Salomon Trail Running Shoes – 2021 Buying Guide
So, to make your next purchase decision easy, we've tested, reviewed, and ranked the best trail running shoe models that Salomon has released.
Peruse our top picks below before making your next purchase.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
There’s a good reason why many avid trail runners that use Salomon footwear continue to come back to the brand time and time again.
There are plenty of great features in each Salomon shoe that make for great comfort, some of which are specific to the designs of this brand. Take, for example, the Sensifit midfoot support. This feature adds snug hold across the midfoot because of the way that its overlays interact with the Quicklace system which is very typical of this footwear. Many of these also have things like EVA injected midsoles and heel caps, protective toe caps, Ortholite sock liners and footbeds, and breathable mesh uppers, all of which bring a lot to the table in terms of comfort.
In order to determine the score for each product, we analyzed its purpose, features, and design while looking for things that make a pair of shoes comfortable such as a properly cushioned footbed and having the right sized toe box. Then we considered over 2200 reviews from a wide variety of users to see what they had to say. This helps us have a well-rounded view of each pair of shoes rather than just relying on our own narrow opinions.
When you want a product that can move on wet, loose stones and keep you stable and sure-footed, you can count on this brand to come through and pass the test with flying colors.
Are you a weekend runner, or will you be hitting the trails for back-to-back days? According to real-world testers that exercise in wet and soggy conditions for more than one day in a row, you’re going to want to consider an additional pair of outdoor waterproof running shoes. This is because allowing time for your footwear to air dry is essential to maintaining comfort every time.
Remember that no matter what type of workout you are doing, a solid rotation of footwear helps to increase the durability and integrity of your gear. All cushioning and supportive materials whether they are foam, gels, or composites, require time to “spring back”. This is why a good rotation of trail runners is always a good idea.
Even though you can expect these to hold up over time it is still important to be aware of when to replace them. While a typical pair has a lifespan of three hundred to five hundred miles, this does not apply to trail running shoes. For this specialized footwear, you need to be your best advocate. It can be tricky because they stay in relatively good shape, but it’s essential that you keep some sort of a check on the number of miles and hours that you put on them.
Off-road paths are full of uneven terrain and debris.
When you take into consideration inclines and changes in the ground (from dirt to leaf-covered, etc), you will definitely need footwear that offers superior traction. The products on our list have outsoles with plenty of lugs and extra sticky rubber outsoles to keep you stable while tackling difficult outside conditions. This can be a huge advantage when it comes to durability because a solid outsole can make a world of difference when it comes to lifespan.
The amount of grip each shoe offers does vary by model, however, so be sure to check out this score in each review if this is a factor that's really important to you.
Salomon is known for the dependability and long-lasting nature of their shoes. They use high-quality materials and construction methods to ensure that the user has a great running experience and gets the most value possible out of their shoes.
While they're not inexpensive shoes by any means, for those who choose to buy them they offer great grip, excellent comfort, and an overall high level of performance.
Even with higher than average prices, countless positive reviews boast about users being on their third or fourth pair, with no intention of trying any other brand. No matter the price, these shoes have a great cost-to-value ratio.
While this brand is a known top name in the trail running world, we know that they can be pricey as well. This is why we made a strong effort to bring a selection of top-notch models that fit into every reader’s budget. Additionally, working with an Internet-commerce powerhouse like Amazon.com gives us the freedom to offer these models at their absolute lowest price to give our readers the best deal possible. No outrageous markup like outdoor specialty stores, and no shady business practices like online auction re-sellers. This all adds up to the absolute best value for your hard-earned dollar.
In order to get the most bang for your buck, we recommend that before shopping you think about what's most important to you in a pair of trail running shoes and prioritize that when you're picking out a pair. There's no point in paying for extra features that you don't want or need and this can save you some money. For example, let's say that you regularly run on very rough trails with a lot of rocks and slippery scree.
In this case, you should make sure to get a pair of shoes that have excellent traction and a rock plate to protect the bottom of your feet, but you can probably skip having Goretex or any other sort of waterproofing technology which can be expensive and in this case, you may not really need anyway.
Your feet sweat no matter where you run, so having a shoe that allows moisture to escape is a big-time positive feature.
No matter if you're running on pavement or trails your feet are going to sweat so it's important that your trail running shoes are able to allow the moisture from your feet to escape to the outside air where it can dry naturally. Luckily, Salomon understands this and makes all of their trail running shoes to include this design feature. However, each model is a bit different from the rest in this and other aspects so we scored each one to help you easily and quickly see what's what.
