All the advice on winter running is meant to motivate and help go out in the cold season, live a fit life and dare to go out.
Ideally even to learn to take on the challenge and the beauty of winter, which is an extreme situation, but not only an extreme.
The 24 Hours Burgenland Extreme has, from its inception, been a fun extreme.
Walking, running, crawling – whatever you have to do – around the Neusiedler See lake in the middle of winter is definitely quite crazy.
Somehow there’s no good time for talking about this shoe, at least the way I want to.
Right now, it’s a bit too early for it as I haven’t had all that many opportunities to try it out this winter.
At the same time, it’s a bit late for it as winter is pretty much over (although, we did get a cold front dumping quite a bit of snow on us just around Easter, so there’s still snow in the Alps).
Next season would just present the same problems, though.
Why all this back-and-forth?
Well, La Sportiva’s Crossover 2.0 GTX is – or at least looks like – a dedicated winter running shoe.
With a Gore-Tex membrane and an in-built gaiter, it is all about runs in wet and/or snowy conditions; the only other shoe like it would be the Salomon Snowcross CS.
There are two main differences:
The Salomon is a mid-height shoe while the La Sportiva (similar though it looks) is actually more of a normal La Sportiva running shoe, just with the gaiter added; and Salomon’s Snowcross uses a Climashield membrane (hence, the CS in its name) while La Sportiva’s Crossover uses a Gore-Tex one (hence, GTX).
The Snowcross also has metal cleats in the sole while the Crossover does not.
It was a tad difficult getting my hands on – or should that be, my feet into? – the Crossover; only few shops here in Central Europe carry them (strange for a brand that is from Northern Italy) and even those had some issues getting them. La Sportiva customer service also wasn’t exactly helpful.
I managed in the end, though, and I got lucky because the size I ended up getting it in proved just right: a US 12.5 (UK 11.5, EUR 46).
Why I went to the trouble anyways is that I wanted a shoe for my winter running, and I wanted a Gore-Tex membrane but no cleats.
Sure, cleats could be an advantage on ice, but they are also a problem when running on roads – and since I start out running at my door, not necessarily at a trailhead, I need shoes that can handle both on-road and off-road running decently well.
Advantage, La Sportiva.
And, I have been finding that I really like the combination of materials and properties.
It is not my absolute favorite of a shoe (but then, since no single shoe is good for everything, such a thing does not exist for me) because of its somewhat weighty feel, but I’ll probably be using it on wet mountain trails even in the summer (when or where it’s not hot), when the gaiter may collect burrs (yes, it does that) but still helps keep out scree while the membrane keeps the feet dry.
If you are looking for a shoe that provides a good, yep, crossover of features, especially but not just for winter running, I’d recommend giving La Sportiva’s Crossover 2.0 a try.
*I’m calling this a preliminary review because it’s “only” based on some 100km of running in these shoes. Ultimately, I’m more interested in how gear works out after 2-3 seasons…