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Best Salomon Running Shoes for Road and Trail Reviewed

last updated Apr 23, 2019

Salomon is known among outdoor sports enthusiasts as one of the best brands when it comes to equipment, including shoes, clothing, accessories and skiing and snowboarding items. Over the years they have built a great reputation by delivering only the best. Salomon running shoes are no different, and they have been worn by trail runners and hikers for decades. The reason they are so trusted across the globe comes from the fact that they are made with great attention to detail and are regularly updated to make use of the latest technologies when it comes to running equipment.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 105 hrs of research

icon
S/LAB Sense 7
94.6/100 our score
Terrain
96
Protection
94
Features
95
Midsole
95
Outsole
93
S/LAB Sense 7
Why is it better?

Single Layer Mesh Upper

Rubber Toe Cap

ProFeel Film

EnergyCell+ Midsole

Wet Traction COntagrip Outsole

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
S/LAB Sense 7
Test Winner: S/LAB Sense 7
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
22
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
10,500
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
105
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
20
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
Ana Rockov
By Ana Rockov:

The latest update to this article replaces five items with newly released models of running shoes by Salomon. With a highly versatile selection of some of their best performing shoes, you can easily choose the one that will work best for you, regardless of whether you’re a road or trail runner, or if you’re looking in competing in triathlons.

Sorting Options
Terrain Protection Features Midsole Outsole By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.6
Terrain
96%
Protection
94%
Features
95%
Midsole
95%
Outsole
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.05.19)
Backcountry Link
$134.96
See Deal
Amazon Link
$179.95
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94
Terrain
94%
Protection
91%
Features
93%
Midsole
97%
Outsole
95%
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.05.19)
Backcountry Link
$97.46
See Deal
Amazon Link
$129.95
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.6
Terrain
93%
Protection
87%
Features
91%
Midsole
93%
Outsole
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.05.19)
Backcountry Link
$134.96
See Deal
Amazon Link
$179.95
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.4
Terrain
92%
Protection
90%
Features
92%
Midsole
89%
Outsole
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.05.19)
Backcountry Link
$134.96
See Deal
Amazon Link
$179.95
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91
Terrain
95%
Protection
90%
Features
90%
Midsole
90%
Outsole
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.05.19)
Backcountry Link
$86.21
See Deal
Amazon Link
$90.94
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Terrain
87%
Protection
89%
Features
93%
Midsole
95%
Outsole
86%
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.05.19)
Backcountry Link
$97.46
See Deal
Amazon Link
$129.95
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85
Terrain
85%
Protection
85%
Features
85%
Midsole
85%
Outsole
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.05.19)
Backcountry Link
$84.98
See Deal
Amazon Link
$157.71
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82
Terrain
85%
Protection
85%
Features
80%
Midsole
80%
Outsole
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.05.19)
Backcountry Link
$119.96
See Deal
Amazon Link
$159.95
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
75
Terrain
75%
Protection
75%
Features
75%
Midsole
75%
Outsole
75%
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.05.19)
Amazon Link
$140.00
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
70
Terrain
70%
Protection
70%
Features
70%
Midsole
70%
Outsole
70%
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.05.19)
Backcountry Link
$77.97
See Deal
Amazon Link
$119.95
In Depth Review Top 10
  • S/LAB Sense 7 S/LAB Sense 7
  • Speedcross 5 Speedcross 5
  • S/LAB Speed 2 S/LAB Speed 2
  • S/LAB XA Amphib 2 S/LAB XA Amphib 2
  • X-Mission 3 X-Mission 3
  • Sonic RA Max 2 Sonic RA Max 2
  • XA Elevate GTX XA Elevate GTX
  • XA Pro 3D GTX XA Pro 3D GTX
  • Wings Flyte 2 GTX Wings Flyte 2 GTX
  • Sense Ride Sense Ride
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Top 10 Salomon Running Shoes

1. S/LAB Sense 7

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.6
S/LAB Sense 7
Amazon Link
Terrain
96
Protection
94
Features
95
Midsole
95
Outsole
93
best offer for today
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Amazon Link
$179.95
Backcountry Link
$134.96
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Pros:

