Salomon S-Lab Wings 8
Salomon might not be as well known to city runners or more casual followers of the sport, but trail runners should know Salomon for their consistently high-quality trail shoes. Originally French-based, Salomon is now under Adidas’ umbrella and specializes in all sorts of trail apparel and gear, including shoes. The Salomon S-Lab Wings 8 is actually a trail racing shoe and the 8th iteration of the S-Lab line. This review will explore the different aspects of the shoe.
Durable and flexible upper design
Light for a trail shoe
- High price for a racing shoe
Apart from the high durability and traction offered by regular Contragrip, this particular blend is optimized for wet terrains and water in general. This makes it very versatile and well equipped for different conditions.
The outsole of the Salomon S-Lab Wings 8 also features lugs, another common trait in Salomon shoes. These lugs add to traction as well, particularly when climbing or descending hills.
The outsole of the Salomon Wings 8 is great, as it is very durable, and provides excellent traction across many different conditions.
This particular blend is a bit more springy and responsive, however, giving the necessary bounce for racing. Additionally, the midsole has a bit of a harder EVA blend, which provides some extra durability and stable cushioning to the feet.
There is also a TPU or, thermoplastic urethane layer, which adds even more protection to the midsole. Overall, the midsole of the Salomon shoes is perfect for racing, giving a good mixture of responsiveness and protection, while still remaining pretty light.
Within the upper is Salomon’s Endofit liner. This basically gives the interior a more comfortable feel, to reduce rubbing and irritation of the feet. Also within the upper is a toe cap, which protects from potential collisions or bad steps. This is especially useful on trails where rocks or other debris can be found. Another feature of the upper is its Quicklace system.
These types of systems are common for racing shoes especially. Essentially, to secure the shoe, users need only to pull the laces. This makes for quick lacing, which is great to avoid any fumbling and pre-race nerves. The upper is quite good and offers many useful features and materials.
Trail shoes tend to be heavier to accommodate for more cushioning in the face of trail hazards. As such, though the Salomon S-Lab Wings 8 might appear to be heavy for a racing shoe, the weight is pretty solid, if not exceptional.
The result is a very breathable feel, which is great for limiting sweat and odor build up. This is pretty much the main feature in the S-Lab Wings 8 that influences breathability but it definitely does an excellent job at that.
The liner within the foot also is a comfortable feature, as it prevents any abrasions and uncomfortable rubbing within the shoe. The midsole adds to comfort with its two EVA foams. The injected EVA is light and springy, making the stride effective and comfortable as a result.
The molded EVA is harder, and as such gives more cushioning and stability. In tandem, these make the stride very comfortable, by providing protection as well as responsiveness. The S-Lab Wings 8 is a comfortable shoe overall.
The shoe is unfortunately not available in many colors, though this is pretty common for racing shoes generally. The Salomon Wings 8 is bright and eye-popping, which is another common trait of racing shoes.
The shoe, as a whole, is definitely stylish enough for trail racing, though it does not really stand out in any major ways. This shoe definitely would not be effective for everyday use both because of its color and because it is primarily designed for racing.
EVA foam is a durable material in and of itself, and using two different blends extends the lifespan, even more, making it last a long time. The TPU layer is an additional piece that helps protect the shoe from wear and tear.
The outsole is very good in the durability department thanks to the Contragrip outsole. Contragrip has long been known for its excellent ability to withstand repeated use on all terrains, and that holds true in the Salomon S-Lab Wings 8 as well.
Finally, the upper gets its durability from the Stretch Air Mesh it employs. This material is pretty durable and doesn’t tear easily, making it perfect for trails. Overall, durability is pretty good in the S-Lab Wings 8, which is especially nice as a racing shoe.
Because the shoes are meant for racing, they will probably be usable for an even longer time than a regular trainer.
The toecap within the upper also helps protect the feet, by shielding from any harsh collisions that could possibly occur. The different EVA foams are the main sources of protection in the midsole.
These foams do their job quite well and absorb and reduce impacts on the foot while running. This creates a safer stride and reduces the chances of injury, which is especially nice for racing.
The injected blend, in particular, is great for responsiveness, as it is a bit lighter and springier, making it bounce back and respond well to force. The harder layer helps to add the needed firmness and protection to make the overall midsole effective. Overall, these two foams in tandem do a good job at making the shoe responsive.
This supports the foot very well from above. The midsole helps once again with its EVA foams. These foams support and cushion the foot from below, creating a comfortable stride. These are the key supporting features in the shoe, and overall they do a decent job.
While they definitely can be used on most common running terrains, one is probably better off finding another shoe if they wish to use these outside of racing on trails. The lugs and Contragrip outsole, while perfect for trails, are a bit overbearing for city terrains.
Part of the cost comes from specialization, as these shoes are trail specific racing shoes, which are less common than regular racing shoes. The quality of the shoe is nice, but the price definitely reflects that as well.
The lugs on the outsole also help with this and are extra useful when ascending or descending on slopes.
As mentioned previously, the materials on the outsole are excellent for trail terrains, but are perhaps a bit overbearing for city terrains. There should be no issues with traction, but still, the shoes will grip the most comfortably on trails and other similar surfaces.
The mesh is able to flex well thanks to the materials it uses, and also due to the way it is carefully woven. Apart from this, the shoe doesn’t offer too much else that influences flexibility. Flexibility as a whole is adequate still.
They help absorb and reduce shocks and impacts from running. This allows the runner to keep their stride more stable, and also makes for a safer and better stride overall. The upper adds to stability through its secure grip on the top of the feet. The S-Lab Wings 8 is definitely stable.
- Stretch Air Mesh
- Quicklace system
- Contragrip Rubber
- Lugs for added traction
- Endofit Liner
For those seeking a trail racing shoe who don’t mind the fairly high price tag, the S-Lab Wings 8 is a very good shoe.
For those seeking a more general purpose racing shoe, the Wings 8 is probably not the best choice.