Cross-country running can often be spent crossing streams or battling muddy sections (losing shoes in the mud is a specialty of mine) and a shoe that can thrive in these conditions can potentially get you on the podium. Hense, new to the line-up is the S-LAB XA Amphib shoe.
Our review of this product
|8.9 / 10
The pros are:
- Evacuation of water
- Grip in wet conditions
The cons are:
The XA Amphib is a 4mm drop light running shoe with its eyes set on wet conditions. First, the upper is made from a rubber mesh that evacuates not only humidity but water, and lots of it. I was pessimistic at first that this shoe would feel ‘plasticky’ on my foot when dry, but after a few runs, I have not once been bothered by the fact the upper is a rubber mesh.
The Amphib can also claim to be water crazy because of the aggressive sole that grips wet surfaces with fierceness. It uses the Salomon proprietary Contagrip with Premium Wet Traction rubber. Massive lugs help get a grip and shed mud when exiting the mud fields.
The fit is another area that the Amphid excelled. I love a snug shoe, but it can definitely be a double-edged sword. Salomon did a great job in this model. It is tight across and around the top of the foot and has a small toe box, but I never noticed any chafing or blisters forming in the tight quarters. The heel box is snug and fits my narrow heel perfectly – no movement was had in the slightest. The quick lace system worked well and I didn’t notice any slide out on the trails.
One small downside I did notice in relation to the tight fit was the entry into the shoe. I do sport a high arch, but getting these shoes onto my feet was an endeavor (maybe a heel loop would be beneficial on next year’s model). A firm grip is needed at the heel and on the tongue to get my foot in there. In my book, it is a small price to pay for a snug running shoe.
Overall I had a great experience with this shoe in wet and dry conditions. The deep lugs are great in the mud, but might not be the best choice on trail/compact trails. It is snug and with minimal cushioning underfoot offered a nice input with the terrain.