Single Layer Mesh Upper

Rubber Toe Cap

ProFeel Film

EnergyCell+ Midsole

Wet Traction COntagrip Outsole

Cons:

Toe Cap Durability

Summer Use Only

Perhaps one of the most lightweight trail runners you can get, the S/LAB Sense 7 is a neutral shoe with great grip on all types of terrain. With a weight that is around 200g, it’s ideal for long races, where you need both protection and breathability. Again, it favors a forefoot strike and has a minimal heel to toe drop of 4mm, with around 20mm of stacking height, great for most users.

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A snug fit is provided in the upper, combining a single layer mesh which is highly breathable, with thin Sensifit overlays that connect the midsole to the Quicklace closure on the top of the foot. The internal Endofit sleeve is smooth, so you don’t have to worry about badly placed seams, and it stretches to accommodate the shape of the foot, allowing for a customized fit. The collar features padding to protect the achilles area, and a rubber toe cap protects the front of the feet.

The midsole of the Sense 7 is made with EnergyCell+ foam which is highly cushioned and responsive, while an additional layer is placed between the midsole and outsole in the form of a ProFeel film that protects from uneven terrain. The rubber on the bottom is Wet Traction Contagrip with aggressive, multi-directional lugs. In terms of price, this is another model that’ll cost more than average.

2. Speedcross 5

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94
Speedcross 5
Amazon Link
Terrain
94
Protection
91
Features
93
Midsole
97
Outsole
95
best offer for today
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Amazon Link
$129.95
Backcountry Link
$97.46
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Pros:

Sensifit Upper

Nylon Mesh with Welded Overlays

EnergyCell+ Midsole

Contagrip TA Outsole

Great for Soft and Rugged Trail

Cons:

Lacks Breathability

For a couple of years, the Speedcross 4 was one of the highest rated pairs of trail runners you could buy, so it really comes as no surprise that the updated, 5th edition is a shoe worth checking out. Released in February 2019, this model has already managed to earn numerous positive reviews, mainly due to the fact that it keeps what worked best on previous versions, and updating the outsole for improved grip, as well as the upper for a fit that will work for a larger number of people.

Read more

The look of the Speedcross 5 is extremely sleek, and not something you would expect out of a trail runner. It’s built out of a tightly woven nylon mesh that allows airflow, but prevents debris from getting inside the shoe. Welded overlays ensure a supportive shoe that’s durable and ready for rough use. As for the tongue and collar, they’re padded for your comfort, while the already established Quicklace system allows for easy on and off, with a lace pocket that keeps the fit secure.

In the sole section, the Speedcross 5 makes use of Salomon’s EnergyCell+ midsole which is a full-length foam unit with a good amount of shock absorption and excellent energy return. The biggest update is applied to the outsole in the form of Contagrip TA rubber that will work best on soft and loose terrain, giving you great traction through the sharp lugs. The insole is made by Ortholite, and is removable, but it also gives you the industry standard in foot comfortability. As for the price, it’s around what you’d pay for any other performance trail runner, making this a good deal on the whole.

3. S/LAB Speed 2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.6
S/LAB Speed 2
Amazon Link
Terrain
93
Protection
87
Features
91
Midsole
93
Outsole
94
best offer for today
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$179.95
Backcountry Link
$134.96
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Pros:

Sensifit Upper

Customized Endofit Sleeve

QuickLace System

Durable Cushioning

Excellent Traction

Cons:

No Mud Guard

Expensive

A model ready for competition, but just as suited for everyday use as well, the Speed 2 is a pair of neutral trail runners ideal for those who want a performance fit with increased durability and a grip ready for muddy conditions. It’s lightweight, being 260g, which isn’t something you’ll often find in this type of running shoe. The minimal, 4mm drop favors a forefoot strike that allows runners to go faster.

Read more

The upper of the S/LAB Speed 2 uses the brand’s Sensifit technology which aims at providing a highly customized feel all around the foot. The Material used is anti-debris mesh which gives a good amount of protection in less than ideal conditions, while the Feather construction extends the upper material to cover the midsole, giving a more snug fit than traditional shoes.

