Lace system can impinge the top of the foot on downhills
Forefoot fit may be narrow for wide feet
The Salomon is pricey as all get-out (twice the price of most performance trail runners), but you do get what you pay for: This is one of the higher performance shoes on the market for speedy, efficient runners. It’s best for forefoot runners looking to blaze a fast trail race, or experienced minimalist runners looking for increased protection and support to go ultra-long distances.
The Salomon S-Lab Sense 2 is an updated version of the lightweight, low profile shoe Salomon created for Kilian Jornet to dominate the Western States 100 and other mountain ultramarathons. (Your results may vary.)
Security (of fit) Combining a neoprene sleeve at the base of a traditional tongue, the Sense 2 creates a secure fit through the midfoot and forefoot. An internal fit sleeve keeps the upper snug against the midfoot. The Sense 2 is built on a racing last with a somewhat narrow toe box. A quick lace system distributes tension evenly, but also allows some customization if necessary. During our testing, the shoe stayed in place very well while traversing rocky, rooted, and other irregular terrain.
Stability (on impact) Salomon’s Contragrip outsole has triangular lugging throughout the forefoot, is smooth in the midfoot, and has lugs in the heel. The forefoot lugs provide solid grip on a variety of surfaces, and the heel lugs improve stability on steep descents.
Smoothness (flexibility) A low midsole profile and moderate midsole flexibility create a smooth ride on trails as well as asphalt. One of Salomon’s key innovations is Profeel film, a thin and flexible TPU layer that functions as a rock plate in dispersing impact from rocks, so each footfall feels secure and comfortable even on rocky scree.
Comfort If cinched too tightly, the thin, wiry quicklace system can cut into the thin tongue to create pressure on top of the midfoot. Otherwise, comfort throughout the Sense 2 is outstanding, with just the right amount of padding around the ankle collar, soft interior lining, and seamless construction for sockless use.
Speed and agility Salomon’s lightest trail running shoe is built for speed, and its flexibility and low profile allow you to hammer through rough terrain as fast as your legs will carry you.
Value In our Gear Institute ratings, we do not factor performance into value. We believe only a shoe buyer can decide what a certain level of performance is worth. That means when we calculate value, we just compare the price of a shoe to others in its class. Thus, our rating of the value of this otherwise excellent shoe takes a nose-dive: You could buy two pairs of eminently capable trail runners for this price.
Just know if you do splurge, and this shoe fits you well, you’ll definitely be getting what you paid for.