I’m breaking in a new pair of the Salomon XA Pro 3D trail runners I picked up over the weekend.

My feet don’t really enjoy hiking in running shoes, whether they’re made for the trail or not. They simply adore the heavy high-top Vasque boots featured in my logo up there at the top left. Thing is, the rest of my corpus would just as soon avoid hauling an extra two pounds along on every stride, so I’m always trying to balance the extra weight of footwear dedicated to hiking vs. the weight benefits of much lighter running shoes.

The new Salomons are pretty nice shoes: they have much higher arch support like a dedicated running shoe, and the fabric is mostly mesh to keep the feet cool. They also have a way-cool shoelace with a tie-down clasp that means you never have to tie them. This makes it much quicker to get them off and back on when little pebbles get down in there.

At 14 ounces a shoe, they’re reasonably light, though there are lighter models on the market. The tread is pretty basic but seems to grip well on rock. They lack the thick foam ankle support that I’ve come to rely on in my Montrail trail runners; I’m hoping by now my ankles are strong enough by now to get by without the extra support (I know, this sounds like a sprain waiting to happen.)

I’ll report back later on how they’re holding up aftera couple months.