Ahead of this article’s publication, Salomon sent over a pair of the XT-6 for me to test drive, which is also the best-selling Sportstyle shoe by far. (“It’s our classic. It’s become our icon,” says Diaz. “The XT-6 isn’t going anywhere.”) The main differences I feel when I wear these shoes (as opposed to other sneakers) are the snug fit and the sole’s firmness. At first, I was worried that these were going to be too narrow for my flat feet — but I was pleasantly surprised that the shoes actually cradle my feet all the way around rather than squeezing them. Next, the dense bottom sole, which Salomon refers to as the Contagrip, makes me feel in total control whether on mud or ice, or any uneven, loosey-goosey surfaces. (The next time I go on an outdoor trip, these will be the only shoes I’ll need.) And, finally, I gotta mention the Quicklace system, which makes on-off wear impossibly easy. Every shoe comes with a “lace pocket” located at the top of the tongue where wearers can stuff the extra slack. You can also let the laces hang out (it’s what Diaz says he does). While I’ll always have a squishy spot in my heart for chunky sneakers, I can see why people are so drawn to the sleek, non-fussiness of Salomons — they’re firm, grippy, and the perfect antidote if you dislike big bouncy shoes.
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