For days, no – weeks, I have been lying in my self-built ambush. I have traded my colorful Activeshell jacket for a camouflage poncho and blackened my face with a burnt cork from a wine bottle. All this to remain unseen in the hole I dug in the ground under some scrubs opposite the gates of the Salomon headquarters. It’s all part of a cunning plan, which involves getting my hands on (and my feet into) some hot new prototypes which are due to leave the secret underground laboratory of the french geniuses working here day and night.
Finally! Something shines through the night, blue, white and yellow! No known Salomon shoe has yet appeared in this color scheme. This must be it: the secret and final prototype in its last testing phase. To spare sensitive readers some anguish, I will not go into the details of the highly unethical methods I was forced to employ in order to get this desirable piece of gear into my possession.
I’m off into the closest phone booth – SWOOSH – the door flies open, and out rushes a red and blue flash, heading straight for the hills and a nearby forest. My first run with the new FELLRAISER! There can be no doubt, the name has already hinted at its relation to the Fellcross, Salomon’s shoe for the rough, the wild, the soft terrain, the mud, the grass, and of course for the british specialty: fellrunning (the running on uneven, mostly wet, often grassy, preferably steep and generally unrunable hills).
This new FELLRAISER is truely a shoe made to raise hell! The newly designed profiled outsole is a mixture from the small studs on the Fellcross and the much bigger chevrons on the Speedcross. They have great grip on rock and bite into soft ground as well. Grip in mud, snow, grass…. awesome!
The kevlar lacing holds the feet in place and this in combination with a low stand over the ground (12mm heel and 6mm forefoot) gives the radical trail- and fellrunner a lot of stability and confidence, no matter where he places the shoe in his adrenaline-fueled running madness.
In size UK 8,5 (42 2/3), the FELLRAISER weighs 286 grams und will hardly add any weight when wet, as the very open mesh material does not soak up any water. In a hot summer, the FELLRAISER will be well aired and keep the feet cool, while it will dry quickly after a run in rain and wet grass.
The FELLRAISER is a great addition to my gear room. In the winter weather that is still prevailing right now, it gets limited trail time, since I get frozen feet after an hour in the snow and cold, because of the mesh. But I do already have a destination in southern europe on my list, where it can prove its qualities:
- grip: like crazy. all the time.
- turning speeds: so high, it can bend your ribcage!
- comfort: when the hell am I going to wear all my other shoes now?
- design: cool. Totally.
- risks involved: getting ripped off by robbers wrapped in camouflage ponchos