It’s no secret that here at BRUTAL HQ we’re suckers for a good pair of trainers, so we asked our partners Salming to help us choose the perfect pair.
They told us with confidence that the Salming Elements would enable us to run or swim anywhere, and so we just had to have a set!
Alongside many other reputable reviews, Runner’s World gave this Swedish shoe top marks for traction on gnarly trails. But just to be sure, we put them to the test at a recce of our wettest and most technical course: Spider Hill.

 

For those unfamiliar with this 10k course, it’s got “Hill” in the name for a reason.
You’ll need to conquer the quarry bed hopscotch and marshes before facing Alligator Swamp, Swan Lake and the Muddy Mile. Then after two particularly steep climbs (!!) you are rewarded with the most spectacular views. Finally it’s on to Duck Pond, and a succession of testing hills before heading to the finish. You’ll feel like you are forever spiralling higher and higher up the hill, but strangely it gets wetter and wetter. It’s not a race you want to miss!

 

So, how did we get on with the Salming Elements?
Well it was love at first sight for Hollie as she was presented with the women’s model. This shoe is luminous yellow with pink/purple accents, which she describes as “bright, fun and not too ‘girly’.” The rest of the team liked the ‘Gecko Green’ and navy men’s shoe, but did wonder how long the colours would last when taken through the full spectrum of BRUTAL mud. On first impression you also can’t help but notice the size of the lugs which make this shoe look like it really means business.

The trainers are true to size, sport a well-padded heel collar and a wide, airy toebox – which allows the fore foot to expand properly when landing. The first inner layer next to the foot has a big air mesh – giving it a comfortable and plush feel. The outer layer is an ExoSkeleton unit which has the lacing area integrated into it, holding the foot in place as you choose – creating an unsurpassed fit.
We tackled the sandy, marshy and rocky areas of terrain of Spider Hill, but were pleased to find that the thin net mesh on the exterior of the shoe kept out all of the sand and gravel. The highly porous mesh is also what provided such excellent water drainage as we waded from BRUTAL beach into Spider Hill’s infamous stretch of (REALLY COLD) water. As you transition from landing to take off, you can see and feel all the water being squeezed out of the shoe as it flexes, so you feel light on your feet 100% of the time.
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A special PU area protects the trainer from sharp rocks and branches, and so although they are very light you feel remarkably confident in them. After all, you never know what’s on the floor of those muddy swamps!

By the end of the run, Hollie was delighted to see that despite everything the course had to throw at them, the bright yellow fabric was still clearly visible and the trainers were not ruined. As you can see in the photo below, our BRUTAL courses have claimed the lives of many trainers!

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The Elements were tear and scratch free, and ticked all the boxes in terms of comfort, grip and durability. The upper material is light and breathable but still tough enough to withstand a good beating, and the outsole provided exceptional traction on both wet and dry surfaces. In all of Spider Hill’s muddy descents, bogs, dry trails, sand, woodland, mashes and water, the confidence we had in the trainer’s grip never faltered – and nor did our love for them!

 

 

If you’d like to read more about the Salming Elements, use the links below to check out the specs.

Women’s Salming Elements – Read more

Men’s Salming Elements – Read more

 

 

Want a pair of Salming trainers? We don’t blame you.
Head to Salming’s Website
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BRUTAL run are proud to have Salming as sponsors for 2016.