Best Salming Running Shoes Reviewed
Welcome to Salming, a Swedish brand that is very popular in Europe and just debuted in the US about two years ago. This brand is known primarily for its shoes for court sports. Expanding beyond the courts, Salming has applied their advanced running lab to designing a strong lineup of shoes that we introduce to you in this buying guide. From racing to training, Salming has a shoe you might want to consider.
1. Salming Miles
Most manufacturers have a company name and logo or design element that easily defines them. We are all familiar with the Nike swoosh and the Adidas tri-stripes. Salming displays its name in upper case letters along the sides of the shoe in a manner similar to Hoka One One. Some runners do not object to this level of direct advertising, but others are certainly put off by it.
Salming also prominently displays its name on the heel box and tongue. They have embraced a three stripe rectangular strapping design on the sides of the shoe which is far less obvious than the printed name.
These shoes feature a two layer upper construction consisting of a softer inner layer and durable outer for air circulation and breathability. The exterior is called an “Exo Skeleton Design” for more durability, protection against the intrusion of pebbles and dirt and stability.
The midsole is constructed to absorb impact and provide recoil so your move smoothly from step to step. The shoes also have a transparent TPU section that absorbs impact and provides firm push-off and rebound into succeeding steps.
The above average cushioning interior and upper are the first sources of comfort in the Miles. The generous toe box allows room for toe splay, an important aspect of comfort, and does not push down on the tops of the toes. The heel cup is cushioned but not to excess and enables some foot adjustment as you run.
Because Salming is offering a limited release in the US, these are expensive shoes offered in a limited number of colors.
- Designed as a regular use road shoe
- Endures basic elements such as moisture and gravel or loose dirt
- Comfortable sole and interior
- Cushioned without weight (11oz.)
- These shoes run a size smaller than standard American shoes sizes.
- Some runners fell that the generous amount of rubber give these shoes an awkward feel.
2. Salming Distance
When you look at a pair of Salming Distance's, you can almost believe you are looking at a design sketch of the shoe because nearly every part of the shoe is labeled. This is a good marketing tool and enables you to match up the feature descriptions with the parts of the shoe being described, though after becoming familiar with the shoes, it doesn’t appear to have much
The Distance include the two layer upper construction consisting of a softer inner layer and durable outer for air circulation and breathability. The exterior, called an “Exo Skeleton Design”, delivers durability and protection against the intrusion of pebbles and dirt and also provides stability.
An interesting feature of the Distance is that the mesh features are extended to the padded tongue which helps prevent heat build-up on the upper part of the foot. The lacing system includes some distinctive features as well. Bypassing the usual holes for the laces, the Distance uses fabric loops which seem to enable more precise adjustment. The tongue stabilizing loop features the Swedish flag, in case you forgot the country of origin of the shoes.
The Distance features a Torsion Efficiency Unit ™ for durability and a translucent TPU.
Less cushioned than the Miles, this model still delivers a comfortable run. The rubber sole is durable and responsive and the shoe includes the trademarked RunLite Midsole with High ‘abrasion Injection EVA for excellent ground feel.
Value is different from price; these are still expensive, even for elite shoes, but if they are a match for you, it’s worth the investment.
- Provides natural propulsion into the next steps
- Good road feel
- Comfortable mesh tongue
- Flexible without sacrificing stability
- Some runners feel there are sizing issues even after compensating for European sizing.
3. Salming Enroute
Based on the Salming's Natural Running Support System™, the Enroute’s concept is that it enables you to find and maintain your natural running style. This is, in fact, the Salming running shoe concept – that each running has a natural, ideal style – we don’t have to study for years to learn the gait designed by a running master.
In the Enroute, Salming presents an integrated functional shoe with the multi-tiered upper and engineered foundation operating as a whole. The tongue has a gusset design and is composed of a layer of soft mesh against the foot, followed by the ExoSkeleton ™ covered by the upper thin mesh; a composition that matches the upper construction of the entire shoe.
The midsole is responsive and bouncy and is supported by the Torsional Efficiency Unit for stability and a smooth transition from stride to stride. Flexible grooves on the outsole provide excellent push off the toes and the wide toe box is perfect for toe splay, which in turn improves traction and balance.
The lace loops for the Enroute are actually attached to the bands of the exoskeleton enabling a close, customized fit. The ankle collar is generously padded as is the puffy, ventilated tongue, as usual with Salming, stabilized by a loop sporting the image of the Swedish flag.
The three layer upper, with generous toe box and cushioned ankle collar add to the comfort of this endurance shoe.
Pricey, but Salming is one manufacturer that substantially cuts prices on older versions of a shoe when the new is released so you may be able to find a bargain.
- Integrated upper and lower shoe work in seamless coordination
- Comfort throughout
- Interesting engineering foundation
- Some runners feel the appearance is clunky.
- Some runners dislike the tongue which is a T shape.
