What A Difference The Grip Makes: Comparing Salomon XA And Inov 8 Roclite
by Jon Taylor
I disagree a little bit with your assessment that the Salomon XA provides excellent grip on wet, slippery trails. I have not had the best experience under such conditions and terrain.
In my opinion the sole is only good for dry or damp dirt trails, and they do have a tendency to skid on steep downhill trails with a loose grit surface.
They are excellent for long dry summer trails with good support, but as you say are for more narrow feet with the danger of toe stubbing on long fast downhills.
On the matter of Inov8 roclites, again your statement that you need to take care on wet slippery trails is true to a certain degree. The Roclite sole was born for loose and muddy trails and I find that they provide supreme grip and traction.
I have worn many pairs of Salomon XA Pro 3D GTX and was very happy but found them to be very hard work in winter months on the trails due to poor traction in the mud.
Then I moved on to Inov 8 Roclite 312 and 318 GTX and found my winter run times much quicker with less effort for the same trails that my Salomons were struggling on. The Inov 8 shoes are also far lighter and less clunky.
The point is that If the XA were so good at gripping then Salomon wouldn´t have realeased a whole series of shoes that actually do grip on steep, loose, muddy terrain.