Salomon Speedcross 5 Trail Running Shoe
While it looks heavy and beefy, it is surprisingly lightweight and has a little bit of flex to it while helping to aid in stability and quick and snappy movements as you dodge tree branches and rocks. It’s built with tough overlays to protect your feet with mesh materials in key areas to keep your feet cool and comfortable on those hot days. Nothing scales difficult terrain better than a good pair of hiking boots, but they aren’t really designed for running. This shoe provides the stability of a hiking boot with the performance of a running shoe.
Below, I wanted to take a deep dive into all of the advanced features that make the Salomon Speedcross 5 one of the best trail runners out there on the market.
5 mm lugs for excellent traction
Lace lock system for added stability
Surprisingly lightweight (11.6 ounces)
Grippy Contragrip outsole
Unique color options available
Not ideal for sidewalks or treadmills
Some found the tongue to be uncomfortable
Upper is not very breathable and runs hot
Some trail runners suffer from stiff and unforgiving midsoles, but the Speedcross 5 is built a little differently. It utilizes EnergyCell+ technology in the midsole for a more comfortable ride. This molded EVA foam provides runners with a soft step-in feel that provides excellent impact absorption to protect your joints, as well as a springy ride that is more energetic. This midsole works to transform hard and uneven trails into light and fluffy clouds.
What I also love about the midsole of this design is that it includes a removable Ortholite footbed that contours to the shape of your foot over time. This insert also works to reduce impact absorption and has antimicrobial properties to fight odors. Overall, this midsole works overtime to help protect your joints while offering a bright and energetic ride that is cushioned, yet firm enough to keep your pace bright and brisk.
The outsole is where this shoe really shines. With just one look at the aggressive lugs on the outsole of the shoe, and you know that it is able to tackle just about any trailhead. The lugs on the base of this shoe measure to be 5 mm deep, which is similar to a high-end hiking boot. These lugs are placed in key areas to help with traction without adding too much unnecessary weight to this show to keep your strike lightweight and energetic.
It’s important to note that this style omits the rock plate that is found in most Salomon trainers that work to protect your feet from becoming bruised when scaling jagged terrains. The aggressive lugs on the outsole are deep enough to protect your feet, which means that the stiff and rigid rock plate isn’t necessary for this design. By omitting the rock plate, you are left with a shoe that is a little more lightweight and flexible than other Salomon trail runners.
The upper is crafted to achieve two things - protect your feet from the elements and the trail while keeping them cool and dry. The rigid upper has a super durable toe guard to protect your toes and welded SensiFit arms that lock your feet in place while still offering a good range of motion. It has vented mesh panels in key areas to help hot air move up and away from your feet. These shoes run a little hot due to all of the protective features, but they really shine when running in cold and rainy weather.
One of the things that runners love most about this shoe is the unique lacing system. It omits traditional shoe laces in exchange for a lace-lock system. To tighten these shoes for a more customized fit, simply pull the laces to your desired tightness level, and lock them in place. Even as you really start to move, this toggle stays put and will not shift around or start to come loose, even at the end of your run.
In its soul, this shoe is a trail runner. If you love heading trail running, this is one of your best options. It’s important to note, however, that the aggressive lugs on the outsole of this shoe mean that it's not made to be worn on treadmills or sidewalks. If you want something that is a little more versatile, the Salomon Ultra Pro is a great hybrid trail/roadrunner that is able to easily transition from trails to sidewalks with ease. However, with hybrid shoes, you often lose that high-end performance found in the Speedcross 5.
While it is designed to provide you with the same level of traction and stability as a hiking boot, it is packed with advanced features to make your running light and easy. The EnergyCell+ midsole and Contragrip outsole ensure that your feet are both comforted and supported when running on rocky and uneven terrain. This is a shoe that can tackle pretty difficult trails without adding undue strain on your feet, muscle, and joints.
According to previous users, this shoe fits like a glove. It has a structured yet flexible upper that really contours to the shape of your foot. The wide toe box allows plenty of room to allow your toes to naturally splay inside of the shoe for added stability and comfort. I love that it boasts a padded heel collar and tongue that cuts down the break-in period as well as provides extra cushioning. The unique lacing system allows users to craft a customized fit that helps promote lockdown so this shoe stays securely in place.
Overall, users found that this shoe runs true to size. If you wear a size 10 in other Salomon shoes, this will still be true for the Speedcross 5. If you haven’t worn Salomon before, be sure to take accurate measurements of your feet and compare them to the sizing chart provided on Salomon’s site to save you a trip to the returns counter!
Surprisingly, the Speedcross 5 is one of Salomon’s more affordable shoes. Despite its heightened durability and advanced stability and support features, this shoe will cost you quite a bit less than most stability trainers. While this shoe suffers a bit in the durability department (you can’t really wear them to the gym or on the sidewalk), if you are a dedicated trail runner this shoe is an excellent value!
If you want to save even more money, the Speedcross 4 is offered at a slightly better value. It is important to note that the previous version of this shoe doesn’t perform quite as well as the Speedcross 5, but it still utilizes a similar outsole for excellent traction and stability on difficult trails.
Comparisons to Previous Versions
The construction of the upper has also undergone quite a few improvements. The changes made to the upper allow for more flexibility and easier movements. It also has more protective overlays so you can splash through as many puddles as your heart desires without dealing with soggy socks at the end of the day.
The only downside to this shoe lies in its versatility. While it’s one of the best trail runners out there on the market, it can’t really transition off of the trails due to the deep lugs. This is a shoe that is made for difficult trailheads, and nothing else. Sure, it’s a little limited in its versatility, but the affordable price point makes it a great option to store away for those times that you are in the mood for a challenging trail run.