Salomon Sense Mantra 3 Review Facts
The Salomon Sense Mantra 3 tackles two running shoe categories at once: it’s a hybrid that works both as a road shoe and a trail shoe for seamless transitions between both types of terrain. In this edition, the Sense Mantra 3 has stripped down some of its more rugged features that were present in the previous versions to provide a leaner, meaner hybrid that will appeal to all-terrain runners.
Redefined to be more of a multi-use running shoe, the Mantra 3 is a concoction of technological features so that it functions both on- and off-trail trainer. Although this “best of both worlds” approach may lead to some detractions—for example, this is not the best shoe for wet or muddy conditions—the Mantra 3 is still a comfortable trail running shoe that has a good amount of cushioning and greater flexibility than the previous editions in the Mantra line. Featuring aggressive lugs that have multiplied in number but decreased in size, the grip of the shoe appeals to both traditional running surfaces and trails alike. Its Endofit system—which is its inner sleeve—provides an excellent amount of comfort that wraps around the foot for a more cushioned ride. It’s also the lightest in the Mantra line, which hybrid trail and dynamic runners seeking a trainer that can tackle both roads and trails will appreciate. Simply put, it’s like getting two shoes for the price of one—as long as the runner seeks a shoe that can take them down both familiar paths and the unknown.
In this version of the Sense Mantra, Salomon
’s Wet Contragrip outsole has a chevron tread pattern with more lugs than the prior versions. While there are a lot more of them, these lugs have been made to have less bite to make the shoe more responsive over flat surfaces. Unfortunately, this change has put some question over the shoe's traction capabilities. However, many runners will find that its tread will suit their purposes just fine. The Sense Mantra 3’s also includes ProFeel Film, a protective rock plate located just beneath the midsole.
The midsole is made from compressed EVA material. It has a dual density mid foam that provides enough cushioning
without adding overall bulkiness and weight. The thickness of the midsole is medium-sized and the shoe is neither too high nor too low to the ground. The midsole region also includes Salomon’s OS Tendon, a motion control component that provides excellent responsiveness and helps in transitions.
Salomon’s Endofit system has been introduced into this version of the Sense Mantra, which is an inner sleeve that secures the foot in place for a proper and comfortable fit. The breathable mesh that comprises its upper offers a great amount of breathability, while its synthetic overlays provide structure and protection. The upper also includes the QuickLace system for easy on/off one lace pulling. A Lace
Pocket makes storage of the laces convenient and prevents them from getting tangled.
The 9.7 ounces/275 grams for men and 8.8 ounces/249 grams for women. Exact weight will depend on the shoe's sizing. It works best with a methodical approach consistent with long distance
training and overall is the type of shoe that’s there to make you comfortable, not faster.
The breathable mesh upper works in conjunction with other aspects of the shoe to create an ideal climate-controlled environment. For instance, its Ortholite sock liner is comprised of material that will keep a runner’s feet dry, cool, and clean. A roomier toe box means that air can circulate more freely in the foot chamber, which helps overall breathability.
Salmon put a well-concerted effort to produce a shoe that users would praise for its high levels of comfort. Although it provides plenty of cushioning, the Mantra 3 is not overly plush as it has been with a comparable shoe like a Hoka
or any other type of maximalist shoe. Instead, comfort is achieved through several areas, which include the Sensifit system, Ortholite sock liner, and from its roomier toe box. Upon visual inspection, one also gets a sense that it includes the right amount of interior padding that is enough to keep the runner comfortable without being obtrusive.
Salomon tends to make its shoes look pretty ferocious. However, the Sense Mantra 3 looks less temperamental than its more tenacious-looking counterparts. The Salomon website offers two color options, but Amazon has more than six styles on display, covering a wide range of choices on the spectrum.
In terms of colors, Salomon gets a bit edgier through some brighter offerings such as the tomato red color scheme, which stands out among the other styles. But despite the brighter colors, its low-profile structure and clean, organized contours provide an aesthetically pleasing design that's sensible. In other words, runners may not have the paparazzi asking what they’re wearing, but they also won't get arrested by the fashion police.
Salomon’s Contragrip outsole is constructed from quality carbon rubber which is resistant against wear and tear. Synthetic mesh overlays on the upper prove to be more durable than non-synthetic material. Overall, the shoe has received no negative reviews for its durability, proving that users are satisfied with the lifespan of the shoe.
A dual density foam on the midsole is inserted for added cushioning and ensures soft landings. The shoe’s medium profile height gives you just enough lift off the ground to keep you leveled, while the OS Tendon corrects any imbalances while in motion. A Pro Feel Film rock plate is placed underneath the midsole as a protective shield against any small fragments and rocks. The Ortholite sock liner maintains a sanitary and healthy interior environment to protect against heat-related issues and bacteria.