To do this we looked at the size and spacing of the mesh used in the uppers and the amount and positioning of any overlays (which can block moisture from escaping) that are used to add motion control and/or structural support.
Best Salomon Trail Running Shoes
1. Speedcross 5
Salomon took somethings out and put some back when designing the Speedcross 5 as well as upgrading the lugs. For starters, the wider forefoot is back, creating a much more stable trail running shoes compared to the 4. Salomon said they broke the shoe down from the source code and they obviously compiled research from all their fans to design one of their best shoes yet. Once you take a look, you’ll see why this upgrade stole the first spot on our list of Top 10 Salomon trail running shoes.Read more
Looking for a smooth transition for those Ultra runs? Or maybe you just want an awesome shoe you can kick rocks without eating dirt. The Speedcross 5 has it all. The midsole has a high rebound to it and the added EnergyCell+ in the heels absorbs shock like a dream, making these more than idea for heel strikers. Salomon laid the lugs out with a unique, intelligent geometrical design, which adds the stellar grip to virtually any and every surface - dry or wet - and then release debris easily post run.
Salomon's coveted Quicklace system jives well with the higher platform, locking in the shoe and keeping you from feeling unstable like some had with the 4. Moreover, you can still tuck the laces in for hassle-free storage. All this and they are still lighter than previous models.
You really don’t need to look elsewhere in the durability dept; the Speedcross5 is a beast. From the Anti-debris Molded OrthoLite sock liner with a gusseted tongue to the Contagrip rubber sole, Salomon clocked in on durability. Every single detail that went into this shoe added some sort of durability purpose. The Ortholite sock is a welded design meaning it is seamless so chafing or seam tears are history. And, even if you did get a pebble or two in there, that Quicklace system makes the shoe way too easy to get on and off.
Furthermore, the Midsole EnergyCell+ technology may be great for cushioning but the design also allows for less physical pressure to the outer heel area and absorbs any impact directly, saving the outer sole.
The Salomon Speedcross 5 is the full package at a really affordable price. It is dependable for miles while keeping your feet cool and comfortable. It really is a push above the rest. It’s good for beginners and novices and fits perfectly for most. Oh, and as we mentioned, its a bargain.
2. S-Lab Sense 7
Salomon pulled out all the tricks with the S-Lab Sense 7. Designing a more durable and lighter shoe than the older models, everything about this shoe was made for the rugged outdoors. They are tougher, lighter, and more cushioned than any other number in their model class.Read more
The lighter weight of the S-Lab Sense 7 is just one honorable mention in the comfortable design. The energy in these shoes is unreal and gives you a bounce to the toe while absorbing impact on the landing. Also, the light TPU layer on the bottom of the shoe is just a sweet added touch to keep those sharper objects from jabbing into the foot. The whole outer layer of the shoe was designed for endurance. With the Sense 7, you get that low to the ground, flexible feel of a great trail shoe without all the discomfort of, well, the actual ground.
The inner sock-like fit of Salomons Sensfit technology adds more than anti-debris, it adds tons of love and comfort to the foot. Take that and put the anatomical binding Quick lace system in there, you have a full chassis of elements locking your foot in for an incredible trail ride.
The S-Lab Sense 7 upper was upgraded to a more sophisticated and durable material. They switched from the banding supports to a more porous and welded design, creating a ton more durability and breathability for the shoe. The lugs are placed in a strategically spread out geometrical design and lined with the TPU material we were discussing, which makes longer lasting super lugs.
The lugs bounce, support protect and have above standard grip without wearing down after a few miles.
Some of the most top endurance runners rave about Salomon’s trail running technology. We here at Runner Click enjoy it too. Although these carry a heftier price tag, they have proven to be a worthy reward. The S-Lab Sense 7 is loaded with extreme terrain and trail features.
Adding to all that, they are dependable for longer broken in comfort you just can't get with less durable trail running shoes. They are supreme in comfort and keep you upright on all degrees of terrain and that for us is top 10 material.
3. Sense Pro 2
The Salomon Sense Pro 2 is a great option that provides athletes with stability, support, and comfort. They are designed to help you increase your speed while also helping you perform to the best of your ability while out on the trails.Read more
These shoes are minimalistic and designed for speed. They are best for easy terrain to help you increase your speed and performance in preparation for the more difficult trails you may want to tackle. The utilize breathable mesh and provide a secure fit during your workouts. They have a firm feel for those of you who like to feel the ground and like a more natural running movement.
These are also highly durable and made of high-quality materials. However, since they are not best for mud since they are minimally lugged--but work great on rocky and inconsistent terrain.
