Salomon Sense Pro Max

7.8
7.8 score
[Editors rating (7.7) + Users rating (8.0)] / 2 = Runnerclick score (7.8)/10

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Editor rating: 7.7 / 10
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Salomon Sense Pro Max Review Facts
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Salomon shoes have been a great option for serious trail runners for many years, and they have a loyal following. They’re seen on the feet of those running serious ultra-marathons like the Leadville 100 and Western States. The Sense Pro Max is certainly great on technical trails, though, this model is lighter than past ones, and is a great option for shorter distances as well. Think short training runs and long slogs up 14,000-foot mountains. It features patented Sensifit and Ortholite Endofit technologies, which means the shoe fits snuggly, similar to a glove. In addition, there is 17mm of Energy Cells+, which make the shoe extremely comfortable and provides bounce over rocks. Last but not least, the shoe features speed laces, which is a favorite Salomon feature with many runners.

Pros
  • A long history of reliability and performance
  • Light(ish) for a trail shoe
  • A snug, glove-like fit, prevents feet from slipping forward when going downhill
  • Reduces shock and vibration through the use of Energy Cells+ and Opals
  • Cozy
  • Terrific traction on the outsole
  • Low drop
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Colors are on the boring side
  • No protection from water
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

Like all Salomon shoes, the Sense Pro Max has an awesome outsole. It is designed for extreme conditions including rocks and ice and will be a trusty friend on the trails. It offers a good deal of protection without losing the feeling of the terrain beneath one’s feet. One feature that Salomon has always gotten right is the tread. Of course, it provides great traction, but it also goes through mud nicely. Some shoes are difficult in muddy conditions because the waffle-like pattern on the outsole picks up wet gunk. This turns shoes, and hence legs, very heavy and runners will find themselves having to pull over and pick dirt off the bottom of their shoes with a stick. This is not so for Solomon, as there are not deep crevices the mud can seep into. When racing, this obviously makes a huge difference.

Salomon is a bit of a “showcase” and likes for its potential customers to see their shoes in action before they buy them. As such, they have setup displays that mimic slick, rocky conditions. This helps to prove the company’s concept and is a testament to how much the designers believe in their products.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The Salomon Sense Pro Max has 17mm of Energy Cells+. This offers a great bounce when pushing off and provides an extra level of comfort. Foam is standard in these types of shoes, however, cheaper brands use a version that wears down quickly. The foam from Salomon is durable and reliable. However, it will eventually wear down and when this happens, shoes will need to be replaced.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The Upper on the Salomon Sense Pro Max is made with mesh and is constructed with a wide toe box. This means breathability is strong and swelling is manageable on long runs and hikes. At the same time, the upper is not overly tight, so it’s comfortable across the top of the foot. Salomon also really understands what a pain laces can be both before and during a run. As such. The eyelets for the laces are large, and there is a contraption called “speed laces”, so one never has to worry about their shoe coming undone.

When trail runners head down a mountain, it is easy for their toes to hit the front of a shoe’s toe box because the forward motion is dramatic. This can be painful and is the cause of blisters, aches, and pains. This particular shoe, and really any one from Salamon, minimizes this impact because it offers a snug fit that keeps the foot in place.
Weight
Weight

Weight

Shoes in the trail running category are not known for being light. This is because they need to offer protection from items like pointy rocks. The designers of the Salomon Sense Pro Max have attempted to solve this problem because heavy shoes make for heavy legs. That said, it is still not a light shoe. The men’s version weighs 10.4 oz, and the women’s version weighs 9.5 oz.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

The mesh construction of the Salomon Sense Pro Max makes it a breathable shoe. The Ortholite sockliner, which is not uncommon in shoes these days, also helps to prevent moisture but is not a substitution for a great sock.
Style
Style

Style

When it comes to style, the Salomon Sens Pro Max falls into the “meh” category. There is not a range of colors and the ones that do exist are generally monochromatic. However, some will be all one color on the front of the shoe and then a different color on the heel. For instance, one style is all yellow with a black back. This is not all that unusual for Salomon, as they have never been known to create “loud” shoes. They put more emphasis on technology and comfort than style.

