Salomon Sense Max 2 Review Facts
The Sense shoe was developed after the 2010 Western States 100-mile run when Salomon’s brand ambassadors requested an improvement in their gear. The Salomon Sense Max 2 is similar to the Sense Ride 2 but is more cushioned and with more support. The upper of this shoe has been redesigned to leave more space in the front foot and a change in the tongue area. The sole of the Salomon Sense Max 2 is not different from the Sense Pro Max, with the Contagrip compound, while the midsole also uses the Vibe cushioning system. If you are looking for shoes that will keep your feet safe in all kinds of terrain, the Salomon Sense Max 2 is a great option as it works well on dry or wet land, mountainous terrain and asphalt with good traction and cushioning.
These shoes are characterized with a Contagrip outsole which is a durable rubber formula, designed to reduce the risk of slipping even on the slickest surfaces from wet leaves, mud or rocky surfaces. The lugs are arranged directionally to provide uphill and downhill traction as needed. Surrounded by large lugs on the edge of the outsole for grip and stability, the Sense Max 2 provides traction
. Channels between the lugs allow water and mud to drain away from the sole to keep you light and fast on your feet.
The shoe is also equipped with Profeel film- a thin layer of flexible thermoplastic that spans the outsole from the midfoot all the way to the forefoot. You can also see a red triangle at the bottom.
A small TPU plate is inserted in between 2 layers of EVA material to provide the utmost comfort. The sock form or the ‘Endofit technology’ inside the shoe feels like an extension of the foot. Rebound, impact, and vibration are controlled by Salomon’s VIBE technology midsole. This feature balances these attributes to prevent fatigue
The VIBE technology is called out on the shoe and is made up of layers of lightweight cushion called opal combined with Energy cell+ EVA which absorbs impact and quickly rebounds. Working together, these materials dampen vibrations before they can reach your feet.
The upper features mesh with welded overlays which is the standard in many Salomon trail running shoes. Sensifit technology creates a precise, secure fit by wrapping around the instep to hold your feet in place. This works in conjunction with Endofit technology that’s on the inside of the shoe. It is that sleeve that hugs the feet from the top of the shoe all the way to the midfoot.
Like most new Salomon shoes, the Sense Max 2 comes with the quicklace technology that allows one pull to tighten or loosen the laces. The laces can then be tucked inside the patented lace garage with a sliding lace locker that allows easy adjustment of the laces. Salomon claims that these laces are 4 times stronger than traditional laces
At 340 grams in weight, Sense Max 2 is as heavier than the similar Sense Ride 2. This can be explained by the enhanced cushioning abilities, VIBE midsole and a dense toebox. The Sense Max 2 gives off the impression of being a bulky shoe but it is surprisingly light due to materials used in its upper and midsole. The outsole containing the Megagrip MA and medium lugs adds to the weight of the shoe. But this is a necessary feature that is required to protect your feet and keep it safe from the shocks of high-impact running.
The upper mesh allows the toes to breathe and move easily without restriction. The Endofit construction in the midsole is made of small pores that help your feet breathe in the shoe. The shoe dries really fast as one runner commented that she felt her feet dry up two minutes after stepping into a puddle. The Ortholite footbed is very breathable thus allowing air to circulate in and around the feet which also helps regulate the heat inside the shoe.
Long-distance trail running can make the feet sweat especially if your skin is delicate to heat. Seeing as the Sense Max 2 is built as a trail shoe, extra ventilation in the upper could have been a huge bonus to the shoe.
Being a lightweight shoe, many runners expressed concerns if the shoe could prevent stabbing pains in long-distance running
. But this shoe feels really comfortable in part because of the Profeel Film plate. A feature common to the S-Lab series, a padded collar in this shoe cushions the heel and ankles while preventing chaffing.
A runner commented that this shoe worked great for runs under 20 but for longer runs, she needed more cushioning especially at the midfoot forward.
Salomon shoes are well-liked for their durability and design and this shoe also is visually appealing. It comes in two colorways in the men’s category- Black/Lead/Flame Orange and Indigo Bunting/Black/Poseidon. The women’s shoe has 2 colorways- Hibiscus/Evening Blue/Cerise and Navy Blazer/Bluestone/Nile Blue. It features branding elements of the Salomon logo on the tongue and the heel of the shoe with the addition of VIBE written on the side of the shoe.
The brand name Salomon screams durability as most of its trail running shoes have developed a reputation for lasting long due to the Contagrip rubber, VIBE and Energy Cell+ technology. The shoe adds enhanced durability because of its friction-free lace eyelets. Most loyal fans of the brand mentioned using the shoe for years without seeing much damage.
