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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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 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.
-Contagrip FA Outsole
-Energy Cell+ EVA midsole
-Outsole and midsole mimic the articulations of the feet
-360 articulated mesh upper
-Molded Ortholite Sockliner
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.