Salomon S-Lab Wings Review Facts
Salomon established their name by being manufacturers of incredibly well-made trail running shoes. The secret to their success is a visually distinctive and appealing style coupled with a high-performance design. The Salomon S-Lab Wings is a reflection of these two core design principles as a stylish, durable and efficient trail runner. The Salomon S-Lab Wings may not just be one of Salomon’s best products but one of the best pairs of trail shoe money can buy.
The outsole of the S-Lab
Wings is comprised of Salomon’s proprietary ContraGrip technology, providing terrific traction on the majority of common running surfaces while also boasting a high durability. The way ContraGrip works is through the use of different materials with variable levels of density. The result of this particular design is an outsole that works beautifully on soft trails, hard trails
, and most roads. One unfortunate shortcoming of the S-Lab Wings’ ContraGrip outsole is its limited effectiveness in wet and muddy environments. However, the amazing durability and traction in essentially every other conceivable trail running environment make up for this design flaw.
The midsole is quite possibly the most impressive feature of the Salomon S-Lab
Wings. Full-length molded EVA foam was used for its manufacture which provides a great deal of comfortable cushioning perfect for trail running. In addition to comfort, the stability offered by this midsole allows these shoes to perform well on a wide variety of trails
. Additional protection from running injuries is provided by the implementation of ProFeel technology in this portion of the shoe. When compared to previous Salomon trail shoes
, these manage to be more lightweight and comfortable due to its particular design.
3D stretch mesh used for the Salomon S-Lab Wings’ upper provides breathability and support through an adaptive fit. It’s very soft to the touch but provides a surprising amount of protection from all manner of trail hazards. A quick lace system with an included pocket reduces the space and time wasted from traditional lacing systems, helping you to focus on running without worrying about your laces tripping you or coming untied. Additional interesting features of the S-Lab Wings’ upper include SensiFit and EndoFit technologies, which wrap around the foot and maintain a sturdy grip during treacherous runs.
These Salomon trail shoes weigh a tiny bit over 10 ounces. This is around the average weight for a standard track and field running shoe, making it very impressive that these trail shoes manage to weigh the same. Despite having the necessary durability, traction, and general foot protection needed for the dangerous sport of trail running, these shoes will feel remarkably similar to the average Nike Air Zoom product. For individuals used to ordinary running shoes that are interested in experimenting with trail running, this makes the Salomon S-Lab Wings an excellent choice for breaking into a new form of intense outdoor exercise.
Many runners have drawn comparisons between the S-Lab Wings and Salomon’s X-Series of shoes, stating that the former is a minor update of the latter. Something significant that differentiates the S-Lab Wings from other Salomon shoes is their 3D mesh upper that guarantees enough breathability to keep runners’ feet dry and cool throughout the duration of their run. Sweaty feet are a thing of the past when wearing these shoes, even in warmer climates. Fortunately, this excellent airflow doesn’t come at the cost of foot protection from road hazards, making this a win-win situation for prospective owners.
Comfort is one aspect of the Salomon S-Lab Wings’ design that shouldn’t present an issue for anyone. Unlike some running shoes by popular manufacturers, these run true to size, meaning that the majority of customers won’t need to worry about ordering a half size larger or smaller than their normal size to ensure a snug fit. A snug fit is guaranteed thanks to several helpful design amenities, such as a heel counter and cup toward the rear of the shoe. Additionally, the stretch mesh used for the upper portion has some stretchiness, allowing for runners to break in their shoes for a more comfortable fit. While SensiFit and EndoFit help to provide comfort and support for the midfoot, some runners dislike the narrower toe box near the forefoot.
Many individuals’ first impression of the Salomon S-Lab Wings is that it looks like any other trail shoe. However, a closer look will reveal some additional features that help to set it apart from the competition, such as the 3D mesh fabric and quick lace system placed on the upper. Small elements like these, coupled with the visually striking color schemes, help these shoes to make a strong stylistic impact. Despite its bold color scheme and distinctive aesthetic, it can be difficult for runners to coordinate these shoes with the rest of their wardrobe. However, the fact remains that these are some seriously good looking trail runners.
Even after running over 50 miles, these Salomon trail shoes show no sign of wear. They also hold up incredibly well during long distance running sessions. This can be attributed to the strength of Salomon’s design team, especially with regards to their Contragrip outsole. In addition to providing terrific traction
in wet environments, this particular style of outsole design helps to provide additional resilience in the face of harsh terrain commonly experienced by trail runners. Other aspects of the Salomon S-Lab Wings manage to be very durable as well, such as a woven fabric upper that is resistant to punctures or tearing.
