Salomon Snowcross 2 Review Facts
If you’re an off-trail enthusiast or live in areas that regularly snow, hazardous trail conditions can often put a damper on your regular running regimen. Although it might be tempting to do nothing more than curl up in front of the fireplace when the weather dips below freezing, a surprising number of studies have found that not only do elite marathon runners run fastest in colder temperatures – the effect is even bigger on amateur runners!
Enter the all-new 2018 Snowcross 2 CSWP shoe: Designed for trail runs under snowy, wet, and muddy conditions, this line offers exceptional traction and durability even under the most hostile conditions. For more than six decades, Salomon has been dedicated to combatting cold-climate conditions with their unique designs. This latest Snowcross CSWP update features significant outsole changes and a new uppers design. The outsole no longer has carbide spikes for crossing bodies of ice. In addition, the outsole (previously the same as the Speedcross 3 model) has been changed to the more efficiently designed Speedcross 4 platform. The uppers for the new CSWP 2 have also been updated to have a more ergonomic, asymmetrical, lateral zip. To be sure, this latest shoe may have a slightly higher price tag than a standard street trainer, but the outstanding protection the Snowcross 2s offer is well worth it if you’re interested in snowshoe cross-training or keeping one step ahead of poor weather conditions.
The outsole of the Snowcross 2 CSWP is constructed out of premium rubber. These shoes feature a Wet Traction Contagrip design
and mudguard for runners traversing mud, snow, and loose terrain. Unlike the Snowcross CS design
, Snowcross 2s no longer feature metal spikes on the tread. However, the CSWP has retained Salomon's distinctive toe cap design at the forefoot.
Snowcross 2s feature Salomon's unique triple-density midsole "muscle" and shaped footbed. Made from injected EVA (a lightweight foam rubber), this midsole maximizes cushioning, comfort and rebound during your toughest runs. Because even short trail runs often require your own muscles to produce a lot of energy
, Salomon has designed these shoes with energy return in mind. Energy return in a shoe is not only critical for preventing excessive muscle strain and injury but is exceptionally important for maintaining marathon and long-distance run times. What is energy return? When you move your muscles while running - you expend energy. A good running shoe will compress slightly on contact with the ground to offer additional rebound power as you cycle through your gait. Because these Solomons are constructed with high-density EVA foam they offer some of the best energy return available in a running shoe.
The Snowcross line features built-in zip gaiters
, a ClimaShield waterproof membrane, and ripstop fabric upper. To top things off, Snowcross 2s are also constructed with an anti-debris mesh and feature a cushioned ankle pad on their feather. This combination of protectiveness and durability makes the Snowcross 2 CSWPs an outstanding choice for off-trail and cold-climate runners
It's important to note here that not all Salomon shoes are constructed with the same degree of water resistance. Salomon uses two waterproofing technologies in their "waterproof" shoes. ClimaShield Technology (CS) are more accurately designed to be "water resistant" for traveling through snow and passing over moderate puddles. However, Salomon shoes with a GORE-TEX (GTX) membrane feature even more advanced waterproofing technology. You can find this membrane on Salomon shoes intended to cross over very wet, cold terrain.
Snowcross 2 CSWPs weigh approximately 12.8 ounces and ship at about 1lb. Because Salomon shoes are constructed with built-in gaiters and added layers to protect against foul weather, these shoes are heavier than standard trail running shoes. However, Salomon's are truly lightweight when compared to other top-of-the-line winter shoes. For example, Icebug's Creek2 BUGrip Traction Studded All-Season Boot weighs in at nearly 3lbs. (without gaiters)!
Because Snowcross 2s are meant to protect against wet, snowy, and muddy terrain, you would expect their overall breathability is fairly limited. However, Salomon has not compromised the breathability of the Snowcross 2s for additional upper coverage. Instead, the lining of their nylon-mesh uppers has proved breathable enough to keep your feet from getting sweaty and blistering
on snowy trails.
The Snowcross 2 CSWP line offers exceptional comfort under extreme conditions. With their energy-saving midsole, cushioned ankle pad, and waterproof design, these shoes keep your feet dry, warm, and safe from injury even in calf-deep snows
. However, because of their extremely aggressive, deep, lug pattern, CSWP 2s are probably the furthest thing from an indoor shoe or trainer. The Snowcross 2s are meant for extreme conditions only.