The midsole unit is made with compressed EVA which does a good job at preventing shock from traveling up the leg. Being compressed, it’s less likely to pack than traditional EVA, is sturdy, and gives users a great deal of durability. The outsole is aggressive with long, sharp lugs that’ll do well on wet, muddy terrain. In terms of associated cost, this is a model that’ll require a higher investment, which is why it’s best suited for frequent runners and those who compete.

4. S/LAB XA Amphib 2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.4
S/LAB XA Amphib 2
Amazon Link
Terrain
92
Protection
90
Features
92
Midsole
89
Outsole
94
best offer for today
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$179.95
Backcountry Link
$134.96
See Deal
Pros:

Moisture Wicking Upper

Sensifit Overlays

Dual Density EVA Midsole

Contagrip Outsole

Lightweight

Cons:

Single Color Option

If you’re looking at running in unpredictable conditions, you may want to check out the latest edition of the S/LAB XA Amphib which is made for trail conditions that may take you through mud or even creeks, but works well on dry terrain as well. Featuring some of the brand’s most advanced tech, this is a truly unique model that is excellent for both competition and daily training.

Read more

The upper of this model was made with maximum breathability in mind, with a single layer mesh upper that will both let plenty of fresh air into the shoe, but will also dry quickly after it’s gotten wet. Covered by Sensifit overlays that are placed over the entire area of the shoe, you get a supported ride that doesn’t stretch with use, but that doesn’t retain moisture either. Made even better with the Quicklace system that allows easy on and off, as well as the convenience lace pocket, this is a great pair of footwear to have in your trail running arsenal.

In the sole section, it features a dual density midsole that’s durable but provides the right amount of cushioning for varied terrain, while the ProFeel film protects from sharp rocks and other obstacles you may encounter on your run. The Contagrip outsole has sharp lugs that make this a versatile shoe, great for challenging terrain. In terms of price, this is another model that ranks high on this list, but it’s a great choice for those competing in triathlon races.

5. X-Mission 3

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91
X-Mission 3
Amazon Link
Terrain
95
Protection
90
Features
90
Midsole
90
Outsole
90
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$90.94
Backcountry Link
$86.21
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Pros:

Breathable Mesh Upper

High Abrasion Contagrip Outsole

Injected EVA Midsole

Sensifit™ Construction

Quicklace Closure System

Friction Free Lace Eyelets

Flexible Forefoot Panels

EVA Shaped Footbed

Cons:

Runs Small

Tight Toe Box

Slightly Heavy for Road

The X-Mission 3 is made for runners who require a shoe that was made for multi-terrain use, namely for urban trails or road-to-trail changes. It’s made with neutral arch support, and a variety of materials that are all focused on providing a protective and comfortable fit. It’ll work great for use in warm weather and in dry conditions (mostly dry terrain, no mud) thanks to the breathable mesh upper that provides a good level of air flow. Nonetheless, if you’re caught off guard wearing the X-Mission 3 in the rain, the Contagrip outsole will ensure plenty of traction and grip on a variety of surfaces.

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One of the best features of the X-Mission 3 is the way in which it fits the wearer’s foot. With a Sensifit™ construction, it wraps up from midfoot to the laces, giving a snug and completely personalized locked in feel, without being too constraining. The upper is made with a breathable open mesh that promotes a dry foot environment, while the Sensiflex™ stretch panels ensure that you can move freely, especially in the forefoot. Additional comfort features include an EVA shaped footbed that gives just the right amount of cushioning and support where you need it.

What differentiates the X-Mission 3 from similar looking sneakers is the fact that it will perform well on a multitude of surfaces, and is perfect for those runs when you will have to transition from road to well-maintained trail. The outsole features Contagrip rubber that’s placed in high wear areas, and being a high abrasion material, it will look completely new even after a few runs. While the lugs may not be enough on technical trails, they will prove to be adequate even in wet conditions. The Salomon X-Mission 3 is the cheapest shoe on this list, and one that is highly versatile. This means that if you’re looking at purchasing just one pair of running footwear, this could be your perfect choice. It’ll work well both on road and light trail, is durable, comfortable in the upper, and gives you the benefits of some pretty nifty tech features such as the Quicklace closure system.

