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Alton Sports Ambassadors – Testing the Salomon Speedcross 5!

We like to keep our ambassadors busy. Very busy in fact! It doesn’t seem two mins since our last Ambassadors’ Day but another one has rolled along, and this time the mighty Salomon have found ‘Time To Play’ with us, and for us to test out the awesome new Salomon Speedcross 5! The Speedcross series have been one of our most popular selling trail shoes for years and the team were very excited to trial / trail their latest incarnation! It’s one of our go to shoes when people come in store looking for something aggressive with great grip!

Where better to host a day of trail running than QE Park in Hampshire… which leads on to the South Downs Way and has some of the best (and muddiest!) trails that Hampshire has to offer!

Here’s what the team had to say about the shoes…

Dave:

“My first thoughts of the day were “I don’t do Mud” – however after being given the a shoe that looks like the shoe the Black Panther uses, things changed very quickly. I really have discovered a love for trail running that I was just flirting with, there was no crowd, no music, no tarmac, just me and the trail, the grip was very good, I stuck to the mud paths and even the sticky mud and puddles were not a problem, I actually felt quite nimble, more importantly the shoes were bouncy and gave me some good feedback and absorbed all the loose ground to give a smooth feel, thus no fatigue in the balls of my feet, I can see where the development has gone, they felt like a road shoe that has been in the gym all winter and is now Beech body fit. So in conclusion, I now do Mud!”

Debbie:

“The new Salomon Speedcross 5. I have owned the Speedcross 3 & 4 previously, so I was eager to test the 5 out.  I always go a size up.

I had a couple of short trail runs and a few walks prior to a 20 mile trail run along the North downs way to test them to their fullest.  It was multi terrain, very muddy, steep ascents and descents too.
Upon first look you can see there a quite a few changes and all for the better.  The material on the upper, around the toe box & the laces blend together more seamlessley for a sleeker look.  
The toe box is reinforced and my narrow feet fitted quite snuggly inside with still enough room for movement on the trails ahead.  I loved the 3 previously but the 4 felt overly generous in the toe box, almost like the upper had stretched over time.  
My midsole and arch felt like they had more support than the 4.  The Achilles support was much improved, higher than the 4 and soft to prevent any rubbing.
The best bit, the lugs!!  Much wider apart than the 4 so that the mud falls off easier rather than being held on the sole and it did.  They point in the direction of the gradient to either help as a brake on the descent or aid the forefoot drive uphill.  They held their own through the thick mud, puddles, sand and even on partly chalky areas.  The sole feels different, lighter and more responsive especially on the steep descents when negotiating tree roots, stones and fallen branches from Storm Freya.

My only reservation was whether they would be provide enough support over long distances. I think I would still prefer a little more cushioning but for fast, shorter trail runs or events through the harshest of conditions these are amazing!”

Caroline:

“Ever since getting the Salomon Speedcross 5, I’ve been determined to get another run in them before the spring/summer really arrives… yesterday’s club run was the time! Admittedly not the best day to go mud hunting when the recent has dried up most of it. So it was a case of enjoying them for their comfort & grip on such varied sandy/muddy terrain.

Really like the moulded ortholite liner inside, gives a very comfy secure fit. And let’s talk grip, well its as good as a toddlers on a biscuit!! I felt as confident on the loose soil/mud as I did on the sand, with barely any need to adjust pace. Great shoe for those that love the trails, and this offers versatility in being sound on both rough and soft terrain! Looking forward to more off-road adventures in these shoes especially if they are all as sunny as yesterday!”

Adam:

“The Salomon day to test their newly released Speedcross 5s was insane. The wind was howling and luckily for us the rain just about held off.  This did however provide ideal conditions to put the Speed Cross 5s to the test. The colour scheme is simple, either all red or all black.  The undersole sports 30% larger lugs to increase traction in the softest of surfaces while at the same time designed to allow mud and debris to fall away between strides. This minimises the weight you find yourself pulling through between each step. Salomon have wisely kept their Quicklace system allowing for a speedy put on and go. I personally like the fact that the large grippy lugs continue up the front toe of the shoe for maintaining strong traction during toe off. These front facing lugs also allow the shoe point and grip and aid climbing on steep rocky boulder fields. I find the Speedcross 5 a comfortable snug fitting shoe, and make me feel very secure and in control on all types of mountainous terrain. I am very impressed with what Salomon have created with their version 5 of the Speedcross model.”

Sasha:

“I have never run in Salomon shoes but their reputation precedes them and I was really looking forward to giving the Salomon Speedcross 5 a try. This shoe didn’t disappoint, when I first pulled it on I was a little unsure of the heel cradle, which I worried would feel uncomfortable once I was on the move, In fact once we hit the trails it gave a real sense of security, particularly as the terrain became more challenging. That combined with the deep lugs meant I have never felt more secure and confident in my footwear. Whatever mud I threw at this shoe, it responded with great grip and reliable traction. An absolute winner in the mud. Looking forward to lots more miles in these beauties.”

