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Salomon XA Comp 2

in Footwear - Boots, Shoes, Gaiters

Average Rating
3.60 / 5 (5 reviews)


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Harry Dodge
( harry@dodgekahn.com )
Salomon XA Comp 2 on 08/12/2005 10:31:22 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

Sturdy, supportive. Just enough cushion, but not too high from the ground. I looked long and hard to find a trail runner without high heels. 21 0z. size 8. I like the quick pull no tie lacing system too. These are built for adventure racing apparently. I have really narrow feet so the toe box is a bit roomy, but i'm able to cinch down the rest of the shoe pretty well. Sticky soles which i appreciate here in the boulder strewn deserts of so. cal. I wear them with green superfeet insoles which is working out well.

Edited by harry@dodgekahn.com on 08/12/2005 10:34:58 MDT.

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Brett Tucker
( blister-free )

Locale:
Puertecito ruins
Salomon XA Comp on 08/21/2005 02:01:47 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

I've enjoyed the weight, stability, and fit of the Salomon trail runners for years. Unfortunately the XA Comp seems to have devolved in recent times from a comfortable and durable product to one with a half life of around 80 trail miles.

The culprits are twofold: the speed lacing system and UL mesh upper.

My repeated experiences with the lacing system is that stress and friction on the lower webbing eyelets is too high and, especially if the laces frequently are wet, abrasion will eventually cause them to wear through - despite their seeming resilience. This renders the lacing system, and the shoes, unserviceable - unless you've brought along a backup set of custom Salomon laces, which the company does now in fact offer to customers who have had blowouts. Recently these were out of stock, due to high demand.

The ultralight mesh upper is a dream come true for hot-weather hiking, and reduces the weight of the shoe to little more than that of a standard street runner. However the new design may be too light for real world durability. Over time it seems the sides of the mesh at the toe flexion areas, left and right, develop small tears which may then expand into a hole, not necessarily to the point of shoe failure, but enough to allow grains of sand and soil passage into the toebox, where they are then trapped pending a trailside service call. On previous XA models this area of the shoe featured a reinforced hypalon-like material, essentially an extension of the toe bumper, and while this would crease over time, it would never wear through.

The above problems occurred on no fewer than 3 pairs of the same, latest XA Comp model - on a recent 700 mile thru-hike of the Grand Enchantment Trail in Arizona and New Mexico. Each time, both concerns - the lacing and the mesh - began with telltale signs of wear after only about 80 miles of use.

Perhaps Salomon will address the mesh issue with the same dilligence they have the aftermarket lacing, which seems to be a concerted effort to stopgap an acknowledged problem while brainstorming a long-term fix.

Edited by blister-free on 09/03/2006 16:48:26 MDT.

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Caleb Wininger
( caleb_sandler )

Locale:
Michigan
Solid Shoe, Just Don't Overwork It on 10/21/2006 06:57:46 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I had a pair of the XCR's in this model. Other reviews have mentioned problems with the lacing system. I have owned many pairs of Salomons with the kevlar laces and have never had a blowout. This particular model is one of the only ones Salamon makes with fabric eyelets instead of molded plastic ones. It stands to reason, then, that durability might be an issue with the lacing on the XA Comp 2. This shoe simply isn't designed to take the beating fastpackers will attempt to put on it. It's meant to be a highly technical trail running trainer. Salomon makes several other models that would stack up weight- and fit-wise but could handle much more abuse. The XA Pro 3D and the GCS both have plastic eyelets. I have had all these shoes and have found them to be durable and well-designed in a lot of different conitions. It's funny, if you read reviews of these shoes you hear statements like "generous toe box, fits my wide foot great" and "great fit for my narrow forefoot" about the very same shoe. The lacing system truly allows you to dial in a custom fit regardless of your foot's shape. All in all Salomon makes the best running/trail/fastpack shoes money can buy (in my humble opinion).

Edited by caleb_sandler on 10/21/2006 06:59:43 MDT.

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Craig Shelley
( craig_shelley )

Locale:
Rocky Mountains
Poor choice on 11/13/2006 13:48:08 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 2 / 5

They weigh 766 grams for a pair of US11 and 885 grams for the XCR version in the same size. I've had quite a few Salomon shoes. Overall, the laces break too frequently. That is still my big complaint. However, they just don't compare with the Inov8 Flyrocs. The drying tests I performed (see BPL 2005 postings) show that they are far worse. They flex poorly. The tread is much better on the Flyrocs. There is no way I would buy another pair of XA Comps, even if I got them on an outrageously good sale (the only thing good about them, really - they are often on a great sale).

Lawton Grinter
( disco - M )

Locale:
Rocky Mountains
The Good & The Bad on 09/07/2007 12:38:53 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I have now owned 3 pairs of XA Comp 2´s. I´ve put between 600-700 trail miles on each pair and I´m not kidding. The cushioning and stock insole in the Comp 2 is amazing and they can usually be found on sale for between $50-$60. However, there are two main problems with these shoes . . . and I´ll ditto exactly what Brett said in his review: !) the UL mesh upper and the speed lacing system are the culprits.

Of the 3 pairs that I have owned, I have only had the speed lacing system break on me once and that was around mile 600 of that particular pair. So I really cannot complain about that issue too much.

The UL mesh upper is the main problem. Brett stated, "Over time it seems the sides of the mesh at the toe flexion areas, left and right, develop small tears which may then expand into a hole, not necessarily to the point of shoe failure, but enough to allow grains of sand and soil passage into the toebox, where they are then trapped pending a trailside service call. " This is exactly the case. The mesh starts detiorating before 100 miles of trail use and only gets worse.

The photos below show my current pair of XA Comp 2´s with approximately 650 miles on them. I wore red socks so that you the viewer could see the extent of the holes. The amazing thing is that even with 650 miles on them, the cushioning is still decent and I would submit that I could probably put another 150 miles of so on them if it weren´t for the outrageous holes.

XA Comp 2 Holes-Top

XA Comp 2 Holes-Side

If Salomon were to go back to the reinforced hypalon-like material that they used to use on this part of the shoe, this problem would be solved and the weight gain would be miniscule. Until they fix this problem, I am going to try some different trail shoes. I just got a pair of Inov-8 FlyRoc 310´s that I can´t wait to give a go. I will have a review posted of the FlyRoc´s after about 500 miles of trail use.

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