Salomon XR Mission

9.1
9.1 score
[Editors rating (8.8) + Users rating (10.0)] / 2 = Runnerclick score (9.1)/10

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Editor rating: 8.8 / 10
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Salomon XR MissionReview Facts

Trail running is a fairly different task from standard running, and requires different shoes as such. Salomon, in particular, is known for their high-quality trail running shoes, and are a very popular choice when it comes to the trail running world. The Salomon XR Mission is designed specifically for low to mid distance runs on trails, though it definitely is usable on road as well. The XR Mission is a bit of an older model at this point but it still has a lot to offer for anyone looking to get into trail running.

Pros
  • Designed to withstand the roughness of trails
  • Quick lacing
  • Breathable
  • Not too heavy, despite being a trail shoe
  • Great Traction
Cons
  • Not the most recent model
  • Not exactly cheap
Outsole
Outsole

Outsole

Outsole refers to the outside and bottom of a shoe. This part helps determine the grip and lifespan of a shoe, both of which are particularly important for shoes designed for trails. The XR Mission's sole is made with their Contragrip high abrasion rubber. As its name implies, the rubber is highly resistant to abrasions and damage, which help improve the overall durability of the outsole. The outsole additionally has Contragrip lugs on the bottom. These lugs are designed to give better traction, especially on more difficult surfaces. Lastly, the outsole features special OS Tendon, thermoplastic urethane frames. These frames are designed to provide a better transition with every step, and also improve the responsiveness and energy return of the shoe. As a whole, the outsole contains many unique features that serve the shoe very well and is a strong component of the XR Mission.
Midsole
Midsole

Midsole

The part between the outsole and the upper is the midsole, which is designed to facilitate energy return. As such, it is a very important part of any shoe. This midsole is composed of EVA foam, a very common choice. EVA is a common choice for midsoles as it is fairly lightweight, springy, and also retains its original shape well. Other than this standard EVA foam, the midsole does not offer much else, besides a protective toe box. This toe box is made of thermoplastic urethane and protects from common grievances that can occur on trails. The midsole is decent overall, but a bit underwhelming, in that it does not have any other features that could improve trail running experiences. That said a silver lining is that the midsole remains lightweight due to its simplistic design.
Upper
Upper

Upper

The piece that secures the foot from above, or upper, of the Salomon XR Mission, is fairly solid, boasting some useful and important features that help it protect the foot, while also staying breathable and flexible. The upper is composed of nylon, a somewhat popular choice for uppers, especially among Salomon shoes.

Nylon is fairly durable and flexible and does a good job preventing rocks and dirt from getting inside, making it a good choice. A mesh is included above this nylon as well, as an added layer of protection. The combination of mesh, with nylon underneath, also have the added feature of keeping water out, which might come in handy in more rainy areas. Finally, the tongue of the shoe features overlays in which laces can be tucked, to make loose laces less of a concern while running. Overall, the upper is fairly solid, offering good features that make the shoe supportive and protective.
Weight
Weight

Weight

The Salomon XR Mission weighs about 11.5 ounces. 11.5 ounces would be slightly on the higher end for regular trainers, which tend to hover around the 9 to 10 ounces. For a trail shoe, however, this is totally reasonable. Trail shoes tend to fall on the heavier side, as more support and protection is necessary for the terrain that trail running often entails. 11.5 ounces is definitely a reasonable weight, and shouldn’t be a major source of issues for the XR Mission.
Breathability
Breathability

Breathability

Breathability is always an important factor in a shoe. Bad breathability can cause cramped or uncomfortable feet, and potentially even blisters, which no runner wants to deal with. The breathability of the XR Mission is fairly solid. Breathability is generally influenced almost exclusively by the upper. The upper in this case does a fairly good job, thanks to its nylon and mesh designs, allowing air to circulate in and out of the shoe.

Compared to a more traditional trainer, the XR Mission would probably fall a bit short on the breathability front, but again, this is to be expected of trail shoes. Trail shoes also need to prevent dirt and rocks from getting into shoes, and often a bit of circulation is traded off for this. All that said, the XR Mission offers solid breathability, particularly for a trail shoe.
Comfort
Comfort

Comfort

Everyone understands just how important comfort is when deciding to buy any new shoes. It is very important to remember that shoes will be worn for many miles, so any discomfort should be addressed right away. As a whole, the Salomon XR Mission is a solidly comfortable shoe, though it is not without its issues. The upper as a whole is fairly comfortable thanks to it being lightweight and flexible. The outsole and midsole also contribute via the special TPU frames, which help improve stride smoothness.

The biggest source of complaints regarding comfort comes from the toe-box. The toe-box is designed to help protect the toes from impacts against things like rocks, and it definitely fulfills this purpose, but many users have complained that it has led to cramped toes and caused the shoe to fit a bit strangely. Overall, the XR Mission generally does a good job in the comfort department, but the toe-box is definitely something to look out for. As a whole though, the comfort is solid.
Style
Style

Style

Salomon is a definitely a bit less known when compared to some of the more popular companies such as Adidas or Nike. Salomon shoes are also less frequently used for everyday use, mostly because of the fact that they are trail focused. The XR Mission still is a fairly stylish running shoe, however. It comes in a variety of bright colors in men and women designs, in combinations like Celedon/Papaya/Pop Green, or Papaya/Black/Igloo Blue. The XR Mission also features some small aesthetic differences between the men’s and women’s model. As a whole, though probably not suited to be worn every day, the Salomon XR Mission is a fairly stylish shoe.
Durability
Durability

Durability

Durability is definitely something to consider with any shoe. Bad durability leads to quickly worn shoes, which will need to be replaced. The Salomon XR Mission is luckily quite good in this department thanks to several aspects of the shoe. For instance, the outsole’s material plays a big part in the durability of this shoe.