6. Sonic RA Max 2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Sonic RA Max 2
Amazon Link
Terrain
87
Protection
89
Features
93
Midsole
95
Outsole
86
best offer for today
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$129.95
Backcountry Link
$97.46
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Pros:

Breathable Mesh Upper

Wide Forefoot Base

EnergyCell+ Midsole

Blown Rubber and Contagrip FA Outsole

Supportive

Cons:

No Wide Options

The previous version in the Sonic RA Max line was lauded one of Salomon’s absolute best pairs of running shoes, so expectations are definitely high for the second iteration. A stability road runner, this is a highly cushioned pair of footwear that is 100% focused on providing runners with a great deal of shock absorption, all while ensuring they get the responsiveness they require.

Read more

The surprising fact about the RA Max 2 is the fact that it’s very lightweight, at around 280g (in the men’s version), which is not something you often get out of stability shoes. Ideal for those with a low or flat arch, it helps support the arch through the molded Ortholite insole, stabilizing the foot and preventing issues such as Plantar Fasciitis. The entire base of the shoe is wide, and the EnergyCell+ midsole does a good job at preventing force from traveling up the leg.

As for the upper, it’s made with soft, lightweight mesh that allows for breathability, and welded overlays that ensure the structural integrity of the shoe, and help the lacing system in providing adequate stability in-shoe. A padded tongue and collar increase comfortability, while the outsole combines blown rubber in the forefoot with Contagrip FA in high wear areas for a great amount of traction and added shock absorption. Geometric Decoupling on the sole allows smooth heel to toe transitions, and is a great guidance system overall. As for price, this is another average product which is great for those who want maximum cushioning without the loss of response.

7. XA Elevate GTX

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85
XA Elevate GTX
Amazon Link
Terrain
85
Protection
85
Features
85
Midsole
85
Outsole
85
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$157.71
Backcountry Link
$84.98
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Pros:

Premium Wet Traction Contagrip Outsole

Dual Density EVA Midsole

EnergyCell + Rebound

Advanced Chassis™

Profeel Film

Sensifit™

Quicklace Closure System

GORE-TEX® Insulated Comfort Footwear

Cons:

Expensive

Unsuitable for Warm Weather

Made for running on higher altitudes, the Salomon XA Elevate GTX features plenty of protection that will keep you safe both from the cold as well as from rainy and muddy conditions. Made with Gore-Tex, the XA Elevate meets the industry standard in waterproofing, and will even be a great choice for those runs when you’re not high up in the mountains, but want something to protect you from the rain. Available in three color options, it won’t provide much in terms of style, but who wants that if you can have this level of protection and comfortability in a shoe that’s just 11 oz.

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Placed between the outsole and midsole of the shoe, the Advanced Chassis™ works to control your motion, ensuring a proper gait cycle, plenty of energy return and a better push off phase, without sacrificing ground feedback that you need to perform your best. Coupled with the Profeel Film, it will give you a more stable shoe in the midfoot with excellent energy return properties that’ll have you running for longer, with less fatigue.

Using the Gore-Tex Insulated Comfort Footwear technology, the XA Elevate GTX proves to be perfect for cold winter conditions where you may be running through snow and ice. It’s a durable waterproofing system that will allow moisture generated from sweating to escape the shoe. However, do note that if you’re going to be running in deep snow, the use of gaiters is recommended to prevent it from entering your shoe from above. With a price that’s high compared to most other items on this list, the XA Elevate GTX is not an investment everyone will need to make. Geared primarily towards those who run in elevated conditions, or during snow and ice, it features all necessary features to make the most of the cold weather. The outsole will perform great on a number of surfaces, ensuring a secure footing, and the weather resistant cushioning will keep your feet healthy despite the low temperatures.

