Salming Race 3 Review Facts
The Salming Race 3 is a lightweight neutral road running shoe. It was designed to have great traction and be as light as possible while still having stable landings and being protective. Its blown rubber outsole has improved traction compared to the previous edition. The seamless 2-layer mesh upper adds durability and breathability, and the PU layer on the lower part of the foot protects against branches and other debris. The RunLite Cushioning is light, flexible, and responsive, creating a nice ground feel. The heel cup creates a better fit at the back of the shoe. The Exo Skeleton Design stabilizes landings and reduces pressure on the MTP joints. The carbon fiber Torsion Efficiency Unit connects the heel to the forefoot and improves transitions and speed. The TGS Design stabilizes the bottom of the shoe and has a 75-degree line in the forefoot to allow flexibility during toe offs.
The blown rubber outsole was specifically designed for traction, durability, and responsiveness. The rubber itself is slightly sticky to help stabilize landings and a little bouncy to help spring the foot back into the air. It has treads to help grip hard surfaces and uses a TGS design. In this design, the midfoot and heel have long, curved treads while the forefoot at a 75-degree line has smaller rectangular treads surrounded by grooves that allow the toes to push off. The rubber on the outside edges of the heel and forefoot are denser because they're in high-impact areas and the rubber under the middle of the forefoot is softer to make it more flexible.
The midsole uses RunLite Cushioning, which is a high-abrasion EVA foam. The foam is flexible and responsive and able to maintain its shape for many miles. It is soft enough to cushion landings and protect joints, provides a good ground feel, and offers enough protection that runners can go over gravel or light trails without worrying about stone bruises. The midsole also features a carbon fiber Torsion Efficiency Unit to improve speed and transitions. The 5mm drop gives runners a more barefoot feel, which can take some getting used to for runners who are new to minimalist shoes.
The upper has two layers of seamless mesh. The bottom layer is more open and breathable and the top layer adds durability and wraps around the foot. It also has a PU layer covering the lower part that protects against debris or pebbles falling on or getting inside the shoe. The interior is lightly padded to reduce the risk of irritation during long or fast runs. The laces are thin but don't come untied easily. The Lightweight Adaptive Heel Cup gives a better fit by hugging the heel bone. A few synthetic overlays add structure and a toe cap adds protection. The upper uses an Exo Skeleton Design to reduce pressure on MTP joints and stabilize landings.
The men's size 9 shoe weighs 6.5 ounces and the women's size 6 shoe weighs 5.2 ounces, which is extremely light. The RunLite Cushioning is especially lightweight
, although the blown rubber, Torsion Efficiency Unit, two layers of mesh, overlays, and heel cup are also light. This low weight gives the shoe a minimalist
feel, and some testers forgot they were wearing shoes at times because they're so light. This makes the Race 3 great for races because users can pick up and maintain speed very easily in this shoe.
The Salming Race 3's breathability comes from its two layers of mesh. The bottom layer has larger holes that allow air to flow freely and the top layer has smaller holes that are still breathable. The synthetic overlays and PU layer do not take away from overall breathability. The upper is also seamless, which helps prevent blisters
, irritation, and hot spots.
The Race 3 fits comfortably and has good cushioning
. The RunLite Cushioning is soft enough for comfortable landings yet provides a firm ride. The Torsion Efficiency Unit improves heel-to-toe transitions for a comfortable gait cycle. The upper has light padding to prevent irritation and breathable mesh to keep the feet cool and dry. The PU layer prevents small rocks from getting on or inside the shoe that can cause discomfort. The Heel Cup makes the shoe fit better. The Exo Skeleton Design reduces pressure on joints. The Race 3 is great for speed training and distances up to a half marathon, but lacks stability and cushioning to be worn on longer runs or as an everyday shoe. Some uncomfortable aspects of the shoe include the fit being too narrow for runners with wider feet, and the low drop taking some time to adjust to for runners who are new to minimalist shoes. The toe box received mixed reviews. Some thought it was nice and roomy, while others thought it was too tight.
The Salming Race 3 has a sleek design, and looks like a racing shoe. The mesh has smaller holes around the collar, X-shaped overlays, hexagon-shaped patterns on either side of the midfoot, more mesh in the toe area, and thin laces. The shoe comes in colors like blue
and yellow or blue and purple, although the colors aren't too bright. Because the shoe has been out for a while and a later edition is available, not all colors are available anymore.
The Salming Race 3 has great durability. The outsole uses denser rubbers over high-impact areas to avoid wearing down around the edges. The midsole's RunLite Cushioning has a high-abrasion EVA foam that is designed to withstand fast speeds or distance running. The Torsion Efficiency Unit is also durable, so transitions stay smooth and speeds remain high even after the first few runs. The upper has the top layer of mesh and the PU layer to improve durability and allow the shoe to last for more miles and not be punctured by debris in the road. The toe cap and Lightweight Adaptive Heel Cup make the front and back of the shoe more durable.
