Salomon S/Lab Sense 7 Review Facts
Everyone knows the importance of investing in a great pair of shoes. It’s been proven time and time again that having proper footwear can greatly reduce joint pain, increase athletic performance and reduce instances of injury. When it comes to trail running, however, it’s a whole new ball game. While you can certainly wear a pair of road running shoes on the trails, you’re not going to have the same experience as you would if you were to wear a pair of shoes that are designed specifically for the trails. That’s where Salomon comes in. The company has been in business since 1947 and is known for their high-quality adventure gear, as well as their running and trail shoes. Today we’re looking at one of their pairs of trail-specific running shoes – the Salomon S/Lab Sense 7. This shoe is made for the serious athlete who wishes to challenge themselves with the often-grueling world of competitive trail racing. Let’s take a deep dive to see if this shoe is something worth investing in or if it’s better left to use of professionals.
The construction of the outsole features Salomon’s Premium Wet Traction Contragrip durable rubber compound. This material will provide runners with unprecedented traction during their trail runs. This material paired with the isolated lugs on the outsole are features that beg to be taken out on the trails. The Contratrip technology combines a number of components to provide runners with a sense of control and protection
. First, the outsole is made from a number of different densities to provide utmost grip. Second, each Contragrip outsole is comprised of 20 plus materials designed to offer a sense of comfort no matter what terrain you’re on or activity you’re participating in.
The S/Lab Sense 7 is outfitted with Salomon’s SensiFit technology. This system is designed to wrap each individual foot in order to provide a secure feeling fit. This is an important characteristic to strive for, especially in a trail shoe
where security is of utmost importance. The cushioning for this product comes from a dual-density EVA material that is designed to cushion your feet with every step while also providing some energy return. There is a ProFeel film layer situated between the outsole and midsole of this shoe that is present to provide an extra element of protection.
The upper of this product is made from a synthetic mesh material that helps to add an element of breathability to the shoe. It features strategically placed overlays that provide solid retention and a completely customized feeling fit. This mesh is a single layer that comes combined with nylon to really maximize breathability, abrasion resistance and ensure a quick drying time. The Sense 7 utilizes Salomon’s Quicklace lacing system that is minimalist in design and allows for one-pull tightening of the laces. The shoe has a lace pocket where wearers can store their laces easily and quickly. The EndoFit system in place is like an internal sleeve that provides a snug fit
for the foot and the integrated sock liner really adds another element of foot security.
This is a very lightweight shoe. Weighing in at just 205 grams or 7.2 ounces, the lightness of the Sense 7 is immediately evident from the second you slide them on. This is actually a reduction of weight from the previous version of this shoe which weighed in at eight ounces. This new lighter weight is likely due to the newly reconstructed upper and lugs. The really great thing is that despite being extremely light for a trail shoe
, the Sense 7 doesn’t have to sacrifice any of the support or stability that made it a solid trail shoe contender in the first place. Because of the weight, they are a great choice to wear for competitive racing.
The mesh fabric that Salomon used in the construction of the upper is very breathable and extremely well ventilated. When we took these out for our test runs, we ran through some creeks to be able to determine the drying time required with the Sense 7. We found the material to dry exceptionally fast, making this a viable training
shoe option for those days when the sun just isn’t on your side.
The compressed EVA midsole provides a comfortable amount of cushioning for a trail shoe. Paired with its upper that boasts fantastic breathability and quick-drying properties, the Sense 7 is able to offer wearers a fit that ensures temperature levels stay consistent and comfortable at all times. There is nothing worse than getting sweaty feet just a few miles into a long trail run knowing that you have miles ahead of you and your feet are already wrinkling and uncomfortable. Luckily this is not the case at all with the Sense 7. We managed to feel comfortable during any duration run. The only issue we could see is that the inner sleeve sometimes rubbed uncomfortable on our ankle skin during our long runs.
The lace garage has been revamped from its previous iteration and this new design makes it hard for some users to access the upper portion of the laces. This is important because, in order to ensure you get the precise fit that you need, you need to be able to really get at all the laces. The new design blocks access to the upper lace area and thought it wasn’t a deal breaker for us, we felt it was worth mentioning. The Sense 7 is a slick enough looking shoe but it definitely won’t suit everybody’s style. There is only one colorway available – a bright red and white – and people who prefer a more subdued look in their running shoes probably won’t be running to the store to get this shoe.
There were some questions as to whether or not the Sense 7 would be as durable as its predecessor, but we were unable to determine why it wouldn’t be. The Premium Wet Traction Contagrip in the outsole is a highly durable compound that is designed to take a beating and last. Though the upper looks delicate and fragile, it’s actually extremely well-constructed and made to last. We didn’t find any of the other components of the shoe to break down quickly at all.
