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I love this shoe, it is incredibly versatile. The 6mm drop is perfect for a more natural feel with out making you feel like you are completely exposed to sharp rocks and terrain. The grip from the sole is better than I expected ( I have Speedcross 3's for comparison) and the only time my Speedcrosses really shine over the mantra is when the dirt is moist and loose... other than that... the Mantra is plenty grippy (and def more so on hard surface such as rocks/pavement vs the Speedcross 3)
The shoe can be used for cross-train/crossfit as well. It's not the best but there are far worse choices out there. It's the only shoe I am using on my deployment for running, lifting and crossfit and I don't feel like I am missing anything.
The speedlace system has been flawless and I love having a nice tight and streamlined shoe while I am running with no laces flopping around. Did I mention the little pocket you tuck the laces in makes a great place to stash items like a $20 or a key for home?
:) yeah, I love this shoe... I'll will get another pair when these wear out.
I tried on the Giro Hex and the POC Trabec and fidled with the adjustments and they did not feel right. The Giro Hex... no matter how much I fiddled with it I could not get the straps to work right with my head and feel balanced. Plus... that helmet looked like it was a hat... totally sat high on my head.
The POC looked goooooofy and I could not get over the looks when I put it on. Plus for my head the sizing was very strange. I fit a Medium in a Giro and did the M/L in the POC and while the fit seemed "OK" but my head did not fill out the helmet shape I felt the way it should.
I put on the XAR and BAM! I knew it was the one after about 10 seconds of adjustment fiddling and confirming the fit in the mirror. It has a fantastic fit... great chin strap adjustments and the RocLoc5 is flawless. The venting is great AND it has the X-Static pads in the helmet to delay the onset of helmet funk.
Get this helmet and be happy... dont worry about the 129.00 bucks... turn that green into a bucket for your head that you will love for years.