Walsh Spirit Peak - Review

We check out the new trail-running shoe from fell-running specialists, Walsh.


Posted: 17 March 2010
by Jon

Walsh Spirit Peak - Review

Walsh Spirit Peak

Price: £70

Weight:  660 grammes  (pair 43)

Features:  Lightweight trail-running shoe with full rand, fabric uppers, dual density EVA midsole, Pyra Grip outsole, reflective trim on uppers

What Is It For?

Walsh is a renowned fell-shoe specialist, but for spring 2010, the brand's introduced a range of trail-running shoes intended for use in less extreme terrain like mountain paths. Walsh says the Spirit Peak is 'a lightweight trail running shoe offering high levels of comfort and performance over longer distances'.

Technical Lowdown

There's nothing particularly ground breaking about the Spirit Peak generally, there's a dual-density EVA mid-sole with denser material under the inside of the heel to promote stability.

Walsh Spirit Peak

The new Pyra Grip outsole is a bit different for a trail-running shoe though. It's a development of Walsh's fell sole with distinctive studs that look like wider and shorter, sawn-off fell sole studs and a tried and tested rubber compound that's designed to give good performance on both rocky and softer terrain.

How They Performed

A lot of so-called 'trail running' shoes are basically beefed-up road shoes with a slightly lower sole unit and midly up-toothed grip down below. The Spirit Peak though comes at things from a different direction and, as you might expect, is more of a slightly more comfortable take on a fell shoe.

Walsh Spirit Peak

Compared to Walsh's fell kit, there's more padding inside for instant comfort and more room in the forefoot, but still a good close heel fit giving a feel of security and stability. The relatively low profile mid-sole means your foot is closer to the ground than with many trail-running shoes, meaning they feel very secure on rough terrain, though there's still enough cushioning to cope with harder surfaces when needed.

Walsh Spirit Peak

The outsole gives reassuringly brilliant grip on both soft terrain, where fell-style sawn-off pyramids dig in nicely at all angles and on rock, where the rubber compound sticks and grips nicely. The combination makes for sure-footed running progress on both rough paths and on open fellsides too.

Walsh Spirit Peak

They're definitely far more of a running shoe than a walking one however. The sole unit allows a lot of forefoot flex and has less torsional stiffness than most trail-running shoes and the thinner sole unit is less of a boon for walking when a little more cushioning would up all-day comfort.

The fabric uppers will let water in, but are nice and breathable and the all-round protective rand does give some puddle-splashing leeway.

Verdict


Good compromise between rough terrain sure-footedness and comfort, the Spirit Peak shows its fell-running roots with a tenaciously grippy outsole and low to the ground stance that makes it capable both on and off the trail. It lacks stiffness and cushioning compared to some so-called 'trail-running' shoes which makes it less attractive as a lightweight walking option, but  if you're after a halfway house between a fell and trail-running shoe, it's a great choice.

Buy if you're looking for a trail-running shoe with fell ancestry capable of capable running performance on all but the very roughest terrain.

  Good grip underfoot on all terrain, sits close to the ground, secure fit but still comfortable.

  Less cushioning and stiffness than some makes it less suitable for lightweight walking use.

Performance

Value


Walsh web site


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I like the sound of more room in the forefoot. I'll have a look at these when my current shoes give up the ghost.

Posted: 18/03/2010 at 17:31

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