The running market mirrors the gravel phenomenon in cycling, where those on foot are looking to traverse new trails away from asphalt.

With that in mind, Craft Sportswear, the Swedish outdoor apparel brand, and Vittoria, the Italian bike tire company, partnered to create the Craft Xplor, a trail running shoe that merges gravel tire technology with running innovation. The shoe is inspired by the performance of Vittoria’s Terreno Mix and Terreno Dry gravel tires.

The shoe is set to launch for the 2024 spring and summer season.

“We aim to provide dedicated runners with the world’s best shoes, and teaming up with Vittoria, the leading manufacturer of performance bicycle tires, is truly amazing,” said Daniel Högling, creative director at Craft.

The outsole design integrates aggressive arrow lugs using Vittoria gravel tire tech, specifically from the Terreno Mix pattern, for off-road performance, while fish scale treads, inspired by the Terreno Dry tire, grip the road and in wet conditions.

Thick and thin flex grooves enhance traction, and strategically placed cut-outs reduce weight, promising performance across diverse terrains and changing weather conditions.

“Seamlessly integrating our gravel cycling expertise into trail running has resulted in a unique outsole, promising unmatched grip across diverse surfaces and in ever-changing weather conditions,” said Ken Avery, SVP of product development at Vittoria.

The Craft XPlor is the first time a gravel-specific tire design is being tested on a running shoe. The men’s shoe weighs 300g while the women’s is 240g. Heel drop is 6mm on both models.

Image courtesy Craft Sportswear x Vittoria