudrun because they got absolutely ruined.
These are a great investment for anyone looking to get into mudruns.
That’s so true Alec, these shoes have the ability to last longer than several pairs of trail sneakers and me having them for over 2 years now and still using them proves it.
Great review on these Salomon Speedcross 3s. I did my first mud run about a month ago and I LOVED it. I can’t wait to do more. The shoes I used were great and I wear them for all kinds of hiking and trail running, but in a mud run, they filled up with mud pretty much right away and I had a hard time even keeping them on my feet when I was trudging through mud pits. You said you haven’t used these shoes in a mud run yet, but how do you think they will hold up in pits of mud? Maybe I just didn’t have my shoes on tight enough? I don’t know. There was a kids 2k run after the main mud run that I did with my kids and I ended up just going barefoot. It was great running the course at their speed, but I don’t think it will work out so well on the big race. Will you update this review when you use these in a mud run? Also, do you know if these come with a wide toe bed? Salomons tend to be pretty narrow for me.
Hi Candace, I found them to be pretty wide and comfortable. Regarding the dirt pits, every single shoe you wear will fill up with mud but if you wear good compression socks with these shoes, your foot’s mobility will be maintained as will the shoe’s grip and comfort.
Thanks for the detailed review on these shoes. I definitely like the look of them but I have one problem. Whenever I buy this style, I always find that the sole is too flat. I like to walk on uneven terrain but I find that thin soled shoes allow pointy edges on rocks to dig into my feet. Do you find that this happens with these shoes. The traction/grip on the soles seem to be quite large so maybe they will help absorb most of the pointy uneven rocks.
You’re not going to feel it Robert. I wore these while running through VERY uneven ground and I felt like I was flying over it.
Thanks for the review. Very in-depth and informative. I am looking to replace my current fell/trail running shoes and stumbled across this review. I have used Salamon shoes in the past and always rated them highly. Think I will give the Salamon Speedcross 3 a go! I think they will perform excellently on the hills around here! And I am considering a tough Mudder next year as well so good to know they will be great for that too.
I promise you Steve, they will exceed your expectations on both a Tough Mudder and the hills you’re running on right now. I would love to know how it works out!
Great review! I love Salomon shoes but haven’t had the courage to pull the trigger on a purchase. I do a lot of walking and some trails and one day might tackle a mud run just to keep things interesting. Thanks for the review. I love how they look and your live action photos with them. Slippery rocks shouldn’t be a problem for me but thanks for including that info. Headed to get a pair for fall hikes!!!
For very regular walks outside, normal trail shoes will work, but for mud runs and more advanced trail runs, I absolutely think you need the Salomon shoes Judith.
I found your review of the Salomon Speedcross very helpful. I am certainly not into the kind of trials that you do, but I enjoy back country hiking albeit slow hiking. I have been looking for a comfortable, family lightweight durable shoe that i can wear on any surface. I climb over rocks on the hike. I go through mud.
Mostly I am on dirt paths. It looks to me like these shoes will offer good protection as well as comfort. I am also looking for something that will stabilize one of my ankles.
You recommended not wearing these shoes on concrete. I try to walk 3 to 5 miles a day, usually on sidewalks, so I would not use these shoes for that walk. I am going to find a local distributor. If I can’at find one, I will order them online. Thanks for this clear review. I am going to try to find a pair of these shoes.
Typically local stores sell them for a little bit more than online retailers Jim. What I would do is see how much they cost on Amazon (It’s around $120), then look for them around your area and if you find them, compare their price to the online alternative, then obviously buy the cheaper pair.
Great article. I am not an avid hiker that I would buy a separate shoe for, but I am an avid mud run(ner). When I do go on hikes I have used my trail running shoes for it but wondered what other types of shoes are out there. Do they make these for women? I haven’t looked to see if they come in a women’s version.
Hi Hannah, yes, there are plenty of the same salomons in women’s colors and sizes. If you click on the shoe link in the article, you’ll be able to select which type you prefer and there’s a bunch of different colors, they are all the same quality though, which makes it great for your mud runs!
Thanks for the review, very detailed! I think what peaks my interest the most when I look for shoes like these is the traction, and it seems like you praise the traction on these things, which is definitely a good thing. I’d most likely use these in more of a hiking situation as I’m not much of a mud runner. I know you touched on the laces a little bit and that they are easy to tighten or loosen, but in your opinion do they stay tight? I need mine tight and I really dislike when I buy these types of shoes with these types of laces, you tighten them, but then they become loose easily.
Yeah they are tight. I’ve had them come off once or twice, but it was because I was swimming during one of my mud runs and/or was stepping into deep dirt in the water and that caused it to loosen, but on land, you’ll be totally fine Jeremy.
In fact, I always take these for hiking.
