Salomon Sonic Pro ReviewFebruary 25, 2016
- Nice flexibility in forefoot
- Excellent ventilation and breathability
- Secure fit of upper
- Last and fit are too narrow for many users
- Lacking outsole reinforcement in medial heel and lateral forefoot
- Stiffness in rearfoot
Trail runners who are accustomed to Salomon’s fit and performance will welcome this entry as an everyday road trainer, which is also light and responsive enough to wear as a race day shoe. Road runners unfamiliar with the brand could struggle with the narrow fit, and long-term durability will be an issue for pronators or those who wear down the lateral forefoot area of their shoes.
As Salomon’s second entry in the road running market following 2015’s S-Lab X series, the Sonic Pro offers a similar high quality product at a slightly lower price point than the notoriously pricey S-Lab series. Compared to the S-Lab X, the Sonic Pro adds a bit of comfort and durability elements with the tradeoff a slight increase in weight.
The Sonic Pro is true to Salomon style, with a narrow last through the midfoot and forefoot, a completely locked down fit around the entire foot, and a highly secure interface between upper and midsole. An Endofit internal sleeve is an elastic sock liner to wrap the foot, and Sensifit diagonal overlays connect the lace area to the base of the midsole. Salomon’s hallmark quick lace fastening system is a matter of preference: some testers love their convenience and security, while others feel the thin laces cause discomfort on top of the foot with high mileage.
There is a thin seam connecting the lightly padded heel cup area to the forefoot upper, which is completely seamless from that interface forward. The heel cup is moderately rigid but softens up after a few break-in runs. Thin single-layer mesh uppers are highly breathable and ventilate well in warm conditions. Stack heights in this model are higher than the S-Lab X shoes, and the extra millimeters provide improved comfort from road impact.
The Sonic Pro features a dual density midsole of Salomon’s new lightweight EVA called Energy Cell. The rearfoot has standard Energy Cell in that provides softness on impact, while the midfoot and forefoot have Energy Cell+ with increased firmness and rebound. Testers found the energy return to be average for shoes in this category, and consistent during the late miles of a long run. Contragrip rubber on the outsole provides strong grip and propulsion off the road, but the coverage areas are limited to the lateral heel and medial forefoot – so pronators or midfoot strikers won’t reap this benefit as effectively.
Salomon’s 3D Ride technology is present in the midsole, with three layers of material construction that help absorb and disperse impact while keeping the foot aligned without excess medial/lateral drift in stance phase. Testers found the Energy Cell material transfers energy from rearfoot to forefoot smoothly, and the Sonic Pro has nice flexibility in the forefoot to further improve the ease of heel to toe movement.
While it’s not as minimalist and nimble as Salomon’s dedicated race models, the Sonic Pro is definitely light enough to wear in speed sessions or road racing, and durable enough to tolerate high mileage efforts in training or racing. If the fit suits you and your mechanics are consistently neutral, this is a great hybrid option for daily training as well as race day.