The Gear Junkie Scoop: Icebug SPIRIT OLX Shoe
Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+.
They come from
With its design roots in sports like orienteering andfell running, the SPIRIT OLX may strike as an extremely niche product. But theshoe, which has the feel of a trail-oriented racing flat, is adaptable andspeedy. Serious trail runners looking to gain significant speed — whilesacrificing some comfort and foot-protection features — could easily fall inlove with the OLX.
I sure did. On the shoes' maiden trail run last week, Itackled a leafy singletrack that angled uphill for 200 feet. The Icebug studs– 14 fixed carbide tips per shoe — ate into the dirt, piercing leaves andgripping so well that my feet never slipped.
In addition to great grip, the OLX is made to strike abalance between support and low-to-the-ground control. It has a “foot-shaped”anatomical last. Its sole is flexible, accommodating metatarsal movement andallowing your anatomy — not engineered components in a bulky midsole — toabsorb, react, and rebound in fast cadence to the terrain underfoot.
The uppers are rip-stop nylon reinforced byhigh-frequency welded straps. The midsole is a lightweight EVA foam with justenough support.
Overall, in my trail tests so far, the OLX shoes get a bigthumbs up. The shoe successfully combines great fit, light weight, exceptionalgrip, and a nimble design that engages a natural running gait. For what it'sworth, they look cool, too.