Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 5

8.4
8.4 score
[Editors rating (8.4) + Users rating (10.0)] / 2 = Runnerclick score (8.4)/10

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Editor rating: 8.4 / 10
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Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 5 Review Facts

The Salomon S-lab Sense Ultra 5 is headed up by all of the technology that the company develops in their shoes, and there are multiple new developments that make this shoe a sensational trail running shoe. It is a lightweight and durable shoe that will allow you to traverse miles over sand, loose ground, tree roots, and many types of trails. Tested with its international team, technologies like a Quickfit lacing system, compressed EVA footbed, High Traction Contragrip, and Sensifit will each work together to protect your foot while providing breathability, stability, a high level of durability. This trail running shoe enhances your individual performance and the S-Lab will continue to develop intensely specific designs to match your particular needs.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Quickfit lacing system
  • Excellent downhill control
  • Protective and comfortable
  • EVA technology support
Cons
  • Price
  • Unreliable grip on wet surfaces
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

The new technology developed in the outsole by Salomon for this version of the S-Lab Sense Ultra is lighter than older versions. The Premium High Traction Contragrip gives the shoe a feeling of being 20 grams lighter. The lugs located in an offset pattern on the outsole give this trail runner it’s precision while running on loose grounds. While the shoe was created with such detail towards running on different trail surfaces, some runners have noted that these lugs perform less precisely when the terrain is wet. In addition to the pattern of the lugs on the outsole, the shape and size are much smaller than what you would find on their SG counterpart.

These outsoles were made to be stable and to have control on trails, but also include a cushioned effect by the EVA shaped footbed. Not deemed a comfortable running shoe, many reviewers proclaim great comfort in this shoe. A third technology point for the outsole is in the OS Tendon system. This system creates softer rebound and balances the transition between heel-to-toe movement.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The components of the midsole play the second factor in the lightweight feel of this shoe. Swinging back around to the triple-density EVA--the footrests right on top this technology and is well cushioned. Socks are not a necessity and the foot benefits from the breathability of the material used. The compressed EVA does provide excellent stability, durability, and motion control.

Sensifit is one technology that the S-lab has incorporated into both the upper and midsole sections of the Sense Ultra 5. Cradling the foot, the Sensifit provides support from the midsole up to the lace system.
Upper
Upper

Upper

A secure and stable fit, the Sense Ultra 5’s upper materials protect the foot while locking it into place. The shoe won’t get too tight on your foot, but overall this shoe has an enhanced, precise fit. You can go one size up with these shoes and not feel too loose. The Quicklace system is a one-stop tightener that you pull up for an even closer, and there is a lace pouch at the top of the tongue to store the Kevlar string once you’ve settled your foot into the shoe. This system is a reliable and quick aspect of your running shoe that you won’t think about once on the trail.

Sensifit continues the security of the foot in the upper section of the shoe, and also offers a bit of flexibility for your foot to respond to the terrain underground. The upper is made of a quick-drying mesh with a nylon layer underneath that keeps the foot safe from debris and breathable. A visual safety component to the upper is the reflective material around the heel.
Weight
Weight

Weight

Keeping with the lightweight technologies of the outsole and midsole, the heat welded Sensifit is an internal fit sleeve, designed to improve feedback by hugging the forefoot. Located in the uppers, the Sensifit is molded into the shoe. While it cradles the midsole it brings comfort to the shoe while eliminating extra weight. As stated earlier, with the loss of 20 grams of weight this shoe weighs in under 8 ounces. With the added firmness from the Sensifit, this shoe feels like a fast everyday training shoe. One runner has noted that the mesh uppers vents water so well that running through wet trails will not add weight to your shoes by the end of the course.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

In terms of breathability, your attention must go again to the mesh uppers. Combined with a nylon layer, the single layer mesh upper allows easy ventilation for your foot. This will allow for any moisture to be quick drying instead of remaining wet until dried out. As mentioned, this will extend the number of miles you can run on wet or muddy trails. Not only will your feet have extreme breathability, but your toes will be slightly visible through the mesh.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

Your feet will maintain a well cushioned support, thanks to the die cut EVA. The midsoles dual density EVA offers motion control and stability as well as cushioned support, as does the EVA shaped footbed in the outsole. These technologies, plus the softer rebound with the OS tendon system, provide a tremendous amount of comfort for such a trail running shoe, though this shoe is not categorized as a comfort shoe. Another aspect of comfort comes from the nylon layer in the uppers, with its abrasion resistance your foot won't get stuck with pebbles or debris inside of your pair of Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 5.
Style
Style

Style

The Sense Ultra 5 is a unisex model. While testing the fit of the shoe, women should downsize by 1.5 in men’s sizing charts. The style is a good-looking, sleek shoe that will easily be transferable between men and women’s styles. It is important to note that while the Quickfit lacing system is visually enhanced by the lace pouch on the tongue. This pouch hides any extra string, keeping the straight lines of this shoe intact and neater than other trail running shoes.
Durability
Durability

