Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Salomon Sense Pro-2 and Park Shirt Review

If you are into mountain sports like skiing, boarding, or mountaineering, you have probably heard of Salomon.  Born in the French Alps in 1947, Salomon has made products that portray their passion for the progression of mountain sports.  They are always striving to provide great new products with top quality materials and manufacturing technologies.  Their brand has grown to cover mountaineering, hiking, skiing, boarding, and trail running.  Salomon is really popular with ultra-runners because of the comfort and durability of their products.  I received the Park short sleeve tee and Sense Pro 2 trail shoes to review.  I reviewed the S-Lab X-Series shoes last year and was excited to test out some more of their gear (click here for my review of the S-Lab X-Series).

Park Short Sleeve Tee

The Park short sleeve tee may look like a normal running tech tee, but it has so much more to offer.  This is a crew neck shirt that has Salomon’s Active Fit designation, which sits close to the body for an articulated fit.  It is extremely soft with brushed polyester to keep you feeling great mile after mile. 

When it comes to running in the summer, sun protection is a must.  The Park tee has you covered with fabric that meets UPF 50 standards, that way you have one less thing to worry about.

Salomon used their AdvancedSkin ActiveDry fabric, which is their technical fabric. It’s designed to improve body comfort by keeping you dry, warm and protected when you need it.  I found that even when I was sweating heavily, the shirt still felt entirely dry and comfortable.  The Park tee also uses Bamboo/charcoal fabric to increase surface area and transport moisture vapor, which helps speed up drying time and helps with temperature regulation.  That is probably why I felt so cool on my hot runs in the Park tee.

Some of the other cool features that the Park tee has include a zippered pocket in the back which is great for a few gels, money, or your keys.  There is also reflective branding on the front and back of the shirt to keep you visible in low light situations.

The Park short sleeve tee retails for $50 normally, but is on sale at the Salomon website for $35, which is an amazing price for such a high quality shirt. 

Very comfortable
UPF 50 sun protection
Reflective branding on the front and back
Back zippered pocket
AdvancedSkin technical fabric keeps you dry and feeling great
Amazing price (on sale for $35, normally $50)

Sense Pro 2

The Sense Pro 2 is a shoe that you can use in almost any conditions and on any terrain.  It is really light weight at 9.2 ounces for the men’s version and 8.5 ounces for the women’s version.  There is a 6mm heel drop with a 23mm stack height in the heel and 17mm stack height in the forefoot.  While this might not seem as thick as some other trail shoes out there, I was pleasantly surprised by the cushioned feeling.  It is always a fine line between having a well cushioned shoe and keeping the weight down.  The Sense Pro 2 has done a great job in this area.

This shoe is low enough to the ground to allow your feet to feel the ground which really helps with more technical terrain.  The shoes are flexible enough to where you can climb up granite outcroppings and the shoes will be able to get that great grip.  It is also great when you need to make sharper turns.  Plain and simple, these are very responsive and agile shoes and I really liked that. 

The outsole is made up of low-profile sticky rubber lugs that is made with Salomon’s Wet Traction Contagrip material.  They grab onto rocks and wet surfaces with ease and even do well on harder packed trails.  The one area where I felt like the lugs fell short was when I ran through a really muddy and wet part of the trail, although in all fairness, I don’t think these shoes were designed for those areas as much as general trail running.  I would say that these shoes will work well in most cases and definitely have more traction than many other trail shoes.

When you are out on the trails, protecting your feet can be a huge deal.  If you have ever kicked a big rock with no toe protection or stepped on a sharp rock, you know what I am talking about.  The Sense Pro 2 has that taken care of that with a toe cap that will provide a little bit of protection.  There is a thin Profeel Film that is between the outsole and midsole so you have some protection from those sharp rocks as well.  It is a great balance between protecting your feet without sacrificing the flexibility of the shoe.

These shoes are well ventilated with generous areas of breathable mesh that is made of quick drying materials so your feet can dry off after running through creeks or streams.  There are areas of reinforcement that give the shoe some structure.  The Sensifit system is made to cradle your foot and really locks your foot down so it doesn’t slide around.  The sock liner (insole) is made with OrthoLite, which is a special foam and heel cup that creates a cooler, drier, and better cushioned environment under your foot.  The OrthoLite will not break down or lose its effectiveness over time.

One of my favorite features though is the quick lace system.  There is a single, thin lace that you use to tighten the shoes with a single pull.  It is super easy to put these shoes on and take them off.  There are Friction-Free Lace Eyelets that make the one-pull system so effective and there is a lace pocket to store the excess lace so it is not flopping around while you run.  I have tried this type of a feature on other shoe brand, but I like Salomon’s version better.  The quick lace system in conjunction with the Sensifit system tightens the shoe with equal pressure throughout the entire shoe, not just in certain areas.  It makes for a great fitting shoe.

The toe box is slightly wider than some shoes, which I personally like, but it all depends on your personal preferences.  I would describe the Sense Pro 2 as having more of a road shoe feel with the grip and protection of a trail shoe.  The Sense Pro 2 retails for $130 on the Salomon website, which is a great price for this shoe.  If you look around, you can find them under $100 though including this one on the Solomon website (click here).

Sizing note: I usually wear a size 10 and could probably get away with a 9 ½ in the Sense Pro 2.

Very comfortable
6mm heel drop
Light weight - 9.2 ounces
One-pull quick lace system
Great balance of cushion and flexibility
Quick lacing system
Superior traction on various surfaces
Amazing price (can be found under $100)

Can be a little slippery in really muddy areas

Salomon’s Social Media Links

I was really pleased with both the Park short sleeve tee and the Sense Pro 2 trail shoe.  The Park tee is one of the most comfortable shirts that I own and it really keeps me cool and dry in even the hottest conditions.  The Sense Pro 2 are extremely nimble and have great traction in most conditions.  They are breathable and I love the quick lace system.  You can pick up yours at the Salomon website, at a retailer near you (click here for locations) or other online retailers.   If you purchase from the Salomon website, you get free shipping.  You also have 30 days where you can return the gear it you are not completely satisfied with it, although it cannot be used or washed and must still have the tags on it.  Perfect for sizing issues though.  Solomon also offers a 2 year warranty on its running products that covers manufacture defects and defects in materials.  I just started to test Salomon running gear in the last year, but have used their skiing items for a long time now.  They make awesome products and the Sense Pro 2 and Park tee are definitely products that I would buy and recommend. 

Note:  I received this product in exchange for a review.  The review is my personal opinion of the product and I was not required to give a particular opinion of it.  I am not a doctor, so please use all of the products that I review at your own risk.

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