I’ve been using the OT Comp for about three months now, over what has been quite a warm and dry summer, using them on a mixture of bridal paths, grass, and gravelly & rocky trails. My first run in them was a straight-out-of-the-box 9 mile hilly trail route – while I definitely noticed that they were a lot more lightweight than the shoes I would have previously run this route in the OT Comp remained comfortable on my feet, produced no pain or rubbing feeling, and began a love affair there and then.
Grip-wise I have never had so much as a slip in them. When we have had the rain and it’s made some trails a little bit more slippery and treacherous – the OT Comp still do completely fine on wet rock and slippery mud. I’ve always thought a running shoe to be a complete success if you don’t actually think about your shoes during a run, and to have that feeling on some pretty tricky routes is just great.
Despite racking up around 100 miles of training in them, I have raced in the OT Comp just twice as of writing this – once at Tough Mudder – no problem on Tough Mudder’s signature obstacle Everest – and once at Devil Mud Run, featuring hills upon hills, boggy, rocky, and muddy streams, walls, ramp, and cargo nets. Exactly the same as during training, there was not a slip to be had even going from wet mud to long grass. Their next race will be Spartan Windsor Beast.
With the OT Comp I wear a 7.5 – the same as I do with other Salming shoes. I’m around a size 8 but go down half a size with Salming as they have quite a roomy toe box and found that 8 was too wide for me. This is personal for me though obviously and different people will most likely find they fit differently, but they beauty of Salming is once you found that fit – every other Salming shoe will fit you in that size. So many shoe companies change how a shoe fits over models despite being a size 8 (for example) which to me seems crazy and frustrating. Salming have got this very right.
As mentioned, the space around the toes is enough to keep your feet comfy and never cramped, my toes never hit the end but they’re not even close to feeling like clown shoes and the heel comes up nicely behind the foot to keep the OT Comp feeling secure. A perfect fit and ideal not to have an iota of worry that they’ll come off in a muddy bog. The shoes themselves are super flexible so you’re definitely getting that natural feeling when running.
The clue is in the name for these shoes really – Off-Trail Competition. The Michelin soles are made with OCX (Extreme Outdoor Compound) – whatever that is it grips amazingly to any wet or slippery surface, making the OT Comp spot on for confidence over a variety of terrain, they don’t clog up with mud, and you don’t gett that football-boot feeling if you do hit a bit of road or solid trail.
They feel lightweight to wear, any water you manage to get in them will come right back out (Salming came up through swim-run before OCR so you know they’re keen on that drainage!), and the colours are pretty nice! I thought that bright orange would be a bit much but they look really smart when on your feet.
I love, love, love these shoes and am so glad I got them, I didn’t think I would prefer them to Salming’s Elements but time and time again I found myself making these my first choice. They have been dragged over all sorts of terrain, scraped across various obstacles and are yet to show a scratch. It’s still relatively early days for my OT Comps but I’m confident they are going to last and there won’t be any rogue splits or holes here!
There’s legit reason why the OT Comp are getting brilliant reviews all over the place and I’m happy to add to that. I 100% recommend these for a racing and training shoe.
Find out more on Salming’s website.
Written by me: Keith Fairburn
Personal Trainer, Sports Therapist, S&C Coach.
Ninja Warrior Semi-Finalist, Obstacle Racer, Salming Running Ambassador.
If you have any questions about anything I’ve written in this post or want to get in touch, contact me.