Ultra runners rejoice.
The Salomon Men's S-Lab Sense Ultra Trail Running Shoe is the top choice for ultra runners seeking a nimble platform that doesn't skimp on protection underfoot. Seeing that ultra runners endure up to 100 miles of punishment on the trail, the S-Lab Sense Ultra Trail Running Shoe has a higher stack height (27/17 millimeters) than other shoes in Salomon's S-Lab line. This translates to greater cushioning for completing grueling distances, but without reducing much in the way of tactile feedback or balance.
Providing fast adjustments, the Quick Lace system gets you off and running without fumbling with tying knots or making constant adjustments. Breathable mesh across the upper heightens comfort when you're sweating profusely on the trail. Extra cushioning along the collar prevents nasty blisters from slowing you down, which is especially important across long distances.
It packs Salomon's EnergyCell+ midsole, which is comprised of a lightweight foam that's incredibly firm and responsive. Along the sole, the Premium Wet Traction Contagrip treads aggressively across variable surfaces, ranging from packed dirt to loose rubble and rocks in the alpine. This rubber is tacky enough to provide grip in the wet, meaning you won't lose balance over slippery roots and rocks.
- Balanced feel and cushioning for ultra runners
- Greater cushioning for long-distance comfort
- Quick Lace system for fast adjustment, secure fit
- Breathable mesh upper prevents sweat build-up
- Plush padding at collar prevents heel blisters
- Energy Cell+ midsole is firm and responsive underfoot
- Premium Wet Traction Contagrip for unrelenting traction
- Item #SAL00WF
- Q & A
FIts like a slipper
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
- Fit: True to size
- Size Bought: 9.5
I really enjoy this shoe. I own a pair of Speedcross 4 and while it's a great shoe (and what I use for the majority of my weekday running) the differences between it and this pair are well worth the extra price paid. This is my long run and racing shoe of choice.
First, the fit on the Sense Ultra is more glove-like. I find that I don't have to pull the laces beyond just taking out the slack to get a nice, comfortable fit. Additionally, the lacing system on the Sense Ultra (while the same in design) seems to use a different cabling system and clasp than the Speedcross. The Sense Ultra laces seem stronger, finer and better made.
The tongue on the Sense Ultra is also less bulky than the Speedcross. I find that my Speedcross tongue will sometimes bunch up or drift to one side, requiring some adjustments every few miles. Not so on the Sense Ultra—the tongue stays put, and doesn't extend as far out of the shoe.
Grip on both shoes is excellent and equal. I was recently running a steep downhill section of trail that had a layer of greasy mud flowing across it (heavy snowpack and strong spring runoff in Boise has left a lot of that). As I hit it, I felt my heel start to slide and I was sure I was about to take a tumble, but the chevrons on the heel quickly locked into place.
The Sense Ultra also seems to drain and dry better and faster than my Speedcoross. On a recent out-and-back with a deep stream crossing I tried to be dainty and avoid getting wet on the way out (also, the "new shoes don't get them dirty" thing). On the way back I was less concerned about being wet and just plowed through the water. To my surprise the shoes drained and felt dry in under a mile.
The toe box is comfortable, though not as roomy as my Altra's. I've been trying out Injiji toe socks and they're working well with the Sense Ultra.
Cushioning is good but not spongy, as you might expect from a shoe billed for ultra-distances. The 9mm height feels good on steep climbs/descents and it takes to both technical and wet trails well. This will be my go-to shoe for upcoming 50- and 100-mile races this season.
Salomon sizing seems to be very specific for me. In some other brands of shoe (Altra, Saucony, Brooks) I can often fluctuate a half-size up and need to actually walk in the shoe to "feel" what's right. In the Salomons the last seems very specific; I wear a 9.5 and it feels perfect, while a 10 is awkward and uncomfortable.
most comfortable Salomon
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
- Fit: True to size
- Size Bought: 10.5
I am not a runner, but have been looking forever for a really comfortable shoe that my fused ankle can handle. I have owned 6 pairs of Speedcross over the years and loved them, had an older pair of the wings and liked them also, but these new new Ultra trail shoes are so darn sweet! I normally wear a 10.5 and thats exactly what I ordered, fit mint!