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Salomon - XR Crossmax 2

posted Sep 19, 2013, 5:07 AM by GoOut Project   [ updated Sep 19, 2013, 5:08 AM ]

Together with the classical trail running shoes in Salomon's catalog a new category of footwear appeared, which is dubbed “Door to Trail”. The name itself already anticipates something about this new concept of running shoes and our testers at Go Out Project were very intrigued. So we decided to give them a pair of XR Crossmax 2 to play with and tell us how they perform.


The design is very close to that of a “classical running/training shoe”. The upper is made of a mesh with rubbery reinforcement strips on the sides and around the laces. The sole is thick: 19 mm on the rear and 10 mm on the front.

The XR Crossmax 2 feature:
  • protective synthetic material on the tip 
  • rigid supportive structure on the heel 
  • OS Tendon: A polyurethane elastic band running lengthwise across the sole. The band connects the heel to the forefoot and, once flexed, it returns a vigorous elastic impulse that favors the thrust. 
  • Quicklace®: a minimalistic, single-string, one-pull-tightening lace system. 
  • Contragrip®: a combination of various types of rubber molded and cleverly placed to optimize traction on different terrains. 
Our Test

We tested the XR Crossmax 2 thoroughly for several months mostly for running, both on and off road, on both short 8-10 km and long 20-30 km distances. We also tried them on short hikes.

Activities tested: running, training, hiking

First Impressions

Thanks to the specifically designed notches in the flex zone of the sole and to an inset in a neoprene-like material on the upper, the shoes flex very well around the joints of the toes, giving an immediate natural feeling when running. Once the sole is flexed, the OS Tendon returns a noticeable impulse, like a spring, favouring the propulsion. The result is easy flexion and explosive response. Very nice!

Weighting 320g (640g per pair) they are not exactly a featherweight and you'll notice it during fast training!

On road

The XR Crossmax 2 are well suited for long runs. The feeling is very close to that of a traditional running shoe: good cushioning, well marked arch, limited sensitivity on the ground, comfortable ... sort of like the typical '90s running shoe that you would expect to have on your feet when running on paved roads.

The small and soft cleats on the sole tend to flex quite a lot, both in the boosting phase and when changing direction, conveying a "gummy-like" feeling that makes you lose something in terms of responsiveness.

Off road

The soft and flexible cleats, so disinclined to the hard surfaces, sink instead wonderfully into the soft or loose ground, literally biting the dirt! Downhill, even on the mud, the XR Crossmax 2 never fail, always remaining “glued” to the ground. The abundant cushioning, on the one hand reduces sensitivity on the ground, but on the other hand enhances protection so much that you'll start stepping on to anything ... even the sharpest things!

The set of materials that makes up the upper offers a good compromise between breathability and protection from dust and debris. The toe protection helps extending the life of the shoe and at the same time saves your toes from accidental wacks on rocks, roots, branches or whatever else might be on the trail.


The XR Crossmax 2 are excellent training shoes, very soft and flexible, and close to the “classical” concept of running/training shoes. They are quite versatile, behaving always good both on the road and on the trail. They are a very good choice if you are looking for an allround running shoe for training.

 Lightness  4/10
 Comfort  7/10
 Grip  7/10
 Stability  8/10
 Flexibility & Responsiveness  7/10
 Versatility  7/10
 Durability  6/10
 Total Score  6.6/10

+ Elevated cushioning
+ Excellent comfort
+ Excellent fit

- The sole wears out rapidly
- Limited sensitivity on the ground
- Noticeable weight
Tester: Marco M. (172cm - 62kg - size 42 EUR)