Salomon Predict RA Review Facts
For its newest road running shoe, Salomon decided to take a risk and take on some features unheard of for road running shoes. They decided to create functions to minimize the propulsion force felt on the wearer’s knees and hips during the run. The resulting shoe is the new Predict RA, a road runner built to provide comfort and stability without hampering performance. The standout feature is the ‘Ultra decoupling’ at the bottom where it is broken into 10 different zones.
Salomon has shown that they aren’t afraid to switch up their technical elements with the Predict RA. Although it is a stability shoe, you will not find stability posts, a thick foam of various densities, a bulky structure or excessive stiffness. The support and guidance of the shoe are designed to work on a smaller level.
The outsole features a proprietary compression molded Contagrip MA which moves with the foot instead of against it. It has what Salomon calls ‘Ultra-decoupling’ which means the bottom of the shoe is broken up into 10 different zones, something that not a lot of road running shoes have. These 10 zones correspond to the major joints in the foot which allows it to roll naturally through the stride. Reciprocal grooves on the top and bottom of the midsole mirror the major joints in the foot which creates activated support exactly where and when you need it.
The midsole features single density compression molded Energy Cell+ and EVA foam which adds remarkable bounce to runs. The lateral side has four grooves on both sides and the medial side has three. This brings support to the midsole design.
The Predict’s molded Ortholite sockliner is made from memory foam with an open-cell construction that allows your feet to breathe
. It controls odor and microbes that can irritate your skin allowing for comfortable daily use.
There is a 3D soft molded heel which when combined with midsole grooves under the foot improves support. The heel is seamless with an articulated heel which gives the foot a comfortable fit and stability
. The top collar line is also seamless with no distractions and holds the foot well. The tongue is semi-detached from the upper and thickly padded which doesn’t really get in the way. The foam of the tongue reduces the compression felt on the foot. The Predict RA does not use Salomon’s popular Quicklace system but goes the traditional route which keeps the foot in place.
The lacing system is similar to the Saucony ISO series where there are a lot of cutaways to give a minimal feel to the shoe. One reviewer felt that the laces were stretchier than normal Salomon shoes but she ended up enjoying it. This support comes without compromising the flexibility needed for a smooth ride. The articulated upper enhances the ability of the mirror decoupling technology.
The shoe is lightweight so it still feels fast and zippy even though it is quite supportive and stable. Weighing 260 grams or 9.1 ounces for a men’s size 9, the Predict RA isn’t minimal but is lightweight for a road running shoe. The absence of a bootie or Salomon’s often used ‘Endofit’ helped reduce the weight but its presence could add a faster performance.
The upper is a 360 articulated system and was made to not interfere with the star of the shoe- the midsole. The upper is a mesh of varied densities with no knits or conventional material which brings breathability differentiated from other Salomon models.
One reviewer who covered 20 miles in these shoes did not feel stuffy and experienced no hot spots. The shoe’s performance in cold weather remains to be seen. Another feature that aids the breathability of the shoe is the mesh in the forefoot which keeps things from getting sweaty on the inside. The Ortholite sockliner has anti-sweat and anti-microbial properties that keep the feet fresh inside.
The comfort of the shoe is among the best in its category making it a good pick for everyday running. Many reviewers said that although this shoe didn’t add to their speed much, the shoe was amongst the most comfortable for neutral road running shoes. The heel counter is low and padded slightly and features a single piece of foam in the rear making it a comfortable experience for the back of your foot. Being amply cushioned, this shoe does not require a long time to break in. Another interesting feature is the ‘cushioning on demand’ which aims to provide comfort to different kinds of runners.
The colors are quite understated but fade from one color to the other nicely. Some reviewers would have liked to see brighter colors. In spite of its amazing cushioning functionalities, the shoe does not look like an Orthopedic shoe
. You can see the typical branding elements such as the Salomon logo on the tongue and on the side of the shoe.
For the shoe to be completely worth its price, durability is super important and fortunately, this shoe does not disappoint. One runner commented that after running for 100 miles, he could say that the shoe looks untouched.
A lot of technology has been added to this shoe to provide longevity amongst other factors. Despite the "fragility" of the upper, it maintains its structure without damage after hundreds of miles of road running. The Contagrip sets up high expectations that do not disappoint as it maintains a good grip on the surface and shows little wear to the pattern of the sole
Because these shoes are already soft and flexible out of the box, break-in time is minimal and feels completely in sync with the feet in one or two miles. While these shoes are designed to perform well on roads, there isn’t much requirement to add many protective features, unlike trail shoes which need to protect the foot from trail debris.
