Basic trail shoes got you down? Looking for something a little more high performance maybe? If so, then Speedland is definitely going to be worth a look. These folks launched today and Speedland has been built from the ground up by footwear industry design leaders in conjunction with elite trail runners to come up with something new. What has emerged is a one-of-a-kind trail shoe, the Speedland SL:PDX, and it is looking to break all the molds.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- A first of its kind… a truly modular, elite-level trail runner made with the highest end materials.
- Weighs in at 9.9oz or 281g for a US Men’s 9, with the lugs trimmed.
- A modular midsole design that is truly game-changing.
- Retails at $375.00 USD which seems like a ton, but you are buying into something all new.
Who is Speedland
Speedland was founded by Dave Dombrow and Kevin Fallon, two ex-Under Armour veterans who had also done time at Nike and Puma. After leaving Under Armour, the two partnered up to design a shoe that was super-premium and highly targeted. They chose to tackle an area of running that has been relatively untapped, the elite trail market, so while the carbon plate battle was happening on the road side of the world, Speedland was quietly developing something for the trails. From that emerges the SL:PDX, an elite trail ultramarathoner’s dream.
The upper on the SL:PDX is built from Dyneema knit, this obviously a holdover from the founders’ years at Under Armour where the same knit material is used. A good portion of the upper is based around the BOA Fit system and their PerformFit wrap design. This should provide a very locked-in experience and quite a firm hold-up top. We have used BOA systems in the past honestly, the utility and ability to lock down or ease off a bit have always been a huge benefit. The heel and extended Achilles seem to be moderately padded with a slight internal counter. The collar is more of a sock-like knit obviously working in conjunction with the BOA and then small interior padding elements have been added to hold you internally.
The SL:PDX uses what seems to be a two-piece Pebax-based midsole and then a Carbitex plate is sandwiched between them for performance. It does seem to maintain a fairly narrow profile so definitely expect these to be fast and nimble on the trails. Note the carbon pate can be removed as can the Pebax midsole so the shoe can be “tuned” somewhat to the runner’s performance.
The outsole uses a Michelin cuttable lug system so expect full rubber coverage and protection along 3mm lugs that can be trimmed depending on the terrain. This has honestly really only been used in mountain biking, so very interesting addition to the trail world, and will be interesting to see if it catches on.
Style & Aesthetics
Is it us or does this feel like a cycling shoe? It kind of makes sense given the lockdown it can achieve, but it will definitely make some folks confused at first glance. That being said, we have to send big props for the commitment to the SL:PDX color, feels like a great callback to the old PDX airport carpet which is the city’s color mascot.
How can you not love a company that is trying to turn an industry on its head! Sure the shoe is wicked expensive and will suffer a bit from that, but its the first of its kind so swing for the fences. The Speedland SL:PDX looks like a killer trail racer and we are excited to get our hands on them and try them out. Huge congratulations to this team on an amazing launch!