ADIDAS SWOOP £59.99
One of Adidass very best off-road shoes, the three-year-old Equipment Davos (see below), gets a new name and a slightly more reinforced upper. At a swift 307g, its built a good reputation as a more comfortable and only fractionally less grippy alternative to classic bare-bones fell shoes such as
. The new version has softer lugs for better traction on wet rock, but the lace loops dont extend as far down the shoe as before, which makes the forefoot fit slightly less glove-like.
ADIDAS DAVOS £59.99
Sizes 4-12, 13
Pros Flexible; durable; responsive ride
Evaluation Adidas's most recent fell-running shoe shows that the company has no intention of imitating the mistakes made by its Beaverton-based rivals. Nike made a bombproof fell shoe last year, but one that was so stiff and heavy that it won few admirers. It seems that Adidas listened to more fell runners when the Davos was at the design stage. Admittedly, the shoe still tips the scales at a little more than the weight of a Walsh or a Felldancer, but its highly flexible construction makes it ideal for hard climbs, fast descents and picking narrow paths between rocks. It's built on a modified Feet You Wear last for stability and responsiveness, and the firm midsole features Adiprene cushioning in the forefoot.
As ever with an off-road shoe, it's grip that counts most, and Adidas has taken a gamble by adapting the successful Traxion technology from its football boots, instead of using traditional pyramid-shaped lugs. Purists may not be convinced, but all the signs are that the scoop-shaped grips (variously angled for forward and lateral traction) will work. The outsole rubber is designed to be more durable than that of traditional fell shoes, which is appropriate for a shoe which has such a tough upper. As durability increases, grip on wet rock diminishes, but Adidas is aware of this and reckons it's got the balance right.
So far, it seems that the Davos could face only one real hurdle on the fells. It looks too good.
Evolved from No precedent
In short The Davos could be the first viable alternative to traditional fell shoes.
Recommended for Fell runners who want a natural fit and added durability; cross-country runners who want an alternative to spikes