Salomon S-Lab Sense 3 Ultra Review Facts
Salomon is probably a less well-known name in the running world but is definitely known in the general sports equipment. Founded in France with the goal of making quality equipment, Salomon grew until it was eventually purchased by Adidas. Though a bit less popular than other common brands like Nike or Asics, Salomon definitely has some quality running shoes to offer. The S-Lab Sense Ultra series offers lightweight, trail-oriented shoes, designed to run quickly off road. The Sense 3 Ultra is not an exception to this design and is a good choice for runners looking for a lighter trail shoe with good protection.
The outsole of the S-Lab
Sense 3 Ultras is composed of Conta-grip, which is a material unique to Salomon. This material offers excellent durability and grip, particularly against hard surfaces, using triangular lugs located on the bottom. This grip is still solid but is a bit less effective against softer, or wet terrain like mud. Some have reported that the traction significantly decreases when the shoe is wet, which is definitely something important to consider. The Sense 3 Ultra outsole is also not very thick, unlike other common trail shoes
. This is done to promote the lightweight design of the Sense 3 Ultra. Overall, the outsole of the Sense 3 Ultras is quite good on hard trail surfaces, but a bit lacking on other surfaces.
The midsole of the Sense 3 Ultra is made up of a polymer called LT muscle, which is essentially a variation of EVA, a very common foam used in midsoles. This variation of it is designed to be extremely light, while also maintaining the level of firmness needed for running on trails
. The midsole also contains two guiding strips that allow for great flexibility, called OS Tendon. Finally, the midsole features a plate for protection against hard rocks or materials on trails. The plate is composed of TPU or thermoplastic urethane and is located in the forefoot. The midsole is a very strong aspect of the shoe overall.
The upper of the Sense 3 Ultras uses sensifit design, which features a two-layered mesh with no seams. The result is a firm construction that supports the foot in place well but is also flexible. There have been some complaints about breathability, however, with some stating that the shoes are not very well ventilated. The likely culprit is the upper, which might not be allowing enough air to circulate through
. The upper is, overall, fairly solid, except for the arguably low level of breathability it offers.
The Salomon S-Lab Sense 3 Ultras clock in at just under 9 oz for a men’s size 10 shoe. This would be decently light for a trainer but is extremely light for a trail shoe which tends to fall on the heavier side for protection. The lightweight
design is good however, as the Sense 3 Ultra is designed for speed. The weight is a good feature of the Sense 3 Ultra.
Unfortunately, the breathability of the Sense 3 Ultras leaves a bit to be desired in this area of the shoe. The shoes are less breathable than other trainers because of the upper's design. This may be a problem for those with sweatier feet and is probably even a hindrance for those who don’t usually have sweaty feet. The breathability of the Sense 3s is definitely a point of weakness in the overall shoe’s design.
The Salomon S-Lab Sense 3 Ultras are a fairly comfortable shoe. The midsole of the shoe is a proponent of this with its LT Muscle material. The Sense 3 Ultras are optimized for performance, however, so they are less comfortable than more cushioning trail shoes or trainers. Overall though, despite being made for speed, the Sense 3 Ultras are decently comfortable.
Salomon offers a bit of a unique take on their shoes from most popular running trainers
on the market. The Sense 3 Ultras offer bold colors, decorated with touches of complementary colors, in combinations like Racing Red and White. Salomon may not be as well known for their running shoes, but the styling on the Sense 3 Ultras is still quite good. The color schemes in tandem with the shape and design of the shoe make for an overall appealing style.
The Salomon S-Lab Sense 3 Ultra is has a very durable outsole and midsole that is meant for the trails. The materials used in both are durable, as necessitated by the strain of harsher trails, making the shoe last a fairly long time. When considering that the Sense 3 Ultras are lightweight shoes for their type, this durability is even more impressive. Overall, runners shouldn’t have to worry about these shoes wearing out too soon.
The Sense 3 Ultra does quite a good job when it comes to protecting the foot. First, the upper is thick and durable, which does a good job securely keeping the foot in place, and protects above the foot as well. Second, the midsoles' material as mentioned earlier is extremely light, but firm which protects the foot as it strikes the ground. Lastly, the plate in the forefoot made of TPU protects from stepping on rocks, or other hard materials that are frequently found on trails. Overall, the Sense 3 Ultra does a good job protecting feet from the common dangers of trails.
The Sense 3 Ultra is fairly responsive, especially when considering that the shoe is designed for trails. This is due to the Sense 3 Ultra’s unique midsole design as mentioned earlier, as well as the thinner outsole. The Sense 3 Ultra is meant for speed and racing, and with this level of responsiveness, it should do very well in that aspect.
The Sense 3 Ultra offers some support, but it wasn't designed to provide support in any particular facet. As is the nature of the performance oriented shoes, the Sense 3 Ultra prioritizes speed, which results in it having less support than other trainers or trail shoes. It does provide some support though. The snug fitting upper secures the foot, and the firmness of the mid and outsole do a good job providing support as well. Overall, the support for these shoes is not amazing, but not bad either.
The Sense 3 Ultra was made for the trails. In particular, it excels on trails and slightly rougher terrain. In most other terrains, however, the Sense 3 Ultra should be usable with no major issues. The only thing to note is that on wetter surfaces, the Sense 3 Ultra might be a bit less usable, so that goes for rain as well.
The Sense 3 Ultra is definitely on the more expensive end of shoes. It retails at a decently higher cost than most trainers or other running shoes on the market. This is in part due to the fact that it is a trail shoe, which tends to fall on the more expensive side and the high quality of the materials. The Sense 3 Ultra is definitely not cheap, but for those seeking very high quality and speedy trail shoes, this shoe definitely returns its value.
The traction on the Salomon S-Lab Sense 3 Ultra is a fairly good feature of the shoe. The triangular grips located on the outsole contribute to this, as they are designed to grip the ground of trails well in particular. The grips do a good job, as does the material of the outsole at providing traction. Once again, though, the only point of contention with the traction of the Sense 3 Ultra is its ability to perform while wet.
The Sense 3 is a fairly flexible shoe, as it is designed for speed
. This is really seen in the upper, which not only secures the foot, but also allows for good flexibility, and range of movement. The midsole is decently springy and flexible as well. Overall, the Sense 3 Ultra is a decently flexible shoe.
The Sense 3 Ultra is not a stability shoe and is made for neutral runners who need no additional assistance with pronation. However, with that said, the upper of the Sense 3 Ultra does support the foot by snugly holding the foot in place. In tandem with the sturdy materials of the outsole and the midsole, this shoe is solidly stable.
The drop of the Sense 3 Ultra is 5mm. A 5mm drop is very low, but not totally unreasonable for a speed-oriented shoe. Most of these types of shoes have a small drop, so 5mm is right around the expected range.
• Lightweight design for fast trail running
• Plate for protection from trail obstacles
• Vibrant colors
• Unique midsole material
• Conta-grip outsole provides good traction on trails
• Excels on technical trails
The Salomon S-Lab Sense 3 Ultra is a very high-quality pair of shoes. For those seeking a quick trail running shoe, the Sense 3 Ultra is perfect. The only major issues to look out for are the cost, which is a bit high for running shoes, and their traction and use in wet areas. For the most part, the Sense 3 Ultra is a high-quality trail shoe, seen in the midsole, outsole, upper, and overall stylish design.