For Grizzly Legs and Faces
After a few days on the trail, baby yourself with a smooth, natural shave with Aubrey Organics Crème de la Shave. Read about it at our sister site, Fancy Green.


Salomon XT Wings Trail Runners : Trail and Town and All Around

Just out my backdoor is a great trail run, but its conditions have gone downhill in the past year. It requires a lot more agility and nimbleness these days, and thankfully my new Salomon XT Wings trail runners have been helping me along.

The shoe is loaded with features, but let's start with the small details: my old trail runners had a tubular laces, which inevitably came untied every 10 minutes unless I triple-knotted them. I love the secure quick-lace system on these Salomons -- just pull tight them and forget it. There's even a pocket that hides the lacing system. I haven't had any issues with the durability of the system and expect it to last for the life of the shoe.

Out on the trail, the runners perform flawlessly. They have a great amount of cushion, which keeps me comfy on higher-mileage days. The shoe took a few runs to break in, but they were still ultra comfortable as soon as I put them on. The cushioning system is expected to last twice as long as other EVA midsoles in typical running shoes, too, so I'm excited to be able to use these shoes for a while. What's more, the shoes' outsole has a tendon in it that actually acts like a bit of a spring -- and I can actually notice an energy return with each stride's heel to toe transition.

My local trails are pretty rocky and quite steep, and I really love the amount of stability the XT Wings provide. Salomon has put a thermoplastic insert in the XT Wings, along with an outsole heel wrap, which the company says increases stability. I believe it -- I find I am a lot more sure-footed on speedy descents (or on steep, slow ascents when I'm so throttled I can't pay much attention to where I'm going).

Last, the ruggedness of my daily trail has destroyed more than a few shoes -- but these Salomons are pretty burly, and they promise to hold up well thanks to strong, abrasion-resistant toe and heel caps.

Bottom Line: Extremely comfortable, stable, all-around trail runner built to last - N.W. (Aug '08)

Price: $128

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