8. XA Pro 3D GTX

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82
XA Pro 3D GTX
Amazon Link
Terrain
85
Protection
85
Features
80
Midsole
80
Outsole
80
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$159.95
Backcountry Link
$119.96
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Pros:

Premium Wet Traction Contagrip Outsole

OrthoLite Sockliner

Molded EVA Footbed

EnergyCell Cushioning

Injected EVA Midsole

Quicklace System

Asymmetrical Closure

Rubber Toe Cap

3D Advanced Chassis™

Gore-Tex Membrane

Cons:

Heavy

Longer Break-In Period

Equally loved by runners and hikers, the Salomon XA Pro 3D GTX is a versatile trail running shoe with a solid waterproof construction and a protective upper. A stability shoe made for those with low arches, it provides ample support and helps prevent fatigue, allowing you to go further without experiencing any discomfort. It’s a durable pair of sneakers that will work well in wet conditions and on wet surfaces, but note that it may not be suited for daily running due to being a bit on the heavy side.

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There are a few noteworthy features in the upper of the XA Pro 3D GTX. First and foremost, the shoe is made with Salomon Sensifit™ technology that provides a secure and supportive fit. The Gore-Tex membrane is flexible enough so that it doesn’t hold you back, while the inner boasts many features aimed towards making your ride more comfortable. From a moisture wicking OrthoLite sockliner, a molded EVA footbed and anatomically designed arch support. Furthermore, you will reap the benefits of an asymmetrical Quicklace system, as well as of a protective rubber toe cap.

The XA Pro 3D features a dual density outsole, making use of Salomon’s EnergyCell technology and an injected EVA component. It’s both cushioning lightweight, and gives a good level of shock absorption and energy rebound. This shoe also features a 3D Advanced Chassis™ that’s paced between the midsole and outsole and that gives a motion control component to an already stable shoe. This means that if you tend to overpronate, you will be encouraged towards a more neutral stance, saving your joints and back from the pain that comes from misalignment. Ranking below average for Salomon footwear, the XA Pro 3D GTX is actually more affordable than similarly performing stability shoes with Gore-Tex waterproofing. It’s a great investment if you need something with deep lugs that’ll work on wet and muddy terrain. Plus, if you’re into hiking, these shoes can be worn for that purpose as well, further making use of a good investment.

9. Wings Flyte 2 GTX

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
75
Wings Flyte 2 GTX
Amazon Link
Terrain
75
Protection
75
Features
75
Midsole
75
Outsole
75
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$140.00
Pros:

High Abrasion Contagrip Outsole

Mud Guard

Synthetic Toe Guard

Injected Eva Midsole

OrthoLite Sockliner

Agile Chassis™ System

Quicklace™ Closure

Gore-Tex Waterproofing

Cons:

Runs Small

Slightly Heavy

Upper Durability Issues

The second generation of the Wings Flyte GTX has so far proven to be a very reliable shoe for those looking at technical trails where they need a good combination of protection and flexibility. It’s a waterproof running sneaker that features Gore-Tex elements in order to prevent water from entering the shoe, but that still manages to be breathable enough to ensure a dry and healthy foot environment. The shoe has an improved grip compared to the first version while the quick lacing system permits the runner to adjust the fit quickly and hassle free. The arch support has also been improved with unbeatable ground feel, while the Sensifit™ overlays provide the required stability and support for difficult terrain. Further, featuring an enhanced drainage system, the Flyte 2 is a trail running champion fit for the most intense outdoor runs.

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Featuring some neutral arch support, the Salomon Wings Flyte 2 makes use of an injected EVA midsole that absorbs shock upon impact, but that’s not bulky or heavy. An Agile Chassis™ System adds additional support and stability, especially during descent, which means that you can run without having to worry about injuries caused by missing your footing. It’s worth mentioning that this shoe also makes use of an OrthoLite sockliner that’s cushioned throughout, and gives the perfect level of moisture management.