Although Snowcross 2s only come in a single colorway (Navy Blazer/Reflective Silver/ Lime Punch), they feature a unique and edgy design that encases the whole foot. Still, these shoes were certainly built with function (rather than fashion) in mind. Hopefully, Salomon's next update to this line will follow suit with their modifications to the S/LAB silhouette and feature some refreshingly vibrant colorways.
Thanks to their ripstop fabric uppers and lack of stitching, you'll never have to worry about Snowcross 2s breaking open at the seams. Made of 100% nylon, ripstop fabric is tear and abrasion resistant making it extremely durable even under harsh conditions. Wearers report this shoe to perform well on 20 mile (and up) runs, thanks to its specially designed Contragrip outsoles. Contagrip technology combines compounds of different densities to prevent rapid wear on areas of high pressure (e.g: the outer edge of the forefoot) and to increase flexibility and grip in areas of lower pressure (e.g. the central column of the outsole).
The Speedcross line additionally features a Contagrip M&S (Mud & Snow) Sole Unit replete with a dynamic, assertive lug pattern that offers exceptional traction on even the slipperiest surfaces. Built with Salomon's specialty High Traction Contagrip Compound, Snowcross 2 outsoles also have anti-freeze properties that make them an excellent choice for wet winter weather.
Because of their lightweight, ergonomic design, and EVA midsoles, Snowcross 2s are fairly responsive for a shoe of their caliber. However, because of their high-top gaiters, the Snowcross 2s aren't designed to deliver the extreme range of motion that low-cut trainers offer. After all, responsiveness isn't what immediately comes to mind when you think of an incredibly protective winter trail shoe designed to cope with heavy snows, slush, and mud.
Snowcross 2s come equipped with a Sensifit design for extra (lightweight) midfoot support to propel you forward during difficult runs. In addition, their Quicklace system offers an instantly snug fit with a single pull. Snowcross 2s also feature a lycra collar for a marginal degree of ankle support. Overall, wearers report this shoe offers neutral support; in other words, they keep the foot in place, but certainly aren't designed as corrective support shoes.
The all-new Snowcross 2s are designed to traverse loose and wet winter terrain like snow, slush, scattered puddles, and mud. Plus, thanks to their Contragrip outsole, you can trust the Salomon Snowcross CSWP 2s to provide you with steady footing no matter the terrain. Moreover, due to their thermally efficient high-top ClimaShield uppers, these shoes offer winter-weather protection well above your ankles. All-in-all, the Salomon Snowcross 2 line is one of the most aggressive terrain shoes on the market today.
Snowcross 2 CSWP shoes retail around making them fairly expensive compared to standard trainers. However, compared to other winter shoes, Salomon Snowcross 2s offer more bang for your buck with their trademark protective and stabilization features.
One of the primary features of the Snowcross 2 CSWP line is their superior Contragrip design that allows for traction on wet, loose terrain. Although the CSWPs don't feature metal nodes for traction on icy surfaces, they perform fantastically as waterproof trail shoes needed for trail runners and snowshoe cross-training in wintertime
Snowcross 2s are moderately pliable, but because of their unique high-top uppers they may require a bit more ankle flexibility to put on than a standard running shoe.
Because of their shaped EVA footbed, molded heel cup, and Sensifit system Snowcross 2s provide a reasonable amount of stability to the foot. However, these shoes are primarily designed for those with a neutral gait without over or under-pronation.
Snowcross 2 CSWP shoes have a 10mm drop placing them somewhere between a moderate and maximalist running shoe. Unfortunately, this slightly steep drop may interfere with your body's biomechanics if you've already begun to transition toward minimalist running shoes.
Premium Wet Traction Contagrip outsole
EVA shaped footbed
ClimaShield waterproof lining
Mudguard protection on outsole
Protective ankle pad
Zip-up gaiters built into uppers
The Snowcross 2 CSWPs are extremely protective, durable shoes with a highly stabilizing and slip-preventing tread. Designed for winter and cold-climate trail runs in the snow, slush, and mud, the Snowcross 2s combine high-end design with extreme traction. However, if you're looking for lots of style choices to compliment your winter running gear the Snowcross 2s probably aren't for you since they're only offered in a single colorway. Still, when it comes to price these CSWPs are really quite reasonable for the incredible quality they deliver.