The exposure of the way MPs have used their expenses system shows how we all need to be very open about our dealings. So in that spirit I have to report that the shoes I am reviewing were given to me by the friendly people at Fitness Footwear.
Actually a review would have appeared far earlier if I had been compatible with New Balance but I don't think I am. The first pair of shoes I ordered arrived and looked rather handsome but were about half a size too small (At the time of ordering I did not know that New Balance come-up a little short). I sent them back for replacement only to find that that not only was that model was no longer available, neither was my second choice of model (I must have minority tastes). Luckily Fitness Footwear had started to stock Saucony and I have run in their shoes before and liked them.
I chose the Xodus multi-terrain shoes and as you can see from the photo they are also rather handsome, especially if you like bees. You can also see that the soles are not as aggressive as some tail shoes but as they are made from Vibram they are plenty grippy. In fact they are probably perfect for someone like me who is not an extreme fell runner, but justspends about 30% of running time off-road.
So how did they work out?
The answer is very well and I would give these shoes a big thumbs up. In fact I will pay them the highest compliment I can -when running, I completely forgot about them. Running is for thinking about other things. If you start to think about your kit it means there is something wrong and so far I have found nothing wrong with these shoes.
They manage a very good compromise between the cushioning required for running on the pavement (to reach the off-road bits) and the grip and responsiveness useful for a trail. Quite rightly the balance is more in favour of off-road and they are at their most comfortable on twisty rooty tracks and lumpy paths, where the footfall is very secure but they are also fine for a few miles on the road. Although I would not want to run a half marathon in them, that is not what they are designed for.
If I was to sum up: about the shoes I would say that they are very good at doing what they are meant to (I wish I could say the same about me). About Fitness Footwear I am very pleased that they have broadened their range. Each of the brands have a slightly different fit and feel and I think it is important to have the range from at least two manufacturers. For me Saucony fit just fine.