While the midfoot may be snug, the toe box, on the other hand, allows for a good amount of space for your toes to naturally splay, which makes the toe-off phase of your gait cycle so much more effective. Additionally, this will prevent any bruising, chafing or rubbing, and will provide for a higher level of air flow in the forefoot. You’ll also be happy to know that the Wings Flyte 2 features a synthetic protective toe cap that will keep you safe from any rocks you may encounter during your trail run. Compared to other models by Salomon, the Wings Flyte 2 GTX ranks average, but it’s definitely not cheap when compared to other running footwear. Nonetheless, it’s one of the best pairs of trail running shoes you can invest in, especially if you need a waterproof design, and it will work even on more difficult, technical trails where most competing models fall flat.

10. Sense Ride

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
70
Sense Ride
Amazon Link
Terrain
70
Protection
70
Features
70
Midsole
70
Outsole
70
best offer for today
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$119.95
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$77.97
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Pros:

Premium Wet Traction Contagrip Outsole

3D Stretch Air Mesh Upper

Vibe Technology

Compressed EVA Midsole

EnergyCell+ Energy Return

Opal Cushioning

Profeel Film Chassis

Quicklace™ Closure

OrthoLite Sockliner

Cons:

Unsuitable for Extremely Rocky Terrain

Requires Breaking In

Lacks Upper Protection

A neutral trail running shoe, the Sense Ride is one of the most lightweight models on this list. It’s a superior pair of footwear that is completely focused on protecting you from the harmful shock that happens during impact, while still giving you a good level of traction mostly dry terrain and mixed weather conditions. In addition to the innovative cushioning system found in the midsole, it also works on the inside to give you the best possible fit, which you will easily customize thanks to the Quicklace system paired with the friction free lace eyelets.

Read more

Finding a shoe that feels like it has been customized to your foot can be a difficult thing with all the variety of shapes and sizes. The endoFIT™ system wraps your foot in a sock-like sleeve that offers support in the areas that need it the most, namely over the upper of the foot. Paired with the Sensifit™ overlays, it’ll ensure that your foot is securely held in place, without ever constricting it too much. The Toe box allows for enough room for your toes to splay, which contributes to the overall experience.

The thing that makes the Salomon Sense Ride such a popular choice is the type of cushioning used to absorb shock and give rebound. It features a midsole made with compressed EVA foam, EnergyCell+, a compound that aims at energy return, as well as Opal, a compound that is inserted into the midsole to provide cushioning that works in extreme weather conditions. Another notable feature is the Profeel Film chassis that supports the foot in the toe off phase, giving you a more stable running shoe to train in. The best thing about the Sense Ride is the fact that it’s an affordable trail running shoe with the performance aspects of its more high end cousin, the S/LAB Ultra, but with a price that leaves $60 in your pocket. It’s a great option for anyone looking for a versatile style, as well as those who want good trail performance, without all the bulk.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Terrain

Because trail running involves elements which are absent from running on road, including rocks, uneven terrain, sharp objects or wildlife, it is only expected that footwear for the trail differs greatly from those made for the road.

Trail
Trail running shoes will usually be made to be more protective, in order to help deal with any challenges you may be faced with in nature. This may include more overlays for protection, or less mesh to minimize the amount of water that can enter your shoes. Because dirt and concrete affect your shoes differently, the outsole and profile of the shoe will focus on different things. Additionally, you may find that your trail runners include Gore-Tex or waterproof liners which increase weight and would be unnecessary on pavement. Overall, trails are much less forgiving and typically much rougher than running on a road, and your shoe will need to compensate for that to give you the best experience possible.

Road
Road running provides less need for extra protection so shoes can be made with large portions of mesh on the uppers. Another factor that comes into play is the actual surface you are running on. You need as much airflow as possible for your feet when running especially when on a hot road in the summer. Furthermore, the grip you need on the pavement is quite different to that you will require in dirt or mud, which means that the outsole of your road runners will be made quite differently, with rubber that is more resistant to abrasion and with less pronounced lugs. See below.