Durability

Durability in the Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 5 comes from the protection of the Sensifit from the midsole to the uppers. The EVA materials support your foot from the inside while giving you a shoe that will be long-lasting as you train. The Contragrip outsole can withstand all of the varying types of terrain you will put it through while trail running.
Protection
Protection

Protection

Protection is provided by the uppers in three distinct ways. The uppers provide protection to the midfoot with the flexible and secure Sensifit, the quick-drying mesh that keeps the shoe breathable and the foot dry, and durable enough to be abrasion-resistant. While protecting the midfoot, the ProFeel Film does not inhibit the feeling of the ground beneath your foot. The rubber toe cap keeps the toes from bruising. Lastly, the shoes have reflective material around the heel which is helpful to increase your visibility while running at night or in low light areas.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

The responsiveness of this shoe sits with its design to be lower to the ground. As you run on softer surfaces you have the stability needed to protect the foot just enough while the Endofit technology forms to the shape of your foot and improves feedback while running. Keeping your foot right in the place it needs to be. This effective responsiveness brings less comfort to the shoe, but as it is meant to be used on the softer terrain the comfort level is a fine compromise. The Salomon brand is built upon enabling freedom in mountainous trails, offering custom design for a challenging performance.
Support
Support

Support

Many of the technologies in the Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 5 are designed to be a custom fit to the foot. The footbed in the midsole section of the Sense Ultra 5 provides cushioning and support. The EVA footbed as well as the Sensifit technology follows the natural shape of the foot and performs in a way that is customizable. As does the Quicklace system, with its easy to tighten laces, providing the shoe with support in the upper section.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

Almost all terrains can be run on with the Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 5. These shoes are high performers on soft and loose trails. As mentioned above, the Contragrip is a technology that the S-Lab has developed to perform with excellent traction on various types of surfaces. The smaller design of the lugs can make running on wet rocks a less stable performance, but wet grass and muddy surfaces.

Notes from runners who have tested this shoe through 200 miles worth of terrain praise them for their downhill agility performance. On a steep grade, these shoes remain stable for you to feel confident in your stride. This support coupled with the high traction on various terrains makes for a trail running shoe that will enhance your performance and lengthen the distance of each run.
Price
Price

Price

While the price point for this pair of shoes is on the higher end of the spectrum, when you add up all of the forms of technology developed for the Sense Ultra 5 you are gaining a combination of systems that work together to make you faster, agiler on any trail, and cause you less fatigue. All of these additions to the trail runner compensate for a positive experience--with more races won and less wear and tear on your body. The professional trail runner and the novice alike will benefit from this purchase.
Traction
Traction

Traction

The outsole of this show is made with a high level of traction performance in mind. It is no question whether the developers and the athletes involved in designing this shoe were thinking of universal traction abilities. When thinking of trail running, the grip of the lugs on soft, loose, wet, and muddy surfaces is dynamic. The Contragrip technology of Salomon S-Lab products is a patented system for excellent traction. The Sense Ultra 5 is designed with the offset lug to give the shoe maximum grip.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

In order for a trail running shoe to be a high performer, there needs to be a certain amount of flexibility for the runner to be at one with the terrain of the course. When on hard pavement the Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 5 is stiff, but when on the softer terrain it was designed for the shoe becomes slightly more flexible. The Sensifit technology of the uppers provides this flexibility, but in its design, it provides more support for the midfoot. The control of this technology keeps the shoe as a neutral trail running shoe.
Stability
Stability

Stability

Stability in this shoe comes from no less than three of the technologies at play in the Salomon S-Lab. First, the OS Tendon, constructed in the outsole section, gives the shoe a soft rebound and better rolling. It acts as if it were a real tendon for the shoe. Looking toward the midsole of the shoe, the Dual Density EVA is the second technology that provides stability by forming to the shape of the footbed. The uppers form to the shape of the midfoot and cradle the entire top of the foot to keep the foot in place in the shoe and offering the final component of stability.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The drop of this shoe, the incline from toe-to-heel, is 4mm. The Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 5 has an equal drop with a wide variety of trail shoes out there. There is a balance in the 4mm drop running shoe that offers to cushion while maintaining sensory feedback. If comparing the Sense Ultra 5 with other Salomon shoes it has quite a lower drop than that of the Speedcross 3.
Key Features of the Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 5
Key Features of the Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 5

Key Features of the Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 5

•Anti-Debris and breathable nylon mesh

•Dual Density molded EVA

•OS Tendon

•Dynamic Traction

•EVA shaped footbed

•SensiFit cradles the midfoot

•Contragrip

•Profeel film

•Endofit
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

With such a long-lasting shoe that will take you well into your 200th mile, the Salomon S-Lab has continued to develop a high performing, specifically tailored trail running shoe. In every race and course, your feet will be protected from top to bottom while maintaining a lightweight and speedy shoe. The design point that will get you to that high level of durability is the reinforced stitching and heat-welded uppers. The technologies combined in this shoe will provide just enough comfort to keep your feet less fatigued, but keep you in tune with the ground beneath you.