At first I was a bit skeptical about this new shoe being too minimal for a true mountain running shoe. It is several ounces lighter than the Crosslite, yet the fit is surprisingly familiar. It is immediately noticeable that it is much lighter than the Crosslite and after the first run my lower legs tell me it also has less foot drop.
As I have run in the X-country for the last month I have found myself reaching for them more than any other shoe in my closet. I am always surprised with how well the shoe protects from rocks. Even on wildly fast and rough descents the minimal midsole seems just enough to protect my now callused feet from jagged intrusions of trail. The aggressive tread pattern works very well in all conditions, even scrambling on hard granite slabs, part of one of my current trade routes, the shoes grip very well and have yet to let me down.
Over the last few years I have ran many pairs of Crosslites into oblivion, normally good for around 300 miles. I now have 350 on my first pair of X-Countries, and they look to have at least another 100 on them before they need to be retired.
To be totally honest I haven't really found anything that hasn't been up to par on this new shoe, the only negative, which turns out to be personal opinion only is the color selection of the shoe. Sportiva is well known very rocking yellow, so it isn't a surprise and after a few dusty or muddy trail runs the bright yellow is muted to a very tolerable shade.
Here is the link on La Sportiva's website to the X-Country: http://www.sportiva.com/products/footwear/mountain-running/x-country
If you have any questions about the X-Country, or any other La Sportiva shoe for that matter, leave a comment below and I'll try to comment back as soon as possible.
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