Traction for Dirt or Multi-Terrain
To be able to take on the trails when it gets rough, Salomon uses lugged outsole profiles on their shoes that are perfect for grabbing traction and biting the ground on dirt, mud, or snow. Some have a much more aggressive outsole profile than others, but all will share the same general purpose, which is to grip the ground. You will also see the multi-terrain shoes on which the outsole lugs are shaved off, or are less pronounced to allow for a blended transition between street and off-road terrain.

Protection

When out on the trail, you will run into a variety of items that may try to work their way into your shoe. This does not only mean that you will need water protection but you also need to watch out for:

  • Dirt
  • Dust
  • Mud
  • Leaves
  • Twigs
  • Bugs
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    Thankfully, Salomon features some of the best debris resistant features of all trail running shoes. They also feature the slickest and most highly effective waterproofing systems in modern footwear, including Gore-Tex. To further seal off the inner side of your running shoes, Salomon also includes built-in gaiters in some of their shoes, such as the Snowcross and S/Lab X/A Alpine models. Be aware that these features render any normal weather running or sunny day sessions out of the question.

    Other protective tech included in the brand's footwear includes the ProFeel Film that prevents your foot from being injured when stepping onto sharp rocks, as well as different types of toe and mud guards.

    Features

    Another thing to keep in mind is that waterproofing and sealing a shoe greatly hinders its ability to regulate inside temperatures. The lack of airflow will lead to higher temperatures, which then leads to excessive sweating. Sweat will not be able to escape as easily and may lead to blistering and a build-up of germs. To avoid this type of problem, make sure that you wear running shoes appropriate for the weather conditions you will be training in – not only will this make you feel better, but it will also prolong the lifespan of your favorite pair of runners.

    Extra Protection & Durability
    Proper protection for the trail may come in many forms. You will typically see shoes with toe bumpers, and thick overlays in order to protect from any obstructions. Because trail runners are beat up much more than road running shoes, to last as long they need to be built up with more layers or thicker, stronger materials. This means you will also have heavier shoes. There are some minimalist type trail running shoes, but they are more for city parks or highly maintained trails. If you take not the not-so-beaten path, don’t skimp on protection. Chances are you will fair much better out there with a little bit more weight.

    Shock Protection & Cushioning
    Inside the shoe, you will need more padding and should have an insole that is both supportive and cushioned. The midsole should also lend its hand in the comfort department. Some trail running shoes will have midsoles made with EVA foam which is very cushion-like and absorbs shock very well. This means that the shock from the impact your feet make with the ground won’t have as much of a toll on your tendons, muscles, joints and bones (which ultimately means less fatigue and pain).

    Midsole

    The midsole is designed to provide cushioning and shock absorption to the shoe, nestling the foot in comfort. Whereas running shoes tend to have thick midsoles, flats and thinner shoes not designed for high-impact activities often have thinner midsoles.

    The reason for this is simple: you need more shock absorption and vibration dampening during high-intensity movements or activities to maintain comfort and prevent foot injury than you otherwise would with a regular shoe, flat or sandal. Midsoles are often made from EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate), a synthetic plastic also used to make insertable orthotics. A firmer type of EVA for the midsole will make the shoe heavier, but more durable; whereas a softer type of EVA, like those found in running shoes, improve shock absorption, but wear much quickly.

    Podiatrists tend to prefer firmer midsoles for those suffering with orthopedic conditions, such as plantar fasciitis. A higher score on the “midsole” criteria means that the midsole is of a firmer nature. Whether or not this is beneficial for you depends on your foot type and orthopedic issues!

    Outsole

    The outsole, or more simply, the sole of the shoe, makes direct contact with the ground and therefore supports the entire foot and body when in motion. Needless to say, a poorly-constructed outsole will lead to discomfort, slipping and foot or other bodily injury. For this reason, many manufacturers use materials that are water-, weather-, heat-, and impact-resistant.

    Depending on the type of footwear, one will often see outsoles made from natural or synthetic materials, such as PVC, EVA, rubber and leather. Each of these has their advantages, depending on the shoe’s purpose; however, as a general rule, they each are resistant to the aforementioned factors. They are also flexible enough to support a proper foot cycle when in motion, but they are not so flexible that they feel like a pair of socks.

