With more features than the average smart phone the D30 trail shoe from Karrimor is a bold new addition to the ever popular trail running market; but have they tried to cram too much into one shoe?
With decades of experience in the walking and trekking market Karrimor are now learning to run under the control of their new owners Sports Direct. They are rightly proud of their heritage and even list “Karrimor logos” as one of the features of these, their top of the range trail running shoes.
The list of features is extensive but in summary these are a waterproof shoe using EVent fabric for the lining. The soles have deep rubber lugs and are well padded using Karrimor’s D30 technology. The shoes are secured using elastic laces with a neat hook on the toggle that secures the ends to prevent them flapping around once you get running. This is useful if you need to make a quick transition during a multi sport event but the thin laces need a hard tug to get the shoes fitting snugly.
The excellent EVent fabric has been around for a while as an alternative to the more expensive Gore-Tex and offers a breathable, lightweight but waterproof fabric. Standing in a stream with the water lapping over the toes the Karrimors keep socks dry, which would be great for winter bog hopping as a dry foot is more likely to be a warm foot. The tongue is joined to the upper along its length which not only keeps water out but also stones and debris that can be irritating at best mid-run.
The structure of the soles bucks the current trend for minimalist shoes with plenty of cushioning, gel padding, arch re-enforcement and a reasonable heel to toe drop. Unfortunately out in the woods this makes for a stiff ride with limited feedback on what is happening under your feet. This is pronounced by the padding within the uppers that allows your foot to move around in the shoe on off camber sections and steep, technical descents. It’s not an uncomfortable shoe to run in but lacks the slipper like feel and confidence of some of the more established models on the market. The pair tried are quite wide and may fit better on wider feet so best to try for size before you buy.
However, the deep rubber lugs offer lots of grip on a variety of surfaces and being wide spaced are good for shedding mud. They hook up well on loose rocks and roots giving good traction, if you find yourself on tarmac the compound almost feels sticky thanks to the soft rubber. This could mean a high rate of wear but only time will tell how well they last.
On the whole the shoes appear very well made and the bright green colour scheme is certainly eye catching but all of these features come at a cost, both in the price tag with an RRP of £159.99 (although a quick search online shows that all dealers are selling them at 50% off list price) and also in the weight. At 450g per shoe (size 11) these are far from light and that is down to that gel cushioned sole.
Waterproof Event fabric keeps your feet dry
Elastic laces make them easy to slip on and adjust
High levels of grip on most surfaces
High levels of cushioning in the sole make for a stiff, unresponsive ride
Loose fit for narrower feet
Karrimor have taken cues from lots of well-established competitors to create this pair of high priced shoes but there is too much of their walking boot past included that makes them feel heavy and unresponsive. The uppers are great, as is the design of the lugs, they just need to refine the bit in the middle.
What Karrimor says about the D30 trail shoes: The Karrimor D30 Mens Trail Running Shoes are great for heading off on off-road runs, featuring a rubberised outsole with deep lugs for superb traction on uneven terrain, a breathable, waterproof fabric outer and a TPU arch shank for added foot support
Model: D30 Trail Shoe
Used for: Trail running round some hilly woods
Weight: 450g per shoe
Fabric: Synthetic/mesh upper, textile inner, synthetic sole
Colour: Green/black and silver/black
Techology and fit:
- Padded, shaped ankle collar
- Aegis microbe shield technology and D30 technology
- Rear and forefoot gel technology, dual density midsole
- TPU arch shank, Rubberised outsole with deep lugs