The Salomon Sense Ride borrows specs from the elite S-Lab line for a familiar shoe that meets most trail running needs but doesn’t break the bank.
With a thick mist shrouding the slopes, my feet punch the rocky staircase spiraling up into a void. An occasional slash of red and white paint confirm I’m on the right path. Thundering out of the clouds below is the bravado of the race announcer calling the play-by-play of the Marathon du Mont Blanc.
I’m in Chamonix, France, the prototypical mountain town. Steeper than the Rockies, taller than the Cascades, these mountains are big, bold, and rich. It’s no wonder that it’s ground zero for the modern trail runner.
It’s an ideal place to test Salomon’s forthcoming Sense Ride.
Review: Salomon Sense Ride Trail-Running Shoe
I traveled to Chamonix with Salomon to get a taste of the brand’s direction in 2017. With less focus on pure race, and a bias towards play, Salomon pitches the Sense Ride as a shoe that will serve the majority of a trail runner’s needs. I spent the morning exploring the new kicks.
The Sense Ride has a roomy toe-box, with slightly more volume over the toes than other models from the brand. A thin rubber rand overlays this and wraps around the front of the shoe, forming a minimal exoskeleton for support and durability without compromising too much breathability.
Inside the shoe, an inner sock-like layer comfortably cradles the heel, while the stretchy tongue wraps upwards from the footbed, up over your foot. Complete with the robust Ortholite insert, the shoe comfortably engages the foot, removing any hint of hotspots.
The inner sock wraps up over the collar, which sufficiently protects the ankles without rubbing on either the heel or ankle bones.
The foot is secured under Salomon’s iconic Quicklace system; pull it, tuck it, and forget it. The system is lock-solid and doesn’t budge even after a full day on the trail.
I regroup with friends back at the Marathon du Mont Blanc finish line where we scurry south across the ridge from Le Brévent. The pitter patter of feet falls silent as we turn the corner; the valley yawns open below and the clouds finally lift, revealing Mont Blanc’s full profile.
I aim my body downhill and commence descent, shedding 4,500 feet of elevation into Chamonix.
Part foam and part dampening compound, the two midsole components work together to provide a cushioned ride that quiets all-day trail vibrations. Tap dancing down the hill over blocks of rock, my knees take a beating, but my feet feel protected as I bound down the trail.
The bidirectional lugs simultaneously enable quick acceleration and responsive breaking. Not overly aggressive, I found they provide appropriate traction on both sandy and rocky trails without being unreasonably clunky on the pavement en route to the trailhead.
Take Aways and Observations
Reflecting on the runs over a week’s time, the Sense Ride was familiar to me — like the New Balance or ASICS from my days on the roads. While not as plush or soft as as a roadrunner, the shoe felt distinctly firm, but didn’t impede that “trail feel” we crave.
When compared to other Salomon shoes, the Sense Ride is priced at or below other shoes in the Salomon lineup. And unlike the ferociously sexy chassis and aggressive lugs of the ever-popular Speedcross — or the niche performance oriented S-LAB series — the Sense Ride sits at the confluence of cushion, comfort and performance.
Bottom line, it’s a shoe that trail runners will find suitable for most of their runs.
The Sense Ride is available in men’s and women’s versions now at specialty stores. It releases at multiple retailers August 1st.
Salomon Sense Ride
- Weights: 9.7 oz. (men’s); 8.8 (women’s)
- Stack: 27mm (heel), 19mm (forefoot)
- Drop: 8mm
- Fit: true to size
- More Info/Buy now: $120
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