14 Jun The best women’s walking shoes for summer: A Salomon Speedcross review
Looking for a versatile walking shoe for summer? Look no further than the Salomon Speedcross, the trail running shoe that’s become my favourite walking shoes – whether I’m on gentle slopes of England’s south coast or tackling high mountain paths in the Alps. Discover why I love these shoes, and think you will too, in my Salomon Speedcross review.
I’m pretty passionate about packing light when it comes to travel.
But it poses a few challenges. Especially if you’re planning an active trip. You want to pack footwear that makes it possible to walk, run, cycle or enjoy another other activities you have planned. But making the right choice is even more important if you’ve got limited packing space.
With a little trial and error over the years, I think I have found the Holy Grail. I know, that sounds a little far fetched. But honestly, there’s something really satisfying about finding the perfect shoe. No more quibbling over what to pack for my next trip. No more indecision at the front door.
I actually tried the Salomon Speedcross first as a trail running shoe, and put them to the test in the New Forest through gravel, bogs and winter mud. But I quickly found myself reaching for them on other occasions as I found them so comfortable. With limited room for luggage I took a punt on packing them for our trip to Switzerland a few years ago and had a revelation. I’d never been more comfortable walking in the summer.
Walking boots had always seemed to hot and heavy, road running shoes far too slippy on difficult surfaces. I’d tried walking shoes but they felt like a clunky compromise. But trail shoes were a breath of fresh air. Light but supportive, grippy but stylish. And I wasn’t the only one, on the paths of the French and Swiss Alps, dozens of others had made the same choice.
After exploring 20 miles of trail on the Dorset coast in my Speedcross last weekend, I realised a review was long overdue. With so many of lovely readers coming here for advice on hiking and travel packing, why had I never thought to share the one item I’d never head out walking with? OK, other than a map. These shoes and a map.
So here’s my Salomon Speedcross review, the best women’s walking shoe for summer.
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Who are these shoes for?
I thought I’d start my Salomon Speedcross review with two quick checklists. They’re an easy way to see if these shoes might suit you.
Salomon Speedcross are ideal if you enjoy;
- Summer lowland walking on dirt, grass or gravel paths
- Summer walking on highland or mountain paths in good weather
- Trail running throughout the year
- Active travel – where you might want to walk, run, cycle and more
And they’re best suited to the following conditions;
- Sticking to well marked paths on a variety of terrains with only occasional sections of very loose scree and rock
- Walking or running in mostly dry conditions
- Not walking much on tarmacked surfaces (I’ll go into this later)
Read more: If you’re planning a summer walking trip, don’t forget to check out my Packing guide for summer in the mountains, that includes for clothing and footwear recommendations and a printable packing list
Why are Salomon Speedcross ideal for summer walking?
With all this in mind, hopefully you can see why I rate the Speedcross as a strong contender for a summer walking shoes. As someone who has previous hiked for years in heavy boots (which have their benefits for winter walking), three things that converted me to trail shoes for the summer months.
This means less fatigue on long walks, or multiple days out walking. It also makes them easier to pack than traditional boots and a lot less sweaty to wear as there is less bulk on the foot. They’re also breathable – which contributes to the feeling of lightness, and they dry quickly if they get wet. This is a huge bonus compared to traditional boots.
They’ve got great grip
I first tried these shoes as I’d heard great things about the grip when running on muddy trails, and wasn’t disappointed when I tried them. I was thrilled to find that the Speedcross handles other surfaces brilliantly too – like rocky paths, occasional scree and gravel.
Speedcross may not fit like traditional boots or walking shoes, but they cradle the foot in a way that feels both comfortable and secure. You feel signifcantly better supported than in road running shoes or casual hiking trainers, especially on more difficult surfaces.
What’s the fit like?
Salomon Speedcross have a snug fit, which as I mentioned before helps to provide support on different terrains.
They’re a terrific fit for me as they’re relatively narrow. This does mean you may need to size up one from your regular shoe size. I’ve also heard from some of my running friends that choosing the men’s Speedcross offers a wider fit. Given that these also come in a huge range of sizes I’d recommend giving them a try.
And the best bit? In five years of running and walking in these shoes, I’ve never had a blister. Not one. And for me … that might be a record. Normally I only have to look at a shoe for my feet to growl in pain (ask my family!). But these are incredibly comfortable from box-fresh to the day I retire a pair.
If you’re looking for a women’s trail running shoe or walking shoe for narrow feet, these are by far and away my favourites.
Are there any other great features?
Aside from the comfort, fit and ability to tackle different terrains, there are several other features I just love and had to include in a Salomon Speedcross review.
Once you’ve gone there, you can’t go back.
Whilst I was first drawn to this feature as a solution to the age of problem of sticky mud sucking the shoes from your feet (maybe this is only a problem in the New Forest?!), it ensures a really secure fit that feels great in different environments. I also like that you only need to lace your shoes once during the day. There’s no slackening off as time wears on or risk of laces untying themselves in a tricky spot.
If you opt for the Salomon Speedcross GTX you’ll get Gore-Tex uppers, the holy grail for walking and running in the wet. If you’re regularly out in wet weather this is a hugely helpful upgrade.
Loads of colours
Let’s be honest, these are some pretty good looking shoes. From the slimline design to the bold colourways, there’s a lot to like here. Salomon release a handful of new colours every season, you can be sure to find something that floats your boat.
These shoes aren’t designed for occasional use, they’re designed to be thrashed in the great outdoors. As with any shoe, they won’t last forever, but they will wear well through demanding activities and repeated wear. The key to keeping them in great shape is to keep them for trails only. Prolonged wear on tarmac can start to wear down the grip on the sole (as I’ve found to my peril), so it’s best to choose a different shoe for these surfaces.
Where can I buy the Salomon Speedcross?
Thankfully there are loads of stockists in the UK and Europe. I’ve found them in GoOutdoors, Sweatshop and online at sportshoes.com. It can be helpful trying on a pair in store when buying for the first time, especially if you can give them a quick go on a treadmill.
But honestly, I buy them from Amazon most of the time. Why? Because they usually have a great range of sizes, colours and different models – and they’re almost always the best price. Plus, returns are easy if you want to switch sizes.
Here are my three top picks from Amazon for you. I’m currently walking in the Salomon Speedcross W series shoe, I’d recommend the Salomon Speedcross GTX W if you’re looking for a Gore-Tex shoe for inclement weather and consider the men’s Salomon Speedcross series if you’re looking for a wider fit.
Why Salomon Speedcross are my favourite summer walking shoes
I’ve mentioned it throughout this review but it’s worth saying again. One of the very best things about the Salomon Speedcross is that they’re a super versatile shoe. And it short, it’s why I keep coming back to them.
Whether I’m walking the British coastline, hiking in the Alps, racing across country or trail running in the New Forest, these shoes reliably perform. And if you’re looking to pack light for a trip or invest in a pair of shoes that you know you’ll wear, these fit the bill perfectly.
I hope you’ve found this Salomon Speedcross review helpful – whether you’re looking for the perfect travel shoe, walking shoe or trail runner.
Have you got a favourite walking or travel shoe? Are you also a Speedcross fan? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below or on my Facebook page.