The competitive running shoe industry has been an arms race for total innovation where the biggest brands in the industry outfit their fastest models with carbon fiber plates, advanced foams, ultra-synthetic mesh. light and other seemingly exaggerated elements. still convenient upgrades. Whether you are a medal hunter, a globetrotter to complete a marathon or the occasional 5K, the options are simply overwhelming. However, the trail doesn’t quite have the wide assortment of dishes. Although it is a popular sport in some parts of the world, the art of outdoor running on unstable terrain is still a big market that only developed after the citizens of the world turned to the wilderness during the deepest stages of the pandemic.
Next is Speedland, a high-performance outdoor and trail sportswear company founded by sneaker industry veterans Dave Dombrow and Kevin Fallon. With decades of exposure and corporate know-how, the two decided to join forces inspired by the mutual love of outdoor running. Their flagship launch shoe is the SL: PDX, which on paper reads as one of the most technically advanced sports sneakers out there. Two BOA cable systems provide lockdown that can be micro-adjusted, while the superior blend of Dyneema (durability) and knitted tongue (elasticity / comfort) provides the right blend of protection. The midsole is made of Pebax, which provides the stiffness and flexibility trail runners need, while the removable CarbiteX plate provides that springy feel that is now standard in running shoes. Finally, the Michelin rubber outsole will keep you gripped on the ground.
Why is all this technology packed into one shoe? Dombrow says: “The SL: PDX was designed without compromise. When you take this approach, you have the opportunity to use the best of the best materials and the cost is analyzed at the end of the process rather than at the beginning. Put simply, it’s the best of the best, and the $ 375 price tag reflects its nature of choice. Dombrow adds, “The SL: PDX takes a hyper-gear approach, more like bikes or skis, giving the trail runner some tuning options for their terrain / region. When you adopt this design approach, it also enables new solutions (cuttable blocks, removable carbon plate)… solutions that have never been realized in trail shoes.
From a purely aesthetic point of view, the SL: PDX is part of the tech / outdoor trends that endure. We’d love to see some collaborative exploration with a tech clothing brand like Arc’teryx, but for now, the mint green launch colourway will do the trick. Only 1,200 pairs will be available on the Speedland online store; Discover the photos to come as well as a video detailing the origin of the Speedland.