Many runners commented that the outsole is ruggedly built to withstand any amount of shock or high-impact running. The outsoles do not show signs of wear and tear even after hundreds of miles of running. However, the 3D printed mesh upper is a little more delicate than other materials and signs of repair did appear for a few runners.
The shoe has Salomon’s Endofit construction that mimics a sock and wraps around the foot. This element has a smooth construction that allows the runner to wear the shoe without socks
. The Profeel film increases protection by dampening the impact of sharp rocks, roots and other obstacles while adding minimal weight and stiffness to the shoe. The front of the shoe also features a dense but light toe bumper to protect the feet from trail debris.
This shoe was not built to give additional speed and functionality to the runner but was created to protect the feet and let it follow its natural gait on long-runs. As such, this shoe is not the most flexible running shoe but does have adequate features to not be dead under the feet. The die-cut OrthoLite footbed is used to bring higher rebound properties into the shoe. A good choice for minimalist or a high-impact training shoe, the footbed also adds elasticity
Even for runners with narrow feet, the roomy toe box isn’t a dealbreaker as the Sensifit technology wraps the feet in the shoe without giving you the experience of wearing snowshoes
. The tongue is gusseted which adds to the support while also keeping dirt and debris away from the feet.
The Endofit technology and the lacing makes the fit of the shoe precise even for people with narrow feet. The toe box is wide with a narrow midfoot but if you wear socks, it could solve the problem of excess space. The melded overlay in the upper provides structure around the middle of the feet to keep the feet in place.
The shoe is not built for mud-crawling and Salomon does have other shoes for that purpose. However, the outsole is built to handle gravel, grass, light mud to even pavements
. The Contagrip MA rubber outsole provides a good balance of grip and stability on variable terrains. The grip is just enough to not feel clunky so if you like to warm up on the pavement before hitting the trails, this shoe can handle that as well.
While not the cheapest trail running shoe on the market, the Salomon Sense Max 2 justifies its price through its impressive cushioning. Considering the use of patented technology like the VIBE midsole, Contagrip MA outsole, Sensifit, and Endofit along with the Quicklace system, the shoe seems worth the price at a few dollars more than competitors.
The lugs aren’t very deep and you might lose some grip on muddy conditions. While it does not contain excessively large lugs on the outsole, the tread pattern runs in opposite directions and can provide medium traction on rocky terrain. Many reviewers agree that the traction is brilliant on wet and sloppy terrain but you can find shoes with better performance for purely mountainous terrain.
This shoe has the utmost priority of being comfortable and flexibility is not a do-or-die feature here. Still, this shoe has a few features that prevent it from being a stiff running boot. The Profeel film also keeps the shoe flexible thus helping provide a smooth ride. This layer is also almost undetectable and doesn’t compromise connection with the ground.
Flexibility in a trail running shoe is a very personal choice with some runners preferring a firmer experience where they can connect with the ground better. Many others prefer feeling immense comfort from their shoes while on long-runs so that their focus remains on the trail
Trail shoes need to provide good stability to keep your foot secure in place while allowing for speed and preventing injuries. Designed for forefoot running, this shoe allows for moderate contact with the ground. The patented Contagrip MA feature in the outsole is the element that brings stability to the shoe. The outsole consists of diamond-shaped protrusions that hold on to the running surface, keeping the foot in its place while preventing slippage or injury.
The shoe features a low drop of 6mm which can provide flexibility to the calf and more ankle mobility. Mid-foot and forefoot strikers will find this drop comfortable. In this structure, the heel is out of the way with slight padding to cater to accidental heel strikes. We can safely say that the shoe is made for neutral runners and mostly for trail running but also capable of hitting the pavement.
-Vibe midsole with a combination of Energy Cell Plus and Opal compound,
-6 mm heel drop
-Sensifit and Endofit technology
-Quick-drying mesh upper
The Sense Ride is a versatile shoe that can work through just about any terrain such as trails, rocky mountains, muddy hikes, and even pavements. Built as an updated version of the Salomon Sense Ride 2, the Sense Max 2 has additional cushioning features and a redesigned upper to give you a very comfortable run. The cushioning cannot be compared to that of the amazing HOKA but it is much better than other competitors.
The Sense Ride was heavily marketed as a ‘quiver killer’ and the Sense Max 2 having updated features can also be considered so. However, with the Sense Ride priced lower than this shoe, runners may have a hard time choosing between them.
A lot of runners mentioned using this as a daily training shoe. At its cost, the shoe offers a secure fit, cushioning and decent grip on many surfaces at par as any S-Lab model shoe.
If you are a neutral runner who is looking for a comfortable, precise-fit trail shoe that can handle light to moderate trail conditions, the Salomon Sense Pro is a good contender. Definitely suitable for most trail running objectives or training before a big race, the Sense Max 2 is great for beginners.