Waterproof footwear put to the test
Xodus ISO GTX
385g Men’s 10.5
There’s general agreement among trail runners that GTX shoes can be rigid and unforgiving. But that’s certainly not the case with these amazingly flexible, lightweight, performance-loving shoes. More than any other shoe on test, they're as at home on the road as they are off it, making them supremely versatile and a great bet for urban trail types. The technology is old-school Saucony, featuring a resilient Everun topsole and an ultra-grippy PWRtrac outsole, all working off a competitively
fast 4mm drop. Fit is less of an issue with shoes today and this is no exception – it feels comfortable from the off.
As close to a racing shoe as you’ll get in the world of GTX shoes.
Ultra Raptor GTX
457g Men’s UK 10.5
These shoes might well shock you; bulky and heavy-feeling
on that first in-shop fitting, you’ll probably think they
won’t cope with anything too serious. But take them out on the trails and they’ll surprise you. Sure, they’re not racing snakes but, actually, the fit and general cushioned feel makes them feel pretty lively, and they're capable of a good
clip. Of course, the Gore-Tex means they can cope with wet mud, while the grip, perhaps a bit slippy for road, comes via the Frixion XF outsole. But, all this aside, it’s the fit and cushioned response, along with the higher 12mm ride, that will impress you the most.
An ideal shoe for long days in the – preferably wet and muddy – hills.
Speedcross 4 Nocturne GTX
368g Men’s 10.5
There’s plenty to like with the Speedcross 4 Nocturne GTX. As ever, Salomon has provided very good fit, thanks to its Sensifit technology, which holds your foot in place over technical terrain. The shoe offers great cushioning, which is on the harder side – but that's an asset for the type of run you’ll take these on. Demanding, wet, rocky conditions are what these shoes thrive on, and you’ll certainly feel confident in the protection on offer. We love the technology and the 10mm drop, but appreciate that some won’t get on with the lacing system and tighter feel that it can create. Keep that in mind when making your decision.
A supremely technical shoe that will cope with the most severe of conditions.
365g Men’s 10.5
Flexible, surprisingly plush underfoot, and pleasingly lightweight, you can expect the unexpected with Scarpa's Neutron GTX shoes. The excellent Gore-Tex lining makes them a waterproof shoe, but the dual-density EVA midsole provides a superb level of cushioning – which makes them a very handy shoe for everyday wear. Everyday, that is, as long as you live near some horrible wet, sticky mud. That’s because the grip is right up there in terms of security. For a relatively low-cut shoe – it has a 6mm drop – they feel nice and supportive. They're easy to get on with pretty much straight from the box.
Flexible, lightweight and cushioned – just
pull on and go!
359g Men’s 10.5
Featuring a huge variety of add-ons, this alpine path shoe certainly leaves an impression. It’s from the firm-ride stable –
a racing-type shoe – but does offer suitable cushioning and protection for those venturing further. Essentially the adaptive grip, multipage midsole and invisible lacing systems are all about allowing your foot to adapt to the underfoot conditions and create balance and support. The Vibram used on the super-aggressive-looking sole definitely signals that these are made for mud,
snow even, which means the Gore-Tex is perfect. The shoe is on the narrow side, working off an 8mm drop.
Mud, snow and very wet conditions, all dealt with comfortably.
313g Men’s 8.5
For a shoe that appears to be relatively standard in appearance, the 910v4 GTX from New Balance is actually packed with technology, featuring all the elements you need to run on the wettest of trails. The REVlite midsole, Rockstop plate, and HydroHesion rubber outsole all provide a safe, secure and, more importantly, dry environment for your feet to enjoy. Significantly – for us at least – this is a shoe that can cope with road and urban trails as well as the more demanding winter surfaces many of us enjoy. The 8mm drop creates a low-to-the-ground feel, but the cushioning is quite responsive.
Gets on with the job without drama – safe and secure in the nastiest of conditions.
T2 Kinabalu GTX 3.0
421g Men’s UK 10.5
Scott uses eRide geometry which provides a smooth and natural heel-to-toe transition – think of it as rocking your foot in a forward motion and you’ll get the idea. Thanks to this ‘faster’ feel, and despite the friendly 11mm drop, the T2 Kinabalu GTX 3.0 from Scott is the kind of shoe that’s most at home on forest trails. However, there’s plenty built in to help you on tougher terrains – the rock plate is a good defence. Claims of self-cleaning lugs might be a bit bold, but it’s true they don’t clog up! The Gore-Tex goes about its job pretty well in that the upper, built without seams, feels light and breathable.
A faster-feeling shoe that can cope with a host of different terrains.
Parkclaw 275 GTX
340g Men’s 10.5
The GTX tag implies a certain degree of additional weight, but as we’ve discovered with this season’s versions, that’s not always the case. Light, low to the ground, but not excessively so – thanks to a 8mm heel drop – these are the type of shoe you want to accompany you on a (very) wet path where performance is key. We don’t generally think of waterproof shoes as racers, but these could well do the job. Most importantly, they provide a smooth transition from your front door to some moderately challenging conditions. No, you don’t want deep mud, but as for rain and slippery surfaces… bring it on.
A shoe fit for a variety of runs, from training all the way to racing.