EnergyCell+ mid foam technology is incorporated into the shoe’s midsole. This type of foam technology is lighter and more responsive than other types of foams. Runners can expect a solid amount of energy return both on and off the trail.
Laterally, the Mantra 3 has a shoe structure that encompasses every part of its overall design and works perfectly with the Mantra’s Sensifit system. This results in the foot being kept safe and secure throughout a ride. The midsole provides vertical support to keep the runner at reasonable distance off the ground. Support is not heavily sided on one side or another, and the support structure of the Sense Mantra 3 is sound enough to keep the foot safe, stable, and secure.
The Mantra 3 truly is a hybrid shoe for both road and trail. The Sense Mantra being categorized as a “trail” category does NOT mean that it’s suitable for running through treacherous and highly technical terrain
. It is not designed to take on the more challenging elements of the trail. This shoe should only be used on the road, light trail, or other equally flat surfaces. It’s a hybrid shoe, which means taking it (lightly) off-road will yield solid results, while as a road trainer, runners will enjoy its ability over asphalt and pavement. It’s versatile and well-balanced for both.
Pricing of the Salomon Sense Mantra 3 will widely vary depending on availability, sizing, outlet, and style. Users haven’t been too keen on the shoe’s higher price range, but a savvy shopper may be able to find a real bargain
if willing to comparison shop online for these dynamic shoes.
Designed to be less trail and more road-conscious, the Sense Mantra lost some of its tougher qualities in this edition. Fans of the earlier versions have taken note of the less aggressive lugs, and these shoes are tamer and less dominant over the terrain than before.
Another issue is the lack of grip over wet surfaces, despite that it’s equipped with an outsole that is designed to handle such conditions. Many reviewers have advised against running through mud, moisture, and other slippery surfaces. However, it does perform well on light trails
and traditional running surfaces.
It’s safe to assume that Mantra fans would love for the next update to return to its trail philosophy and include back some of the features that made it a highly functional and dependable shoe for the trail, just like the good old days. However, those looking for a dynamic shoe that can traverse hybrid trails may just find a good match with the Mantra 3.
The combination of the Mantra 3’s flexible upper mesh, Sensifit system, and the midsole’s expandable properties means that the Sense Mantra 3 will give a runner plenty range of motion. One of the benefits in making this version more of a road shoe and less of a trail shoe resulted in enhanced flexibility.
In addition, the new and improved roomier toe box allows for more space inside the foot chamber, so runners have more room to wiggle their toes. The only issue with flexibility is that its effectiveness can be offset by the extra weight it carries.
For a shoe named the “Sense,” we can only hold it accountable for making sure that it delivers on its title. Fortunately, the Sense Mantra 3 lives by its promise to provide proportional amounts of stability
in the right places. The shoe is designed so that lateral and vertical stability is maintained. The best part is that it achieves this by keeping the shoe’s stack height low, even though the Sense Mantra 3 is not the lowest-profile shoe.
With a functional stability platform and the shoe’s OS Tendon technology, which helps to correct motion imbalances, the Sense Mantra 3 SHOULD be marketed as a terrific starter shoe, the reason being that it provides the right amount of support and stability while the shoe’s structure serves as a teaching tool for guiding newer runners to developing a better running form from the start.
The heel height measures 15 mm and the forefoot height measures 9mm. The difference results in a drop measurement of 6mm, which is great news for runners with mid foot landings or anyone looking to improve in this area. Low drops are typical of low profile shoes which have closer and harder contact with the ground, but that is not the case with the Sense Mantra 3. Its soft and cushioned midsole is elevated enough from the ground so that runners won’t experience direct contact with the ground. However, some of the same benefits from minimalist trainers is present in terms of mechanics.
• Wet Contragrip Outsole
• Sensifit System for secure fit
• Hybrid road/trail shoe
• Pro Feel Film Rock Plate
• Quick Lace System with Lace Pocket
• OS Tendon for motion control
• Endofit support technology
• Contagrip outsole with flexible OS tendon
• Low stack height
The Sense Mantra 3 promises to be a functional and comfortable shoe that most runners will benefit. The biggest issue that can be identified is that the Mantra 3 is a hybrid road and trail shoe. In short, trail runners miss having the more aggressive features such as sharper lugs and greater traction that was found in the earlier installments.
Instead, Salomon decided to replace the smaller number of sharper lugs with numerous softer lugs. This decision is questionable, as the shoe lost some of its initial strengths. On the other hand, someone looking for a casual and dependable daily trainer might not care so much, and Salomon most likely intended to reach a different demographic with this update. In either case, the Salomon Sense Mantra 3 has seen a drastic update by deviating far more off the trail and going for the road. While it may disappoint some loyalists, it may bring a new set of fans that will appreciate it for its new approach.