These are moderately priced and a great investment.
4. S/Lab Ultra 2
If you like to travel off the beaten path, the S/Lab Ultra 2 provides you with excellent support as well as agility. The unique fit of the sock-like upper stays put as you traverse uneven terrain, and feels lightweight so it won’t hold you back. This is the design you wear running long distances where you need just a little bit of extra support.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about this design is that it boasts a sock-like Endofit bootie that really holds your foot in place for excellent lockdown. This design offers ease of movement and flexibility not seen with many trail runners out there on the market.
Runners also love the addition of dual-density EVA foam in the midsole. This material is a little stiffer than some of the other more cushioned designs, but it helps to support your knees and joints when running on hard surfaces. The ContaGrip MA outsole is built to be sticker than some of the other designs in the Salomon line, which makes it ideal for slick surfaces.
If you are on the market for a trail runner that isn’t composed of heavy and bulky materials, this is a great choice. Users love that it fits their foot like a glove so that scaling difficult trails is a breeze. One thing to note, however, is that many find that the fit is just a little too narrow, which is something to keep in mind when considering the S/Lab Ultra 2.
5. XA Pro 3D
This is one of the most well known Salomon trail running shoes and has been a part of their lineup for a long time. This new version is extremely stable while still allowing good movement in the front of your foot and the quick shoe lace system will help anyone to easily get a custom fit. The contra grip outsole gives the user a lot of traction. Please note that this model is slightly narrower than previous versions.Read more
The plush cushioning and secure quick lace system that will help give anyone a custom fit combine to help give this option a great in-shoe feel. Although the upper is made of synthetic mesh it doesn't have as much air venting capabilities as other options although they do let your feet breathe. They simply aren't the highest ranking option when it comes to this category.
Like all of Salomon's trail running shoes, these are built to last even when you're putting a lot of tough miles on them. The outsole in these uses what the company calls Contragrip. They get high marks from reviewers for the lug design which is aggressive and grippy.
These are about average for the products on this list. As mentioned before, Salomon shoes aren't cheap, but you get what you pay for.
6. Ultra Pro
If you're looking for a great looking pair of trail running shoes then these are probably the most stylish on our list. They come in tons of color options to choose from without sacrificing comfort or functionality.Read more
These shoes are great for the neutral runner and provide great cushioning while also being lightweight and breathable. Their quicklace system allows them to provide runners with a secure and comfortable fit that is easy to adjust. They provide excellent shock absorption, stability, and support as well.
The contra grip rubber sole also has 5mm lugs--so they are really durable and capable of providing excellent traction and grip while you are out on the trails.
Pricey--but if you want something functional that also looks great then these shoes might just be the perfect match.
7. S/Lab XA Amphib 2
If you need a good trail runner that doesn’t finch when powering through puddles, the S/Lab XA Amphib 2 is a great choice. What we love most about this design is that it boasts a minimalistic frame that is super lightweight, but also provides additional support where you need it most. While it isn’t waterproof, the upper is composed of a lightweight mesh that dries almost instantly.Read more
What users love most about this design is found in the construction of the upper. The lightweight mesh material has few seam lines, which prevents hot spots and blisters. When running in soggy conditions, the mesh is quick to dry which leaves your feet happy and blister-free
The midsole boasts EnergyCell+, which provides excellent energy feedback and cushioning. This lightweight material contours to the shape of your foot so you feel like you aren’t wearing anything at all. It also utilizes Contagrip Premium Wet Traction which makes it ideal for slick surfaces.
If you are in the market for a pair of long-distance trainers, you can’t go wrong with the S/Lab XA Amphib 2. It has all of the supportive features to keep you as quick on your feet at mile 10 as you were at mile 1. Plus, the construction of the upper, as well as the grippy outsole, leaves no trail off-limits.
8. XA Elevate
The Salomon XA elevate shoes are a great pair of trail running shoes for outdoor enthusiasts everywhere. They are really durable and look great--so you get the best of both worlds!Read more
These shoes are really comfortable and breathable. They provide excellent cushioning that conforms to your foot thanks to their molded EVA sock liner. They also provide excellent support and stability--and prevent your foot from rolling, even on more technical terrain. Their senselace and quick lace system provides you with a secure fit that is easy to adjust and fit.
These shoes feature a synthetic sole that offers optimal protection. They are designed for technical terrain and ensure you are well-protected. They were built to last and, thanks to their wet traction contragrip, you won't have to worry about slipping and sliding everywhere.
These run from about average price to really expensive--it just depends on the retailer and what color and design options you choose.