Flexibility throughout the sole aims to add both comfort and stability on hard-pavement runs. Salomon claims its Predict RA will also help relieve hip and knee stress for regular road runners.
When Salomon set out to design its latest road running shoe, the brand wanted to reduce the amount of stress placed on a runner’s knees and hips during a workout. But in order to do that, the design team had to take a completely different approach than it had in the past and integrate new technologies.
The result of that ground-up redesign is the new Predict RA, a road runner built to provide comfort and stability without sacrificing performance. At first glance, the Predict RA bears a striking resemblance to its Salomon running shoe family. But dig a little deeper, and you start to notice the shoe has some distinguishing features that set it apart from the rest of the company’s catalog — or just about anything else on the market.
In short: This road runner from Salomon stands out with noticeable flexibility throughout the foot’s range of motion. The brand added more articulation in the midsole and outsole, and it shows. The Predict RA also adds a good amount of cushioning. But the shoes still maintain decent ground-feel sensitivity. Our only concern was an annoying, out-of-the-box squeak that faded with a few runs.
Salomon Predict RA Street Running Shoe
For starters, the shoe uses what Salomon calls an “ultra-decoupled” bottom to provide a smoother, more stable ride. Most manufacturers will decouple the heel section of a shoe to both create more flexibility between heel and forefoot and reduce the shock of impact. And the Predict RA takes that concept further.
Salomon’s designers added grooves along the top and bottom of the midsole to mimic the bone and joint patterns of the human foot, and provide greater articulation throughout foot strike. The result is improved flexibility, a stronger connection between the foot and the shoe itself, and a greater feeling of nimbleness.
The outsole received plenty of attention as well, with Salomon incorporating 10 individual “platforms” into the Predict RA’s design. These platforms work independently of one another, adjusting to the wearer’s footfalls and load patterns as needed.
Basically, no two runners have the exact same stride or style, so the Predict RA’s sole aims to adapt to the wearer by offering cushioning “on demand” based on how the runner moves. And because the outsole is extremely flexible, the shoe remains stable at all times.
To top off the new build, Salomon equipped the Predict RA with a soft, durable, and surprisingly breathable upper. As with the midsole and outsole, plenty of thought went into the design of this portion of the shoe. While the Predict RA doesn’t use Salomon’s popular Quicklace system, the shoe’s upper really hugs the foot securely, using traditional laces. And it still remains snugly in place throughout long runs.
Salomon Predict RA Review
Tipping the scales at 9.1 ounces (U.S. men’s size 9), the Predict RA doesn’t fall into the minimalist category, although it still feels incredibly light in hand. The shoe has a 25-mm stack height at the heel with an 8-mm drop. That isn’t especially severe amongst road running shoes, but those who prefer a zero-drop shoe will certainly take notice.
We’ve had a chance to put the Predict RA through its paces, running more than 50 miles in it over the past couple weeks. While comfort and fit are obviously subjective to each individual, we found these road runners to be among the most accommodating Salomon has produced in a while.
Salomon’s unique sole design helps runners maintain a better overall connection with the ground. That not only translates to greater stability but also improved speed.
Because these shoes are already soft and flexible out of the box, break-in times were practically nonexistent. It only took a mile or two before they started to feel completely natural on our feet.
That said, one shoe from our test pair harbored an annoying squeak for the first couple of runs. Fortunately, the squeak went away. But it was fairly loud and noticeable in the beginning and would probably drive any runner who isn’t wearing earbuds slowly insane over the course of a long run.
2019 Road Running Shoe: Salomon Predict RA
The long-term durability for the Predict RA remains to be seen. But our test models aren’t showing any signs of wear and tear despite numerous runs of 5 to 12 miles. As one would expect, after just 50 miles, the soles are maintaining their cushioning nicely. And post-run recovery times are excellent.
The Salomon Predict RA will cost $160 and launch early at select retailers on Oct. 31, 2018 (see below). After that, Salomon expects a full Predict RA rollout Feb. 1, 2019.
Salomon Predict RA Early Launch Retailers: Oct. 31, 2018
- Reno Running Company – Reno, Nev.
- TC Running Company – Minneapolis
- San Francisco Running Company – Mill Valley, Calif.
- Running Warehouse – San Louis Obispo, Calif.
- Runner’s Roost – Denver
- Marathon Sports – Boston, Mass.
- Fleet Feet Rochester – Rochester, N.Y.
- Gazelle Sports – Grand Rapids, Mich.
- Footzone – Bend, Ore.
- Salomon Brand Store – Salt Lake City
- Salt Lake Running Company – Salt Lake City
We’ll need to wear these shoes for extended periods of time to know whether or not the promised reduction of stress on our hips and knees is a reality, but the early prognosis is certainly good.