Wow, what a review! I too, love mud runs! Im actually signed up for the Spartan Super in late October and need a new pair of shoes for the occasion. Like you, I would also run in shoes that are not exactly made for that type of terrain and thank god I got no major injuries for being so ignorant. My last Spartan, I rolled my ankle and that gave me the idea of, “maybe I need a good pair of trail shoes.” Thanks for the in depth review and AROO!
Aroo back at you Austin! Good luck on the Super you’re doing later this year and let me know how these shoes work for you. I guarantee that you’re going to feel completely different and amazing in them. This super is going to be no sweat!
Great review, very comprehensive. You really put them through their paces!
You mentioned about these shoes not being great on big slippery rocks – I’ve done offtrack runs where you end up swimming for a section. Some shoes that I’ve bought I ended up taking them off and pulling them along with me until i get out the other side, others I was able to keep them on as you couldn’t really feel yourself wearing them.
Do you have any experience yourself swimming with these?
Yes I’ve swam with these shoes on during multiple races Ashley and it was fine because I wasn’t stepping on rocks, it was on mud and land, which even in the water, these shoes are fine for, it’s wet rocks which are the problem.
Salomon is one of those brands that you get the actual equivalent of what you’ve paid. It’s a bit pricey compared to other conventional shoes, but it puts out a GREAT PERFORMANCE! It’s also one of the most durable shoes that I’ve ever seen!!You can wear them for years and they will still stay the same as first day!
Yeah it isn’t a cheap pair but I’d argue it’s value exceeds their price, because after putting them through all the stuff I did, I’d give them a value 10 times their current one.
Its mу 2nd shoes that I оwn bу Salomon. Tооk thеm in a ԛuісk 5-mile run and hіkе and I absolutely lоvе thеm. Thеу are vеrу comfortable аnd thе size fіtѕ реrfесtlу. My heels nests соmfоrtаblу. Grеаt trасtіоn wіth ease оf bеndіng. Thеу just fit lіkе ѕlірреrѕ. Nо blіѕtеrѕ after a long run аnd hіkе. Lасеѕ lооѕеn a bіt аnd tend to соmе united without dоublе knotting. Hарру аnd pleased wіth the purchase. It’s highly recommended.
Nice experiences! These shoes are indeed worth taking on any hike.
I like the appearance of these shoes. I usually like to wear this type of shoes. My favorite brand previously was Colombia. Colombia’s hiking shoes are strong. I recently spent 75 dollars to buy a pair of Columbia hiking shoes. Because I used to live in Silver Springs, Colorado. It often snows there, a pair of good hiking shoes is very necessary. I think I might try the shoes you recommend. Thank you for your sharing.
The Columbia shoes are great Raino, but I have to say, when it comes to mud runs, you’ll get more benefits out of the Salomons mainly because of it’s longevity and better grip for mud.
This is really cool. I am not a mud runner but my brother is really big on them, He’s always trying to get me to come with him on one of his mud runs. Its just that I can’t do all the dirt and its just not my style. But my brother’s birthday is coming up and he needs some new mud running shoes because his are old and torn. So I have been looking around for mud running shoes and I am glad I came across this article. Exactly what I was looking for. I am definitely going to check these out. Great review, very helpful.
These shoes are going to make a GREAT birthday resent for your brother Garrett. He’s going to love them and really have a lot more fun on his mud runs.
These babies are AWESOME! Solomon is a brand that I know and appreciate for a very long time with its durability and comfort it provides on even the hardest trails. These babies are rock solid and there’s no way for you to degrade them for a long time if you apply proper caring. If there is a trail challenge up your way, then Solomon Speedcross is your choice!!
Very right! I just returned from a 5 day trip doing different hikes and still used the same pair I used on the mud runs I mentioned above!
I did a mud run with my family for fathers day a few years back and made the mistake of wearing running shoes. I was one of the guys in your photos crawling up a hill on my hands and knees due to lack of traction. A lot of fun but if I am going to do something like that again these shoes look perfect. It is also nice that I would be able to go hiking in them as well, two birds one stone.
Indeed Preston! Many of us who did our first mud run learned this lesson as well.
Such an awesome review! What I most like about these shoes is their design. They look so powerful that I would not only use them in mud but also when it is dry. My question is whether the legs sweat quickly in them? That is important for me because I have problem with fast sweating.
No sneaker is designed to stop swear Daniel, you need to be wearing good socks which absorb sweat. For these particular races and trail running in general, socks made of polyester are perfect, they should handle the sweating issue well.
What about later models? I dont see the three available anymore
Yeah unfortunately, it’s hard to find the 3 nowadays Meagan. I have tried the 4th Salomon and will review it soon. I can tell you that it’s almost identical to the 3, so you can’t really go wrong there. You will get the same benefits, so you can confidently get the 4.