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Account Director Ali Hammer trades in his pavement-pounding trainers, and put’s the Jack Wolfskin Crosstrail Shoe to the test.

Having recently moved to Munich, I knew it was time to step up my shoe-ware game. In London, a pair of trainers to use in the gym and running around the park was absolutely fine. But living in Munich, next to the English Garden, means a quick run around the park involves muddy tracks, huddling rocks and darting over roots. So, it was time to change my pavement pounding shoes to something a little more off-road.

I decided to give the Jack Wolfskin Crosstrail shoes a go. I chose these as they aren’t a full trail running shoe, meaning the sole is a little softer than a trail running shoe, but harder than your usual trainer.  Likewise, the tread of the shoe is somewhere between your high street gym shoe (with little tread), and the specialist trail shoe (with very rugged tread). It’s a great middle ground, the softness allows me to comfortably do shorter distances (up to 5km) on a pavement, but also gives me great stability across muddy or rocky terrain.

Another thing I love about the Crosstrail shoe is their flat profile and wide toe. For the first week, I used them 3 times, running along park trails but also for outdoor HIIT style workouts. My usual running trainers gave a lot of arch support, which is great for running in a straight line on flat ground. However, I found when I was jumping around on trails, or doing exercises like jumping jacks and burpees, the support had a detrimental effect by pushing my arch too high and putting strain on my knee. The Crosstrail shoe doesn’t have that, and training in them felt like training barefoot, without the splinters and cut feet.

The Crosstrail shoe is a summer shoe, which means they are incredibly light with a breathable mesh body. Great for hot summer days, just watch out as they are definitely not waterproof! I went on a trail run in the mountains on the morning after a heavy night of rain, and of course, my toes were wet straight away. But this is hardly a problem when running in the summer, the shoes breathability means within 15mins of the run my feet were completely dry, and I kept the shoes on while I had a beer (every trail run should end with a beer) and on the drive back to the city.

Overall, I’m really happy with the Crosstrail shoe, they fit perfectly, not giving me any blisters and give me exactly the support I need for my new outdoor/city life-style.

Ali Hammer