Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Salomon Sense Ride 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, durability, and innovation of their products.  Their hydration vests/packs provide the best fit of any vests/packs that I’ve tested and hold tons of gear.

In the past, I have reviewed several items from Salomon and am always impressed with their products.  Here are some links to my past reviews:

So I had heard some really good things about the Sense Ride trail shoe.  The reviews out there talk about the flexibility and responsiveness of the shoe, which made me eager to try them out.  To be completely honest, the one thing that has not put Salomon shoes higher on my list of go-to shoes is that they tend to be rather stiff and the toe box has been narrower than I felt comfortable in.  I am not saying that I dislike any of the shoes because they are awesome shoes with great features.  For my feet though, they just weren’t my favorites.  I was curious how the Sense Ride would compare to previous Salomon shoes.

The first thing I checked out was the flexibility as soon as I opened the box.  Much to my surprise they really made the Sense Ride more flexible… I mean a lot more flexible!  This was definitely apparent in my testing as I was able to really feel comfortable on the trails, both up and down hill.  The shoes are more responsive and really makes you feel fast (which I actually was running faster than normal thanks to the feel of the shoe). 

Another area where I feel the Sense Ride really stands out is the amount of cushioning.  While it is not a Hoka, it does have plenty of cushion to really let you run and keep your feet happy.  For me, this would be a great shoe for anything from a shorter run to a 50k.  I am not sure how my feet would feel after doing much more than that, but I do tend to like tons of cushioning for those really long races.  The midsole is made with Compressed EVA, EnergyCell+, and OPAL compounds to make up what Salomon calls their Vibe Technology. 

EnergyCell+ is a high-rebound midsole compound that provides exceptional energy return while also delivering substantial cushion and durability (1).  OPAL is a cushioning compound that is inserted into the midsole that profiles a soft and comfortable underfoot ride with the benefit of high-rebound (1). It provides a cushioned but bouncy experience in an extremely light package.   Salomon’s Vibe Technology is the combination of the EnergyCell+ and OPAL compounds, but what it really does is reduce the amount of vibration upon foot impact.  That vibration can cause damage to your joints and muscles and is also known to fatigue your muscles faster. 

The Sense Ride like many other Salomon shoes, has premium traction in wet conditions thanks to having a Contagrip® outsole and some decent lugs.  I would not necessarily say this is a shoe for those really muddy days, but it will work well in most conditions.  It also provides a decent amount of protection from rocks.

Another common feature in Salomon shoes is the Quicklace™ system, which lets you tighten your shoes with one pull of their laces.  They go through friction free lace eyelets so it is really easy to get them on and off.  Their Sensifit™ system cradles your foot from the midsole lacing system.   It provides a great fit all around your foot and I would definitely say that this is the best fitting Salomon shoe that I have tried to date.  It really just feels great from the moment you put them on.  No sliding feet, even going down steep hills.  Bye Bye black toe nails…

Other specs to mention include an 8mm heel drop with a stack height of 27mm in the heel and 19mm in the forefoot.  It weighs in at 9.7 ounces, which is really good for a trail shoe.  Here is a video review I did with the Sense Ride.  It is my first video review in the field and I had a blast with my GoPro Hero6 Black.

I have tested the Sense Ride in various conditions over the past month and a half and I have not had a bad experience yet (with a little over 50 miles on them).  I’ve had a love hate relationship with the Quicklace™ system in the past, but absolutely love it in the Sense Ride.  The fit is perfect and is true to size.  The width is great too and I am able to lock my foot down with ease, which makes my runs more enjoyable.  The lighter weight, vibration reduction (with the VIBE technology), and cushioning makes this an awesome pick for almost all conditions from smooth single tracks to technical trails.  The price is great at $120 as well.

Very comfortable
9.7 ounces
Flexible and responsive
Quicklace™ system works great
Plenty of cushion
Great price ($120)

Salomon’s Social Media Links

The Sense Ride is a shoe that Salomon should be extremely proud of.  I love it and will be using them quite a bit in the coming months as I spend more time on the trails.  There is no better compliment for a running shoe than to say that you can just run and not even think about the shoes.  This shoe definitely has earned that compliment.  Give it a try and let me know what you think. 

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.

(1)   https://www.salomon.com/us/product/sense-ride.html


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