Salomon S/Lab XA Alpine 2

9.0 score
[Editors rating (9.0)] = (WalkJogRun) score (9.0)/10

Editor rating: 9.0 / 10
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Editor’s Conclusion
Trail running is popular because of the variety it brings, the terrain can differ and you can get a great workout from it. But, with mixed terrain comes the added pressure of wearing footwear that accommodates the specific style.

Benefiting from maximum cushioning and high foot protection, the S/Lab XA is perfect to hit the hills with or mountains - should you dare for a bigger challenge. With features including a Climbing zone, Dual-Density midsole, Contagrip TA, and EndoFit, these trail shoes are up there for serious athletes.

If you are hitting the rocky terrain, then this formidable shoe is one you really should consider, though they are a slim fit so you may want to contemplate this fact if you have wider feet.

The Salomon S/Lab XA Alpine 2 are an extremely unique trail running shoe. They are lightweight and designed for rockier running terrain allowing your feet to move freely and with the ground rather than against it.

Editor's Pros & Cons

Climbing zone

Carbon edging chassis


Contagrip TA

Maximum cushioning


Slim fit

Specific technologies towards a rocky terrain

Not a huge amount of energy return

Key Features

Running shoes, especially trail shoes, need technologies that will enhance their performance and allow you to run with your terrain rather than against it.

Having said that, let's take a look at the technologies that make the Salomon S/Lab XA Alpinr 2 so empowering.

Contagrip TA

Built for maximum grip on loose, rugged, and uneven ground, the Contagrip TA outsole is the exact type of traction you need to tackle rockier terrain.

It uses deep, sharp lugs made from a compound that is great for durability and adhesion. It's the badass outsole of the running world, so you are covered.

Climbing Zone

I've said that these trail shoes are specific towards rockier terrain, so it makes total sense that they would also feature a climbing zone, an area in the forefoot for grip, durability, and more energy while scrambling and climbing over rocks.

It's needed for the type of runs these shoes are, believe me.

Carbon Edging Chassis

This system is great for stability and precision, all while being super lightweight. This will not only support you with tackling more technical runs but also helps improve lateral support for scrambling.


It's the internal sock-like feel that is perfect for trail runs and gives your foot a more precise step as the shoe will feel at one with every movement your foot makes.

It's a bonus; a lot of trail shoes don't have the advantage of the hug-like feel due to their bulkiness. The S/Lab XA Alpine 2 is so lightweight that it feels like you are wearing air.

Lateral Zip Gaiter

This is a pretty unique feature and one that I thought was really great on the S/Lab XA Alpine 2. The protective cuff wraps around the top of the ankle and helps stop water, snow, and other unwanted debris.

Profeel Film

Another advantage to the Salomon S/Lab XA Alpine 2 is the profeel film - this protective strike plate is a great benefit.

EnergyCell EVA

An EVA midsole is crucial for comfort in trail running shoes and the EnergyCell EVA in the S/Lab XA gives great shock absorption which is needed when you're bouncing off rocks and mixed terrain.


The Salomon S/Lab XA Alpine 2 (yes, it's a mouthful), is a truly unique-looking trail running shoe. They look like they hug your feet and we already know that they possess all the technologies to do just that.

These Salomon shoes are stylish and protective, available in a casual black with a slice of blue running down the outside of the foot.

The thick outsole and tough lugs are benefiting features on the trail and add durability to these shoes.

They differ from other trail shoes with their added height around the ankle. The zip is also a different feature that I don't regularly see on trail shoes and is a smart add-on.

Comparison to Similar Trail Runners

Adidas Outdoor Terrex Agravic BOA - Now these are rare beauties, both in design and performance. Offering a lightweight, durable and responsive ride, the Terrex Agravic BOA is a great shoe. With a BOOST midsole, breathable mesh lining, Continental rubber outsole, and reinforced TPU toe cap, this trail shoe is more of an all-rounder than a specific trail-based shoe. The sock-like construction plays a key part in this shoe's comfortable and breathable feel.

Vibram FiveFingers V-Trail 2 - If you want a minimalist shoe, then the Vibram FiveFingers is a great choice. Breathable, super lightweight, and resistant, the Vibram FiveFingers is designed specifically to give you that barely-there feel. The EVA footbed will assure the added cushioning you need on trail runs.


Salomon is a great brand, reputable, and knowledgeable about running and the S/Llab XA Alpine 2 are no doubt a great trail shoe.

The technologies and design used in this shoe are exceptional and will give you not only a comfortable ride but an extremely performance-driven one too.

This sock-feeling trail running shoe is unique in its look and how it performs. The Climbing Zone is a great benefit for anyone looking at trail shoes specifically for rocky terrain.

They are an expensive shoe so try not to be too surprised when you look at the price tag, but given the design and craftsmanship of the S/Lab XA Alpine 2, they are worth it.

Be mindful of the fitting. As I mentioned before, they are on the slim side. I also wouldn't use these trail running shoes for all of my trail runs as I prefer a bulkier exterior on forest runs.