However, there are three flex grooves on the medial side and four on the lateral side that protect the foot from external debris and helps toe-off. The upper inch of the collar has no padding but still ensures a firm hold to the Achilles but some reviewers commented that denser foam could make ankle protection superior. One reviewer commented that she felt her shoe squeaking for the first couple of miles but it faded away after continuous use.
To move forward, a runner will have to produce propulsive and non-propulsive force. With this shoe, Salomon wanted to reduce the amount of non-propulsive forces acting on the runner’s body and allow him/her to just focus on moving forward.
The Predict RA is a daily trainer that incorporates 10 pillars of support that align with the foot’s joints to help in smooth transitions. The outsole pattern is designed to look like the articulations of the foot and is decoupled along the major joint lines. So when you strike the ground, the shoe provides a supportive platform for the exact load applied at that particular time.
Salomon wanted to align the bottom unit of the shoe that is the midsole and outsole with the articulations of the foot. The upper holds your foot in securely while also having adequate room for the toes to splay. In short distances or in races like the Salomon run this shoe can be a good choice. But because the Predict RA does not have an internal cover, descents can be tricky.
Read also about best running sandals.
Ideal for running on asphalt this shoe is versatile enough to be used in mountain environments (simple terrain) and provide stability and comfort. Some reviewers tested them in different conditions such as mid-distance training to strength training and had no complaints in those situations. As this shoe was specifically designed as a road running shoe, the Predict RA performs its best on asphalt.
Had this shoe been priced a little lower, it would have been a must buy for road runners
. Salomon shoes are generally long-lasting and well-built with quality materials. The Predict RA is no exception to this and will last for hundreds of miles thus justifying the cost in this way.
The grip is essential for safety and speed and the Contagrip outsole can offer confidence on various terrain. With a densely textured pattern and moderate lugs, the Contagrip outsole can keep the runner safe from slipping on concrete, wet or muddy terrain. Because this shoe is primarily a road running shoe, the traction isn’t the best for wet or technical terrain
The midsole features a dual-density midsole composing of Energy Cell+ and EVA foam which brings flexibility to the shoe while being soft and lightweight. The bottom unit is mirrored on the top to keep the shoe extremely flexible
Many shoes feature a decoupled heel section to add flexibility between heel and forefoot and this shoe takes this feature and enhances it. With grooves on the midsole mimicking the pattern of joints of the human foot, this shoe brings superior flexibility, and nimbleness to heel strikers.
The fit of this shoe is amazing and fits a variety of foot shapes with ease. The wide toe box allows ample space for the toes to move while the heel cup keeps the ankle from being displaced. The Ortholite sockliner wraps around the feet which adds to the stable feeling of the shoe. An interesting fact to note is that the heel of the shoe is made in a bra factory and mimics the comfortable feel of the same.
The shoe doesn’t have a rigid heel counter as the 3D-molded upper molds around the ankle. The Predict RA has the same last as the Sonic RA
which provides a stable platform during toe-off. The front area of the shoe is wide, which can provide inadequate stability to those with a narrow foot. To prevent this, Salomon has added to this shoe a system of eyelets that offer support and stability to the foot.
The shoe has a 25-mm stack height at the heel with an 8-mm drop. A pretty standard drop for most running shoes, this works well for casual runners who also want to wear the shoe at the gym or at work. This drop is great for long-distance runners as it decreases ground-feel and helps the posture as they run. The general rule is that the higher the drop, the lower the stress to the foot, ankle and lower leg. For runners who prefer a minimal drop, the 8mm will be noticeable on runs.
-Contagrip FA Outsole
-Energy Cell+ EVA midsole
-Outsole and midsole mimic the articulations of the feet
-360 articulated mesh upper
-Molded Ortholite Sockliner
Road runners seeking an everyday training shoe that offers smoothness along with unique and innovative support can consider Salomon’s Predict RA. Furthermore, this shoe is a good option if you have hip and knee pain when you run as this shoe was designed to help with those issues.
With this shoe, Salomon attempted to reduce stress on the hip and knees by basing the shoe’s mechanics on the anatomy of the foot and gait biomechanics thus diverting the focus from “cushion and control” to ‘flexible and responsive’. The shoe does this not by adding some fancy technology but mimicking the articulations of the feet. All-in-all, these shoes keep runs smooth, bouncy and with good contact with the road. With a unique design, the shoe can be worn on other occasions besides running.