The search for an effective running shoe for trails, mud runs and the Spartan Race series.
Living next to the glory of Sherwood Forest means I have an affliction for mud and the trails. Whether I'm heading out through the forest, which Robin Hood would have menaced by bike or on a run, I know there's going to be a possibility of encountering some mud, particularly during the wet British winters. Therefore, I need a running shoe that is going to be able to handle muddy trail conditions.
As well as needing an effective cross country running shoe, I've also started to get involved in the latest craze of mud runs and obstacle course events. Events like the Spartan race series and Tough Mudder which will give me an additional focus to concentrate on. These races generally involve a lot of mud and significant physical challenges, and I know I need a pair of trail shoes which will be able to handle that. Step forward and read my review of the Adidas Kanadia TR5 trail running shoe.
The Kanadia TR5 in grey
Why did I buy the Adidas Kanadia TR5
In the past I've almost always used Saucony running shoes. I know their 45 has a great fit for my relatively neutral gait which airs on the side of a suplinator and flattish foot which means I have to be selective when it comes to my running shoes. Living near Sherwood Forest and all that mud means white running shoes for me are a definite no as I love the forest trails too much but I do head onto the local roads too.
On a recent trip to Decathlon's trail running section I tried on a number of pairs of what they had available to gauge fit and upon trying on the Kanadia TR5's they fit my feet like a trusty old pair of carpet slippers. Decathlon don't stock my usual choice of Saucony shoes but I liked the fit so much that I was willing to switch allegiance to Adidas. I did have to go for the UK size 11.5 which equates to a 47 on the label which means these shoes do come up smaller than you would usually expect.
I have to admit on first viewing the tread pattern of the Kanadia is pretty aggressive. More aggressive than I've used in the past but I've used running shoes for multiple purposes- trail and road uses in the past however having my first ever Spartan Race up and coming and with the premise of lots of mud to wade through I thought I'd be making a wise choice.
Why I bought these shoes- The Spartan Race in action
The tread pattern of the Kanadia TR5
A beefed up road style shoe for trail running
When compared to many trail running shoes the Kanadia closely resembles a beefed up road running shoe. It's ultra aggressive sole may be nothing like a traditional running shoe but in terms of fit it closely mimics many of the other shoes across the Adidas range.
The Kanadia TR5 doesn't appear designed to offer close control while dancing over rocky terrain like some of the newer minimalist cross country running shoes on the marketplace which are geared towards gripping to rocky surfaces but if you're looking for something that can really deal with muddy and grassy conditions of your local trails this could be the shoe for you.
Adidas Kanadia TR5 Specification
Here's a little info on the specification of this trail running shoe
- Weight 310 grammes per shoe in size 9* (10.9 ounces)
- Open mesh uppers for superior breathability
- Pre-molded EVA insole
- Heel loop for easy entry for multisport events
- Adiprene® cushioning for a lighter healstrike
- Aggressive tread Traxion® outsole for enhanced grip characteristics (featured right)
*Quoted weight from Adidas USA website
CyclingFitness review score
A review from out on the trails
My first few runs came mid summer with some of the driest possible conditions around Sherwood Forest. On the trail the Kanadia feels sturdy and supportive with amble cushioning around the heels although seem to run on the heavier side and therefore might not be best used as a racing related shoe.
In dry conditions and gravel the shoe feels quite rough and harsh. It certainly isn't produced from a soft and ultra grippy rubber but on soft grass and in the mud less pliability is required and I felt that momentum was significantly increased. I certainly wouldn't recommend these shoes on wet rocky surfaces but they really require a specialist trail shoe.
The biggest test of these shoes for me was September 2012's Ripon edition of the Spartan race and considering the obscenely muddy conditions these shoes came across as close to being the perfect shoe for running a "Spartan" where you're wading through deep soft mud.
The tread pattern does a fantastic job of digging through glutinous mud to find some traction while clearing well due to a selection of widely spaced lugs as required while running between obstacles and challenges that involve lugging weights around in the mud won't be hindered by your lack of grip.
At the finish line- Spartan Race Ripon 2013
The CyclingFitness verdict on the Adidas Kanadia TR5
I love these shoes for hitting the local trails and believe they're the ideal companion for hitting the old slag heaps and muddy winter single-track trails of Sherwood Forest. They're more targeted to training that as a fast racer but for mud runs like Spartan Race they could be the perfect companion shoe. In my mind they're a great shoe for winter trail running.
Fit is a little strange so if you're buying online make sure that you've tried them on in a store first or you buy from a reputed retailer which will allow you to return if you're not happy with the fit.
I picked up my shoes for just £44.99 from UK based running retailer Start Fitness and that represents excellent value for a trail running shoe with many models from other manufacturers selling for significantly more than that. For the money that represents excellent value.
An alternative choice- The Salomon Speedcross
If you're looking for an alternative to the Kanadia the Salomon Speedcross 3 could be a good consideration. Also featuring an aggressive mud shedding tread the Speedcross features a lighter density tread rubber which provides great levels of grip in a larger range of conditions- from damp rocky surfaces to when you're knee deep in mud. They could just be your perfect companion for adventure races.
Having tried the Speedcross previously they didn't quite feel right on my feet as many of Salomon's range of shoes appear targeted to runners with a high arch of their feet which doesn't suit my anatomy.
What do you think to these trail running shoes?
Have you used the Adidas Kanadia? We'd love to know what you think or if you have an alternative trail running shoe you would recommend. We're all ears.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2013 Liam Hallam
Jessica on June 18, 2017:
Are these waterproof?