Thanks very much to Salomon for coming to see us and to our ambassadors for trying the shoes out! You can come and try them in-store or check them out online right here.

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Alton Sports Ambassadors: A day with Saucony & Maurten!

You know how it is, you wait for one awesome brand to come along to our Four Marks Store and you get two at once! Our first Ambassador Day of the year, saw Saucony and Maurten come along with some running goodies for our Ambassador Crew. They braved the snow and took their new Saucony shoes out for a spin whilst going back to the classroom for a talk about how the Maurten tech works!

Here’s what our ambassadors had to say about it all…

Adam

“The other week the Alton Sports Ambassadors got together for a Saucony day which featured a playful day in the Snow and an opportunity to learn about the latest Everun technology incorporated into their design.  The slick fashionable appearance of the Saucony Triumph Iso 5 makes it a trainer for every occasion. The integrated Everun layer under the insole offers a comfortable ride from the impact of running many miles on the road.

I have recently been introduced to Maurten at a recent Alton Sports Ambassador day. Being a long distance runner, I understand the importance of nutrition during a run to maintain levels to maximise performance.  I was amazed by the scientific research Maurten have done to develop their product to what it is today. Having learnt about the science to minimise tummy upsets and maximise the absorption of carbs during running, it is hard to believe Maurten is such a new player in the field. I was really impressed by the brands simple, black no frills packaging of their products, which indicated to me that they don’t need to shout to get your attention, have some amazing advocates performing at their peak in the world of running, such as Mo Farah, and the boys attempting to break the sub 2 hour Marathon. This is definitely a product ahead of its time and one you need to get your hands on.”

Dave

“I was given a really cool pair of Triumph Iso 5 and I really quite like them, I have nicknamed them “Spitfires” not after the WWII plane but after the flame red Triumph Spitfire my dad used to own in the seventies before I came along. I have now done quite a few miles in them – they’re comfortable, the grip is good and I love the look of them. 

They feel very hard wearing and sturdy like they can deal with anything, this explains why the rep said they can be used for road and trail. On that basis they don’t feel as bouncy but then if they are a bit on the aggressive side that’s not a bad thing. I love the design and the colour and they size up well. I am very particular on shoes that are a bit bigger because it always looks that I am wearing oversized shoes, but I don’t get that feeling with the Triumphs. 

On the subject of the Maurten sports drink, ….. it works ! I drank half a litre of it before I went training with Toby (Alton Sports boss) on Friday and I knocked 2 mins of my 5K PB, I was saving the rest of the stuff for the marathon because if it works that well, I will certainly need it on marathon day. It is easy to drink and does not have any nasty after-effects, I like it.”

Georgie:

“It’s very refreshing to have a 5 ingredient nutrition option available for our runners, and I am excited to introduce Maurten to other runners and bring in this very forward thinking brand as an option for our endurance runners.”

Debs:

“I have worn my Saucony long sleeve top & jumper constantly. I absolutely love the fit of both in particular the thumb holes on the sleeves of the top. The Triumph ISO 5 are incredibly comfortable & supportive with great space in the toe box. They have been my go to for shorter runs with my clients & dare I say ‘everyday’ wear too.

I used the Maurten drink prior to Hampton court half and only needed one gel during race. I didn’t need more as it was sufficient to keep me going from 10k. It had no flavour but was sweet, jelly like in consistency which took a little getting used to but it was easy to take & digest. No adverse tummy upset or sugar spike which was great as it meant no crash. I have since used the gels on long trail runs too & as my stomach rules my head so they are the perfect accompaniment to real food.”

Al:

“I used the Maurten gels in last year’s Bournemouth Marathon. They were easy to open/take and didn’t cause any stomach issues. The flavour is pleasant without being overly sweet. I’d say they are my go-to race energy source now and will be using them for this year’s London Marathon.”

Caroline:

“I’ve been wearing the Triumph ISO 5 a lot recently and find them super comfy and supportive.  I’ve not ran in a shoe with a mesh upper before and like it, think it’s ideal for summer as I can tell my feet won’t get too hot, I can almost feel a breeze as I run! The long sleeve top is fab, worn it heaps both skiing and running! For something so light it’s actually incredibly warm and I love the coral colour. Not had much of a chance to wear the hat as the temperature has warmed up so much since but think it’ll be a winner for colder runs. Love the pony tail hole!

In terms of Maurten – haven’t done any long distance stuff recently but will be using it for Endure 24 in the summer. The science behind it is fascinating and clearly works!”

You can shop Saucony and Maurten on our website or feel free to come into any of our 5 stores and talk to us about both brands!