    A sole made of the materials above tend to score higher on our product evaluations, as they are not only comfortable, but also supportive.

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    expert tips icon
    Training For Trails

    Trail running can be quite different from regular road running. You're likely to encounter more hills, steep grades of descent or incline, obstacles in your way, and environmental conditions that affect your running style.
    You can trail for trail running simply by getting out on them, but also by doing a few hill repeats on a treadmill or road. Pick something that takes you about 1-2 minutes to run up. Run up the hill and jog down, and repeat for 5-6 times.

    Trail Conditions

    Trail running can be fun simply due to the trail conditions you can encounter. from mud, fallen trees or limbs, to gravel, water, and even leaves and snow, it requires you to think on the fly to keep going.
    Be sure to adjust your style of running to stay within your means when adjusting for trail conditions, but push your comfort zone to have a bit of fun when you can!

    Other Factors to Consider

    Bottom Line

    If you have experience with running, you probably already know that running on trails is a much rougher form of exercise than running on a road. Salomon makes running sneakers for both types of runs, but the brand is definitely more famous for their trail running shoes. When running a trail you need to keep your feet protected, dry, and you need to have great traction and ground feel to ensure your feet stay firmly planted under you. Salomon is constantly working on bringing innovation to the category of trail shoes, which shows in the amazing performance you will get if you decide to purchase one of their products.

    Whether you are running on a light trail, road, or rugged terrain there is a perfect shoe out there to meet your every need. Salomon has built their company to accommodate runners in any way they may see fit. So, finding a great pair of running shoes is not as difficult as it may have once seemed. You really can have superior traction, overall comfort, style, and extended wear all in one shoe. While there are an exorbitant amount of choices out there you can never go wrong with this brand. Again you can choose your terrain and style and they will have a shoe to meet your needs.

    Made to help you traverse any type of terrain, Salomon stands committed to their slogan of “Freedom, Action, and Sports.” Focusing on protection, comfort, and breathability in an effort to give runners the perfect footwear, the brand has built up a strong following of fans who turn to Salomon running shoes for the help they need to be able to perform at their best. Continually working to bring innovation to the category of running equipment, Salomon has managed to make some of the best footwear you can get for this type of activity. Whether you prefer highly technical trails, or simple road running, the brand has it all – all you have to do is choose the model that works best for you.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    q: Are Salomon running shoes made only for trail running?

    a:

    Salomon makes shoes with trail running in mind, but have shoes with multi-terrain (on and off road) capabilities. Most of their shoes are perfect for certain types of trail, and others fare well on pavement as well. They are a truly versatile brand that tries to keep every type of runner in mind.

    q: What is Alpine trail running, and how is it different from normal trail running?

    a:

    Alpine is in reference to the mountain range known as the Alps. Shoes for Alpine conditions will need to bear the pressure of rocky, snowy, and even icy conditions. These conditions are not found on normal trails, therefore, they require a specific type of shoe if you have any hope of running them and staying on your feet.

    q: What type of lacing method do Salomon shoes incorporate?

    a:

    Some Salomon models have a lock lace triathlon style system which is usually coupled with a tuck-away pouch. They have other speed lacing systems too. If a regular lacing system is something you prefer, don’t worry Salomon has that too. Pretty much what you want is what they have in the category of laces.

    q: What is Gore-Tex and why should I get a shoe with it?

    a:

    Gore-tex (GTX) is the most breathable, yet waterproof material known to hikers, trail runners and outdoor enthusiasts of all types. GTX is the industry standard in the US for waterproof material for outdoor wear whether it’s incorporated directly into the shoe, or as a bootie (inner lining).

    q: Is it ok to wear my trail running shoes for a jog around the neighborhood?

    a:

    No, you really should not wear your trail shoes while running on asphalt. Due to the fact many trail shoes are heavily lugged on the outsole, you will find running on pavement to be difficult. You will not be able to grip the ground because the shoe will not be able to dig into the surface. If you plan on running on the road you would invest in a great pair of road running shoes. Salomon offers some top varieties as do many other great running shoe brands.