Crosslites for chicks! I was so excited to see they were finally available. I’ve had the men’s version for a while and, while clearly they are great shoes, they just didn’t fit me right, which tends to be the case for, you know, men’s shoes. So I rarely wore them for actual running. When my pair of women’s shoes arrived, though, I was all over it, and I haven’t looked back since.

I’m not sure that people really have clued in to the fact that Crosslites come in a women’s version now. Even the backcountry.com link doesn’t make it 100% clear that the Crosslites shown are new and improved, at least for women; they link to a pair that looks like the men’s version (from color scheme, at least), with men’s and women’s reviews interspersed, or so I interpret. Anyway, I’m here to tell you that the Crosslites do indeed come in a women’s version, (and are visible at backcountry.com here) and they are worth the wait (though in my opinion it’s been way too long of a time coming, with the Crosslites being such a great shoe). I tried them for trail running in the wet fall conditions here in Anchorage (yeah. August is fall, already…sigh) and I still get actually stoked just to put them on when it’s time to go running.

I usually prefer shoes with more padding, like the Wildcats or now-defunct (aw) Imogenes, but these are really working for me because they are so light and fast; easy to turn the feet over for faster pace and lighter impact. The thin sole provides good trail feel and gives the feeling of quick feet and soft impact as long as you keep moving along. Put more bluntly (heh), if you run in these with a heavy, plodding gait, you won’t be loving these shoes because they really aren’t built to absorb your Frankenstein thudding. But if you want to run fast, these are just the ticket – they’ll inspire you to keep zipping along as far as your legs will carry you.

This is great for me because I find that the quicker I get my feet off the ground, the faster I run and the more comfortable my aging joints are. Aging – ha. Come back to this blog in ten years when I’m pushing fifty, and prepare yourselves for the angst! In the meantime I’m delighted to report that I can still get in a run a few times a week and live to tell the tale, and my tale this week is how much I love these shoes. The trail grip is great, they’re light, they’re fast, they’re comfortable, and they shed water and mud just like we need them to in fall trail running conditions. They have enough support and rigidity to stay put on tight corners and descents, which is hard to find in a light trail runner, believe me. The elastic band over the laces seems to really be the key here, but the streamlined fit and flat sole certainly helps as well. Even if they happen to come untied, the “slip lasted upper,” as it’s called, will keep them in place. To Sportiva’s credit, though, they don’t come untied very easily, most likely due to the thinner laces, which is an absolute GODSEND because I totally hate laces that come untied all the time.

If you’re a serious trail runner, I highly recommend this long-overdue women’s version of the Crosslite shoe. They’re perfect for running on technical trail and I’d imagine they’d be ideal for mountain running races.