The Contragrip rubber is very durable and resists abrasion well making the outsole last a long time. The midsole is also decently durable thanks to its use of EVA foam. EVA foam keeps its original shape quite well, even after repeated duress, making it a long-lasting choice for a midsole. Finally, the solid construction of the upper lends itself to the durability of the shoe as well, being resistant to tears and abrasions. As a whole, and as is to be expected of a good trail shoe, the Salomon XR Mission is a durable shoe.
Protection
Protection

Protection

For protection, the Salomon XR Mission is fairly solid. The upper is a big part of this. Its solid construction does a good job preventing dirt and debris from getting in the shoe, and also stabilizes the foot well to help prevent random twists or turns. The midsole also offers protection, mostly through the toe-box located at the front. The toe-box, as its name suggests, protects the toe from harsh impacts that can occur, which is very useful, as toe injuries can be particularly painful and disruptive. Overall, good protection is offered by the XR Mission, mainly via the upper, and components of the midsole.
Responsiveness
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

Responsiveness generally tends to be determined by the midsole of a shoe, and this is true for the Salomon XR Mission as well. The midsole, in this case, is made up of EVA foam which is definitely known for being a springy and responsive material, which leads to solid responsiveness overall. The TPU frames at the bottom help with responsiveness as well, making each stride feel more smooth and connected. As a whole, the responsiveness of the XR Mission is not groundbreaking by any stretch, but it definitely is not bad and gets the job done.
Support
Support

Support

The Salomon XR Mission is a decently well-supported shoe. One of the main components of this is the upper. The upper contributes once again through its very solid design. The construction of the upper is such that it keeps the foot very secure from above, while still doing a decent job allowing movement. Support also comes from the outsole once again, specifically the TPU frame at the bottom that helps stabilize during strides. This frame provides support with every step and is a big proponent of the overall support in the XR Mission. The XR Mission provides pretty good support overall.
Terrain
Terrain

Terrain

The Salomon XR Mission is designed to perform on all sorts of terrains. Even on road surfaces like concrete or asphalt, the XR Mission is still very useable. In terms of off-road, trails are definitely the bread and butter of this shoe. They also function very well on grass or dirt, and even in rainy conditions so long as care is exercised. The XR Mission is definitely a well-rounded shoe when it comes to terrain.
Price
Price

Price

Price is another very important thing to think about when looking at any pair of running shoes. The XR Mission was definitely a bit pricey when it first came out, but the price has gone down since a newer model of the Mission was released. For a trail shoe, the XR Mission’s price is probably about average, not floating too high or low. Compared to a regular trainer, these will be a bit more expensive, but this is common for trail shoes.
Traction
Traction

Traction

Traction of the XR Mission is a fairly is a strong point of the shoe. The outsole is the main factor in this, thanks to its rubber lugs. Lugs are common for trail shoes, as they help traction on various surfaces, which is obviously useful for trail running, which can consist of all sorts of terrains and slopes. The Contragrip material also aids in this, as it is designed to improve grip from the outsole as well. Overall, the traction of the XR Mission is good, and should not be an issue for most runners.
Flexibility
Flexibility

Flexibility

The flexibility of the XR Mission is solid, but definitely not exceptional by any means. The upper being mainly a solid construction contributes to this. Though still decently flexible, non-mesh uppers tend to be less flexible than full mesh uppers, and this holds true in this case as well. That said, the upper, in tandem with the EVA foam midsole make for a still solidly flexible shoe overall. It is just worth noting that the XR Mission probably won’t be as flexible as a traditional trainer.
Stability
Stability

Stability

A shoes stability is a measure of how well it supports a runner’s stride. The XR Mission is pretty stable, mainly thanks to the upper, midsole, and outsole. Once again, the firm construction of the upper makes the shoe very stable from the top, as the upper holds the foot down well from above. The midsole and outsole contribute via their TPU frames, which are designed to stabilize every stride and make transitions more smooth overall. These factors together make the XR Mission a fairly stable shoe as a whole.
Drop
Drop

Drop

The Salomon XR Mission contains a drop of 10mm. 10 mm is a pretty standard drop and appears to be the proper size for a shoe of this type. The drop is basically to be expected and should probably not be an issue overall.
Key Features
Key Features

Key Features

• Contragrip outsole
• TPU frames for stability
• EVA foam midsole
• Nylon/mesh upper
• Lugs for traction
Bottom Line
Bottom Line

Bottom Line

Overall despite being a bit on the older end, the Salomon XR Mission is a decent trail running shoe. It offers useful, trail specific, features in its midsole, upper, and outsole, while still remaining usable on other terrains. For anyone seeking a trail running trainer at a fairly average price, the XR Mission is definitely not a bad choice.