The TPU ProFeel Film placed between the outsole and the midsole of the Sense 7 provides fantastic protection from debris like branches and sharp rocks that often litter the trail system. There is a very thin rubber cap at the forefoot of the shoe that aims to protect the toes. This was actually one area of the shoe that we felt was lacking. The protection offered in the toe box area should be more substantial. Though we haven’t yet had any issues on rocky or technical terrain, we feel that it’s only a matter of time. The ProFeel gives a noticeable amount of protection without taking away from the overall trail feel. We were able to feel rocks underfoot despite this plate not being overly firm, but they never felt sharp or painful on our feet.
Thanks to the EnergyCell+ technology in the midsole of the Sense 7, runners will find the shoes to be highly responsive. Even just standing still in these, we were able to tell that they would be responsive during our trail runs. EnergyCell+ provides a midsole that is high rebound to ensure maximum energy return and bounce back. Another great feature of this tech is that it not only lends itself well to the responsiveness of the shoe but the overall cushioning and durability as well. We found the ride to be snappy and with the energy return supplied by the midsole, we were able to go faster than ever on the trails.
When it comes to trail running you want your shoes to provide an adequate amount of support to ensure you’re safe and comfortable. The Sense 7 has a few features that provide ample support for runners. First, let’s look at the SensiFit overlays. These are present in the upper of the shoe and are there to help wrap each foot individually. This slipper-like fit ensures that your feet feel supported from every angle. Another quality of the Sense 7 that helps to provide support is the Quicklace system. Not only are the laces very easy to lace up, but by ensuring you have the laces properly and securely tightened, you’ll be able to adjust your fit and support to a personalized level depending upon what you need on any given day, for any given trail.
The Sense 7 practically begs to be taken out on the trails. The construction of the outsole lends itself extremely well to technical terrain. There are two versions of the Sense 7 available – one for soft ground and one for hard ground. Each of these has their perks. The soft ground version is best suited for terrains like dirty, muddy fells or even summer snow, though it does fare well on rocks, talus and pavement. We wouldn’t suggest using this version for the latter terrain type too often, however, as it will likely lead to premature outsole wear. The hard ground version has an outsole tread pattern that provides speed and stability on terrains like slab rocks and hardened trails.
You’re going to want to start saving up for this one. With a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of a whopping $180, the S/Lab Sense 7 will require a bit of an investment. But, that’s how you have to look at a pair of shoes like this – as an investment. They are made extremely well and provide a very distinct service as a competitive trail running shoe. For those savvy shoppers out there, you will be happy to find, however, that the price for these is drastically lower on online retailers like Amazon. At the time of publication, we were able to find these shoes for as low as $162, depending upon which size you require.
Thanks to Salomon’s Premium Wet Traction Contragrip rubber compound in the outsole, wearers should find that the S/Lab Sense 7 performs very well when it comes to its traction capabilities. It provides wearers with an unprecedented grip on most surfaces on terrain that is either wet or dry. The multi-directional lugs are moderately aggressive and the overall sturdy build of this product will ensure that that rocky or rugged surface you’re running on won’t damage the sole unit of the shoe.
Users will find that the heel cup in the new version of this shoe does not have any rigidity to it as it did in previous versions. The S/Lab Sense 7 now features a soft and more flexible heel cup which will allow your heel to rotate and move more naturally during the gait cycle. The cushioning found in the midsole is flexible, as it was in previous versions, and the integrated sock liner provides added flexibility as well. Overall, Sense 7 isn’t the most flexible trail shoe on the market, but there are enough features here that lend themselves to the flexibility that we were still impressed.
The outsole is comprised of deep 6mm lugs that provide runners with a great amount of stability when traversing over the uneven terrain you’re likely to find on the trails. The ProFeel Film is a sheet placed between the outsole and midsole that helps to link the rear of the shoe and the forefoot in order to ensure runners experience a consistent and stable feel in the middle of the shoe. We were a bit surprised initially at how stable the shoe felt despite the minimal heel counter.
The heel height is 22mm while the forefoot is 18mm. This makes the drop of the S/Lab Sense 7 4mm, the same as its predecessor. The extra bit of height in the heel helps to encourage a mid or forefoot strike. This kind of stride provides a more stable landing platform for runners as well as more engagement in the muscles. Keep in mind, though, that not everyone is biomechanically suited to run in this way. If you are used to a shoe with a more traditional drop height, you may want to try a cheaper low drop shoe before investing in this product to see if you can make the transition safely.
-Great for forefoot strikers
-Integrated sock liner for additional comfort
-High traction rubber outsole for fantastic grip on any surface
-SensiFit tech provides support
and a customized feeling fit
-Breathable upper material to keep feet dry and comfortable
The Salomon S/Lab Sense 7 is a fantastic trail running shoe option but it definitely isn’t for everybody. Salomon themselves market this as a shoe that should be used for racing only and only used around two times per week. Not every person who takes their runs on the trails will need a shoe like the Sense 7, but for the more serious trail runner, the value provided here is more than worth the price. If you’ve been trail running for a while now and are seriously looking into competing in races on the trails, this shoe would be an investment you would definitely benefit from.