These trail shoes provide excellent protection for your feet. In addition to the aforementioned tear-resistant upper and terrain-resistant outsole, the Salomon S-Lab Wings feature heel with a few design features providing a snug fit that doesn’t feel tight. The way this works to protect the foot is that it helps to maintain a high level of control when running on treacherous surfaces, thus decreasing the likelihood of injury from losing your footing. In addition, a well-secured heel will help to ward off repetitive stress-related running injuries. In addition to this secured heel, an internal sleeve provides a sock-like fit around the entire foot. While this contributes a similar degree of protection by preventing slippage and injury, it also serves as an additional layer of protective material between your foot and the environment.
One of the most successful aspects of the Salomon S-Lab Wings’ design is how responsive they feel on a runner’s feet. Most runners have favorably mentioned this shoe’s competence on moderately steep trails, providing the required amount of speed and efficient energy dispersal. Whether it’s used on a flat road, a light trail, or a harsh incline, these shoes will respond to individual movements quickly and accurately. This can be attributed to a tight-fitting upper and an outsole with impeccable traction.
It’s clear to see from the significant lug placement on the outsoles of these Salomon trail shoes that excellent support was made into a top priority during the design process. Since the S-Lab Wings weigh only 10 ounces, support is both extremely important and difficult to pull off with such a low weight limit to work with. Salomon managed to provide the necessary support for these shoes with a few clever design choice. First was the speed lacing system which helps to provide support for the upper portion of the foot thanks to its extremely secure grip. Second is the internal sleeve system, which functions as a sockliner and provides similar benefits to the speed laces. Finally, a highly cushioned midsole with ProFeel technology ensures a similar level of support for the lower half of the foot as well.
An interesting facet of these trail shoes’ design is their greater versatility regarding appropriate running terrain. Because of its lighter weight and decreased outsole lug size, most runners have remarked that the Salomon S-Lab Wings function similarly to a speed running shoe when they’re used on flatter, non-trail surfaces. Thanks to a terrific responsiveness and grip, these shoes are terrific at picking up speed
as well as maintaining it. While providing this benefit, these shoes are also obviously very effective on common trail-related terrains such as an overgrown path or rocky incline.
These trail shoes are not cheap by any reasonable comparison. They are costly when compared to the average running shoe but they are also on the high side of the price spectrum for heavy duty trail shoes and hiking boots. Even the highest quality articles of footwear designed for highly specific purposes don’t always cost as much as Salomon is asking for in order to get a pair of S-Lab Wings. However, when considering these shoes’ dual functionality as both a speedy running shoe and a durable trail shoe, the price feels more justified.
Unfortunately, these trail shoes don’t provide as good an amount of traction on wetter surfaces than they do on dry ones, despite the Contragrip moisture resistant outsole. This isn’t to say that the S-Lab Wings don’t offer excellent traction in wet environments at all, simply that it’s disappointing when compared to its traction in drier climates. Fortunately, the aforementioned ContraGrip design provides excellent traction in other environments, so all is not lost. Despite this mild criticism, by no means should runners fear for the sake of their grip on even the most treacherous of trail running conditions.
Despite being considerably lighter than you may expect, the flexibility of the Salomon S-Lab Wings is weaker than that may imply. They end up feeling considerably firm, which can be a positive or a negative depending on each runner and their preferences. Despite this surprising rigidity, these shoes manage to feel plenty responsive and fast, so it seems as though any downsides to this increased stiffness have been avoided.
Stability has never been an issue for Salomon shoes; their arch support alone is simply unbeatable. Since stability is one of the most important aspects of a well-designed trail shoe, Salomon designed the S-Lab Wings with this precise aspect in mind. From a tight-fitting and secure upper portion to a rigid and highly shock absorbing midsole, these are extremely stable shoes built to perform under an impressive range of conditions and environments.
The Salomon S-Lab Wings have a heel drop of around 9 mm. This heel drop is standard for most ordinary track and field running shoes but is considerably greater than the average heel elevation present in an ordinary pair of trail shoes. Because of this, some experienced trail runners may feel uncomfortable wearing these shoes and can suffer some increased difficulty in incline running. However, when considering the additional benefits these shoes provide in regards to track running, this particular design feature can be considered as a benefit for off-roaders looking to get into something less intense.
- Quick lace system with lace pocket
- Dual-layer midsole
- SensiFit and EndoFit midfoot support
- 3D Stretch Air Mesh upper
- Profeel Film
- ContraGrip outsole
These trail shoes by Salomon feature an incredible degree of stability, comfort, breathability, support, and responsiveness. They manage to function as both an excellent trail shoe and a very capable running shoe: something that may have been considered impossible in the past. However, they do come at a significant asking price. With that in mind, runners will need to seriously consider whether or not they need to invest in the S-Lab Wings. If you are an individual with a penchant for trail running who would like to dabble in standard track running, perhaps on off days, this is the perfect product for you. In the reverse scenario where a track runner wants to get into trail running, these shoes are also an excellent fit; however, more affordable options are available that provide comparable benefits. One thing that is for certain is that these shoes are incredibly well made and will last a runner for quite some time.