4. Salming Trail
Very light for the trail, this shoe is flexible and responsive. That said, it cannot provide all the bells and whistles many trail runners require. For example, it has no rock plate midsole wedge nor does it have any metal trail-gripping power. You have to rely on the provided lugs midsole and wedges around the perimeter, which do an admirable job of hugging the irregular terrain.
The toe box is generous and the Trail protects those toes with a RocShield that extends around the base of the foot and concludes in a hardened heel to protect that rear part of the foot.
The connection with the trail is the foundation of the comfort of the Trail shoe. Though fully an off-road model, it feels light and provides a smooth, road-like touch. The dense injected EVA and RocShield add to the comfort factors of this shoe.
Though the changes to the Trail with more recent releases are well-received, you can find bargains in older models to avoid the high price tag of the latest version.
- Rip-stop style upper
- RocShield for foot protection
- RunLite comfort midsole
- Non-slip lugs
- Some runners find the Trail is not quite versatile enough for all the terrain variations of trail running in spite of its comfort.
5. Salming Race
With the Race, Salming continues its practice of name display on every possible surface of the shoe. Be careful not to misplace these shoes at a race; anyone who finds them will think the owner’s name is Salming. Seriously, branding aside, we grow to like the identifying labeling on the shoe that seems to indicate a ‘no secrets’ design attitude.
The Race returns to traditional shoelace holes. The forefoot strapping is spiderweb-ed, shedding weight where ever possible, though the Race is still both supportive and stable.
The shoe design elements hide a pretty cool feature. Nested beneath the outer layer of mesh is a multi-color, stained-glass-like pattern only visible in limited light – a really fun touch in this serious race shoe.
These shoes provide a weightless comfort – a barefoot with a plus feeling – so they support your natural stride and gait, provide a smooth, gently firm proprioception so you read the road and feel the impact without discomfort. With the patented RunLite midsole and Torsion Efficiency Unit, you have a stable, natural base for your high performance runs.
Many runners are accustomed to paying more for race shoes so these are not as pricey in this category as in others, but at this point, Salming is toward the top of the price scale for elite running shoes.
- Crazy light – 6.5 oz. for an average men’s shoe
- Near – barefoot feel
- Padded, cushioned tongue
- Light padding on ankle collar
- “Race-y” appearance with bold color play
- Natural running shoe
- Some runners feel they are too lightly weaved for cold.
- Some runners feel they are too expensive for a running flat; not suitable for distances over 5k because of the limited support.
6. Salming Elements
The Elements feature tank-like traction, holding you upright over mud, sand and rocky paths. This traction doesn’t mean this is a clunky shoe; far from it. It hits an attractive place between minimalist plus trail shoes and the weighty hikers. It features a low profile, heel loop for easy wear and a generous amount of foam between your foot and the lugs. A substantial, nonrestrictive toe band protects the toe box and a similar band protects and re-enforces the heel for protection from debris and stability.
The lace holes are linked directly to the stability bands for more traction, a closer relationship with the road, and greater security.
Though light, the Elements don't scrimp on comfort. It includes the padded ankle collar we now expect from Salming, a large toe box, and remarkably porous mesh upper that sheds water quickly. The sole lugs and impressive grip in no way limit the flexibility of the midsole.
Though Salming's are expensive, this super trail shoe is on a par with high end trail shoes.
- Eats challenging miles with ease
- Comfortable and responsive
- Compromise between minimalist and “maximalist”
- Some runners feel the foot protection should be more substantial.
- Though the upper releases water quickly, some runners feel that the rest of the shoe holds moisture and is slow to dry.
7. Salming Xplore
These minimal shoes were specifically designed to help develop the muscles and strength of your feet – stronger feet, stronger runs, right? The Xplore trains your feet almost behind your own back, while you embrace close-to-barefoot running. All the Salming shoes are light, but naturally, this is the lightest. At 5.8 oz. these are more in the flip-flop weight class than the running shoe group, but still they provide a super flexible and responsive RunLite Midsole, anti-odor/anti-bacterial insole.
Impressive lightness meets responsiveness in this durable barefoot shoe. The stability bands are not the ExoSkeleton of the previously mentioned models, but of soft, flexible material that provide stability without structure, held in position by the laces. The puffy tongue is pleasant against the upper foot and the EVA injection provides sole protection while enabling you to read the road as you run.
These are a good value for the amount of support, durability and style they provide.
- Barefoot feel
- Encourages building strength of foot muscles
- Some runners do not think the lacing system is as good as it could be.
Though new to the American running market, Salming shows early promise in the releases we have seen thus far. The Xplore and Elements already have strong followings and we anticipate that the Miles will not be far behind.
The price tag is a significant factor with this small scale release phase. It will be interesting to see how Salming does with larger distribution. However, for runners with healthy bank accounts, you could do much worse than take a Salming for a drive.