Salomon Speedcross Vario 2 Review Facts
On the hunt for a versatile trail running shoe that you can use on a variety of surfaces but that doesn’t break the bank? Look no further than the Salomon Speedcross Vario 2. The trail-specific shoe features a neutral construction, a decent price point, and is the perfect option for weekend warriors. Built for occasional trail use, the updated Vario gets a few useful upgrades to its outsole, for even better performance on technical surfaces.
The Vario 2's outsole is made of very grippy Wet Traction Contagrip rubber. Since the original Vario, the outsole has gotten wider for increased stability and enhanced traction. The lug pattern underfoot has gotten more aggressive, as well, allowing for better overall traction.
While users were pleased with the outsole's performance some noted that the grippy outsole struggled on certain wet surfaces (like wet river rocks, for instance). Reviewers did find that the shoe was particularly good at navigating muddy terrain.
The Speedcross Vario's midsole contains EVA foam and Lightweight Muscle cushioning. Around the midsole, there's also a clever Mud Guard that wraps around the shoe to keep mud and water from dirtying and wetting the upper. The cushioning is moderate, firm, and responsive. Some users did note that over time the midsole's firmness starts to feel a bit hard, especially for long trail efforts. This is one of the main reasons the Vario is best for occasional trail runs and isn't the best option for long distance trail training. Regardless there's enough midsole padding to absorb impact.
The Salomon Speedcross features a closed mesh upper construction. This keeps moisture and dirt away from the inside of the shoe. The shoe's MudGuard helps with this, too. The interior features an Ortholite liner and the upper features Sensifit technology for a snug fit. Reviewers particularly liked the design of the tongue, which is sewn in to help block debris from getting into the shoe. The upper, reviewers felt, was breathable and provided a glove-like fit. For wide footed runners, the midfoot might feel a tad too snug, however. One downside, reviewers remarked, was that the upper wore out quickly. Accent colors on the shoe rubbed off after only a few miles. Thankfully, this didn't produce any structural issues, but for fading to occur so early
is kind of a bummer. Reviewers also complained about the laces untying very easily.
Reviewers didn't have any particular comments about the weight of the Vario 2. The women's version weighs about 9.5 ounces and the men's weighs about 10.93 ounces.
In terms of breathability, reviewers agreed that even with a closed-mesh upper the Vario 2 was incredibly breathable. It strikes the perfect balance between ventilation and protection. The upper allows for appropriate air flow without letting in too much
moisture. This design makes it great for all types of trail conditions including muddy and snowy ground.
Reviewers mostly commented that the Vario 2 was quite comfortable. The majority of reviewers had only positive things to say about the fit of the shoe, calling it glove-like. Some narrow-footed runners may find the midfoot a bit too tight, but otherwise, the upper fits nicely. Reviewers also appreciated the well-ventilated upper and generous protective midsole padding. One glaring downside that affects comfort, however, is the firm cushioning. While the firm midsole is responsive, the rigid sole feels hard for long efforts.
When looking at the Speedcross, there's little doubt that it's a trail shoe. The design is flashy and tough looking. The outsole lugs are easy to spot and the upper looks sturdy and reinforced, ready for all types of trail conditions and weather. The women's version of the shoe is available in black/teal, blue, and purple. For men, there's a black/blue option, black/teal colorway, an orange version, and a black style.
The shoe's components are fairly solid. The close-mesh upper is highly-resistant. The midsole cushioning is resilient, if a bit firm and the outsole is made of high-quality Contagrip material. However, reviewers did notice early signs of wear showing up on the Speedcross Vario's upper. Colors on the shoe wore off after just a few miles. Thankfully, there were no reports of upper tearing or outsole rubber peeling off. The wear seems to be cosmetic and not structural. It's still disappointing to have a pair of new shoes start to look shabby after
only a few uses.
The Vario 2 features better grip than the original shoe and thus better protection against instability on an uneven and slick terrain. The closed-mesh upper is protective but very breathable
. The midsole is firm and responsive but filled with cushioning to protect underfoot. Overall, the trail shoe offers excellent protection against the elements.
The Vario features a fairly firm midsole. This firmness allows for a lot of responsiveness, which users appreciated. The hard midsole, though, doesn't feel great for long distance training runs. This makes the Speedcross a poor choice for long distance trail runs.
The Vario 2 features the same upper design as its original version which provides a firm hold that's comfortable and supportive. The glove-like fit was well-liked by users, although the narrow midfoot may not accommodate those with wider feet.
Ready for muddy trails, snowy ground, and technical trails, the Salomon Speedcross is an excellent choice for those who want a protective four-season trail shoe. The upper keeps dirt away, as does the midsole MudGuard wrap, which prevents moisture from creeping up into the upper and keeps mud from getting caked onto the shoe. The Wet Traction Contagrip outsole provides traction for all types of surfaces whether full of snow or muddy after an intense rainstorm. Reviewers were satisfied with the Vario's performance in mud and snow. Read also about winter running shoes.
The shoe is a great buy for occasional trail running. If you're planning to run more than a few days a week with this shoe, you might be disappointed in its performance. The hard cushioning, too, decreases the shoe's versatility
and value, perhaps, for some. Too hard a base may cause discomfort for some after several miles. Whether the Vario is a value buy for your needs depends entirely on your expectations for the shoe.
Not surprisingly, the Speedcross Vario from Salomon offers a high-degree of traction not just on dry land but on trails that are snow-filled or full of mud. Thanks to the Wet Traction Contagrip rubber outsole, the outsole provides incredible traction. A few reviewers felt the Vario underperformed when it came to certain wet surfaces, but for the most part, runners were happy with the shoe's ability to navigate a variety of trail terrain. The Vario 2, after all, features a wider outsole for increased traction and an improved lug pattern with better grip than ever.
Remember, we mentioned the stiff composition of the midsole. This reduces flexibility a lot. Reviewers didn't lament the lack of flexibility
but did feel that midsole was quite hard. After a while, this rigid feel underfoot starts to produce foot fatigue. A little bit of extra flexibility built into the Vario 2 might go a long way to producing a better ride feel.
A neutral trail shoe, the Speedcross Vario offers enhanced stability thanks to a wider outsole. Compared to the original design, the larger outsole surface area helps provide additional support and stability. The firm hold of the closed mesh upper also helps provide stability.
Users can expect a 10mm drop with the Vario 2.
- NEW wider outsole with a larger surface area for increased stability and traction
- NEW Grippier, improved tread pattern
- 10mm drop
- Wet Traction Contagrip outsole
- EVA midsole
- Lightweight Muscle midsole
- Closed mesh upper
- MudGuard wrap keeps mud and moisture away from the upper
- Ortholite upper
- Sensifit upper technology for a secure fit
For short distances on rough terrain, the Vario 2 is a veritable workhorse. Its grippy Contagrip outsole is better than ever with a wider design that delivers better traction and improved stability. Even the lug pattern has been updated to provide extra grip underfoot. The result? The Vario 2 is even better suited to varied technical trail surfaces and can handle runs in the snow and mud equally well.
The generously cushioned midsole is firm, responsive, and although it's a little hard for long efforts, it definitely protects the body from impact. The upper is intelligently designed to keep dirt outside your shoe so you can run comfortably but also breathes very well. A comfortable glove-like fit and quick-drying upper are features that round out the new edition of the Vario. For weekend warriors wanting a shoe that can allow them to confidently move along trail surfaces, the Speedcross Vario 2 is a solid option.