The Salming Race 3 protects the wearer's joints as well as the foot itself from objects in the road or hot weather. The sole unit provides some protection against debris on the ground, although the low stack height means it's not protective on technical terrain. The RunLite Cushioning absorbs impact of landings to protect joints. The two layers of mesh keep the foot cool in hot weather. The heel cup, toe cap and PU layer protect the shoe against rocks, sticks, and debris. The Exo Skeleton Design reduces pressure on the joints
The Race 3 received high ratings for responsiveness, which is to be expected for a racing
shoe. The rubber outsole uses a TGS design to keep landings stable and allow easy toe offs, and the rubber itself is slightly bouncy and has good grip. The RunLite Cushioning also adds spring to the runner's step, and the Torsion Efficiency Unit creates smooth transitions and improves speed. The 5mm drop also improves responsiveness for runners who are used to the lower drop. The mesh and synthetic upper moves with the foot and the Exo Skeleton Design makes the shoe easier to move in and stabilizes landings. Also adding to the responsiveness are the light weight and flexibility, which make it so easy to pick up speed that some reviewers didn't feel like they were wearing shoes at all.
The Salming Race 3 offers a slightly supportive
fit. The bottom of the foot is supported by the sole unit, especially the RunLite Cushioning. The cushioning and upper give a small amount of neutral arch support. Supporting the top of the foot are the two layers of mesh, the PU layer, and a small amount of interior padding. The Heel Cup hugs the heel bone, or calcaneus, to lightly support the back of the foot.
Although the Race 3 is listed as a road running shoe, it has a PU layer designed to maintain durability while going over sticks or rocks or gravel, and to keep those things from getting inside the shoe. This means that the shoe can go on paved or dirt roads, gravel, paths, or light trails
. It does not have a thick enough sole to go on heavy trails, and it lacks spikes to go on ice, snow, or slippery terrain.
The Salming Race 3 is a slightly expensive shoe, about 20-30% more expensive than the average road running shoe. Although some brands sell their lightweight/minimalist shoes for lower than average prices, the Race 3 has some extra features that justify the extra cost for some people. The TGS design, Torsion Efficiency Unit, two layers of mesh, PU layer, Adaptive Heel Cup, and Exo Skeleton Design are unique to Salming and really help runners increase their speed. A later version of the Salming Race series is available, so some retailers took a little off the price, and most sizes and colors are no longer available.
The Race 3 gets great traction on dirt, paved roads, gravel, indoor floors, paths, and light trails. Specifically designed for improved traction, the outsole uses a slightly sticky blown rubber with rectangular treads in the forefoot and longer treads in the heel that grip the ground well in order to let the runner pick up speed. It does not get good traction on technical trails
or slippery surfaces.
The Salming Race 3 is flexible in the right places for maximum speed. The outsole uses a TGS design that allows the forefoot to be flexible where the toes are so they can push off more easily. The midsole foam is lightly flexible so it can bend when the foot does as it pushes off and lands. In the upper, the mesh is flexible and the Exo Skeleton Design reduces pressure on the joints so they can move easily.
The Race 3 is a neutral shoe, so it's not stable enough for overpronators
. The outsole's TGS design keeps the heel and midfoot stable for better landings. The RunLite Cushioning is soft enough to land on comfortably but gives a firm ride. The small amount of arch support doesn't stabilize the foot to prevent overpronation. The Exo Skeleton Design helps to stabilize the top of the foot, while allowing joints to move freely for speed.
The heel is 17mm high and the forefoot is 12mm high, giving the Salming Race 3 a drop of 5mm. This is a normal drop for a minimalist
shoe, but is much lower than the 12mm that comes in a standard running shoe. A low drop encourages a natural gait and helps strengthen muscles and tendons, but can take some adjusting to for runners who are used to the larger drop.
- Blown rubber outsole with improved traction
- Seamless 2-layer mesh upper
- PU Layer adds protection from objects like rocks and branches
- RunLite Cushioning is flexible and responsive, providing a good ground feel
- Lightweight Adaptive Heel Cup hugs the heel bone for a better fit
- Exo Skeleton Design stabilizes the foot and reduces pressure on MTP joints
- TGS Design stabilizes the length of the foot and has a a 75° line for flexibility in the forefoot
- Carbon Fiber Torsion Efficiency Unit improves speed and transitions
- 5mm drop
The Salming Race 3 is a good racing or training shoe. It has great traction, is very lightweight and responsive, and has a decent amount of cushioning. It's durable enough to last for many races and breathable enough to pick up speed or run in warm weather without overheating. It is flexible around the joints and lightly stable where it needs to be for smoother transitions and better landings. It lacks the cushioning and stability for longer runs, overpronators, or entry-level runners. It is slightly expensive, but has some great features that make it worth the investment for runners who are serious about racing. It is a good fit for neutral runners who have been running for a while and want to try a minimalist feel and improve their speed and running form.