Hello again from Soko Outfitters in Cedar Rapids Iowa. This is the second part of a Salomon shoe review. The first part was a brief unwrapping party we did when our shoes arrived from our rep (love our Salomon rep) to do a quick introduction. You can see that as part of the Soko Outfitters blog. We’ve had a couple of weeks now to break in our Salomon shoes as we prepare for the The Medicus WRX Adventure Race in Wisconsin. I will be racing with my long time racing partner, Jeff and a new addition to our team, Matt. See our reviews below and feel free to chime in and even ask some questions.
Salomon Ultra Pro Trail Pre-Race Review
Matt is running in the Salomon Ultra Pro Trail.
Matt is a long distance runner. His preferred distances are 30 and 50k. He wanted something with a bit more cushion yet light enough to not fatigue his legs. Our Salomon rep made this recommendation and he couldn’t be happier. The Ultra Pro touts its “Energy Save” cushioning that is durable over the miles but absorbs energy well to decrease fatigue while not being overly soft. It is well ventilated with it’s 3D Air mesh which is still critical this time of year in the Midwest with it’s 85 degree mid September weather. Plenty of Rubber surrounding the shoe to provide protection from toe bumps. And of course it has the standard Salomon Quicklace.
“This shoe has great cushion and is still amazingly still fairly light. It is not the most responsive trail shoe I’ve worn, but it might be the most comfortable. But that is how it was designed. Traction on dry trails has been great. Close to 100miles in 2 weeks and they still look new. No break in needed at all. Amazing color scheme. Lots of compliments. Immediately recognizable as Salomon. I would definitely run ultras or through hike in these. I will buy these again for sure.”
Salomon S/Lab Sense 7 SG Pre-Race Review
Jeff is running in the Salomon S/Lab Sense 7 SG.
The Sense 7 offers a near minimalist platform while still providing stability and support. It isn’t a zero drop shoe (4mm) but provides that responsiveness from a light weight trailrunner as opposed to a more stacked and cushioned shoe that Matt prefers. Yet, it offers more padding than a zero-drop. Very light weight at 7.4oz as compared to 10.8 for the Ultra Pro that Matt wears. The “SG” is their super grip sole that offers maximum grip on all surfaces. The mesh uppers breath very well while also allowing water to drain quickly. Jeff rides more than he runs, but still logs about 25-30 miles per week. He was looking for the fastest shoe he could fine for shorter high tempo single track sessions.
“These shoes are super light. Excellent durability in the time I’ve had them. No tread issue at all despite being a softer grippy tread. They were a little stiff to start but that resolved quickly with use. They are very fast. Stable under foot on single track turns. I think I could wear without socks as well. No hot spots at all. Quicklace has been part of the offering for a long time, but it truly does provide greater stability and as they loosen during the run it’s easy and quick to give them a quick tightening. They are definitely focused on weight over cushion, Which is fine for most runs but a very rocky course or Ultra could cause some foot fatigue. They seems to drain well and would likely be good on a wet day but I haven’t had chance to test that theory.”
Salomon Speedcross 4 Pre-Race Review
I (Ryan) am running in the Salomon staple, Speedcross 4.
This shoe has been around for a while but with good reason. It is the do-all Salomon shoe. It has the highest stack at 11mm with an extremely stable base and monstrous traction. I have raced in this shoe before and found it to be bomb proof. Scrambling over rocks and roots has caused the sides of other shoes to blow out when wet which effectively ends your race despite all the duck tape in the world. That doesn’t happen to these babies. They are tried and true and so are my go-to shoe for racing. I train on the road with a much lower stack height of 4mm. But as race day approaches I begin transitioning to more single track and hills and find that the extra stack prevents fatigue from being on my toes so much. I am very much a mid-foot, almost forefoot runner. Despite the heel, I can still run on my forefoot but I do feel the heal hit. This is not a distraction and I quickly became accustomed to it. Despite some dirt, they show no wear after about 70 miles in the last 2 weeks. I did notice a subtle hot spot on my right heal on my second run. I had broken my cardinal rule and was running with a single pair of socks during break in. With lighter, soft heel-cup shoes, this isn’t an issue but Speedcross really has almost a boot like heel cup and so it can generate some friction during break-in. But two weeks in they are perfect and ready for the race in Wisconsin.
The bikes are tuned and the gear list is final and packed. Medicus WRX adventure race, here we come. Sounds like the weather will be great but it has been raining cats and dogs in the Midwest for the last week so it is going to provide all types of conditions. We will put these Salomons to the test and give you our final report next week. Hope you stay tuned and also provide your feedback.