When done well, branding is a powerful business strategy, and Salomon has mastered it. When someone sports the brand, it gives others the impression that the person wearing them is a total bad ass. They are automatically stronger and faster than other runners, even if it’s their first day on the trail. That is simply what a good brand does, it gives off cues. So when it comes to the Sense Pro Max, simply having the Salomon name does a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to assessing the style. People just see it and think it’s pretty great. And sans, the colors, the shoes still give off a bad ass vibe. When a runner passes in a pair of Salomon’s it’s easy for one to think “they are legit.”
Durability
Durability

Durability

Salomon has a loyal following and folks buy the brand over and over again. They see the shoe as a crucial part of their journey and they know it will not let them down. The shoe holds up in extreme conditions because it is made with the best material and thoughtfully crafted. Of course, no shoe will last forever, so it will eventually need to be replaced after 300-500 miles.
Protection
Protection

Protection

The Energy Cells+ and the Opals in the Salomon Sense Pro Max protect from too much shock and vibration, which impacts the muscles and bones. It also has a solid piece of rubber on the front, which prevents toe stubs, especially going downhill. Though from a traditional standpoint, they don’t protect wet courses via Gore Tex and one can end up with wet and soggy socks and shoes. There is no reflective material on the shoe, so those out in the evening need to take extra precautions and consider wearing a head lamp.

Those running on trails may also consider buying a pair of gaiters to reduce the number of pesky pebbles they get in their shoes.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

Salomon has put an enormous amount of resources into creating technologies to prevent too much shock and vibration. In the Sense Pro Max, Energy Cells+ and Opals have been the key. They provide both stability and comfort. Two important notes: the shoe is not intended to correct gait issues like pronation, and is not flexible in the arch.
Support
Support

Support

The Salomon Sense Pro Max provides terrific support over long durations. On top of a firm Opal layer, this is 17mm of Energy Cells+. This provides cushion and reduces shock and vibrations. The shoe is not intended help with gait issues, so corrections for pronation and foot striking have not been constructed into the shoe.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

This shoe is made for trails. That could mean up a mountain, down a mountain, or just a flat dirt road. It also does well on slick and icy trails. The shoe also features Sensifit technologies and Smartlaces the shoe the shoe is snug on foot, which prevents small, annoying pebbles from entering the shoe. This shoe is not advisable for treadmills or road work, as it is too heavy for these activities.
Price
Price

Price

High-quality and dependability come with a hefty price tag. As such, the Sense Pro Max is not cheap. And this is a low price to pay when considering cheaper brands that don’t provide the same level of comfort, protection, and support.
Traction
Traction

Traction

The Sense Pro Max was made with extreme conditions, like ice, in mind. As such, the traction on the shoes is top-notch. They also do well on trails where it is easy to slip because of fine gravel. The outsole is made of rubber and has a highly-functional pattern. Mud does not get stuck in deep crevices, which prevents one from having to clean their shoe mid-run.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

Given these shoes have to be supportive and comfortable during extended trail runs, the midsole is thick. This provides little flexibility in the arch. Though, given the wide toe box and mesh construction, one could wiggle their toes, if desired.
Stability
Stability

Stability

Trail shoes typically provide great stability, as it is required when going up and down mountains. Stability around the ankle is especially important, and the Sense Pro Max does a solid job in this regard. It comes up higher on the ankle, which can get unstable.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The Salomon Sense Pro Max has a 6mm drop. This is quite low given the average shoe has a drop of 10-12 millimeters. Those who prefer low heel drops preach them because the heel has less room to strike the ground, which can prevent knee injuries. While the science is still gray in this area, those who side with low heel drops will find this shoe a good option.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

• Great traction for icy and rocky terrain
• High-quality materials all around the shoe
• Well-crafted
• Lighter than most in its class
• Speedlaces so one doesn’t have to mess with regular ones.
• 17mm of Energy Cells+ and Opals.
• Wide toe box
• Low drop
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

The Salomon Sense Pro Max doesn't disappoint. Those who've run in Salomon’s in the past will find the shoe reliable, durable, and comfortable. The materials and craftsmanship are top-notch. It's a different type of shoe than Salomon has historically made because it is lighter. However, the shoes will be a trusty partner in mountain conditions and simple trail runs. Of course, these pros come with a steep price tag, but serious runners will find that it’s worth it.