The fit and comfort level of any footwear is a highly subjective thing, especially in the realm of trail running. Finding a shoe that fits your needs can be a challenge at times, as comfort is only one factor to consider. Stability, durability, breathability, traction, and a host of other variables come into play when selecting the shoe that works best for us. Fortunately for me, Salomon has always had an impeccable track record in each of those areas, delivering footwear designed for trail runners that are looking to push themselves a little further.
Recently I’ve been running in a pair of Salomon Sense Ride trail shoes, which have been designed to be a versatile option for use on a wide variety of different types of running routes. I’ve worn the Sense Ride on everything from dry, rocky trails, to muddy, wet routes, and pretty much everything in between. I’ve even worn them on road runs, and while they are not completely suited for that environment, they still performed reasonably well, in part because the shoe offers a high level of cushioning that help protect the foot from just about any kind of surface. This makes them ideal for everything from a short and intense run, to a long, slow slog across a tough trail.
In terms of stability and traction, the Sense Ride upholds the Salomon heritage nicely. I found them to hold their grip extremely well on a wide variety of terrains, both wet and dry. The only time I had any issue whatsoever was when scrambling over loose rocks, which can be a real challenge for just about any trail shoe. But in this case, the Sense Ride provides a nice sense of confidence when tackling just about any type of trail, allowing runners to maintain control and balance without reducing speed.
I’m a fan of of the form-fitting design of the Sense Ride, as it helps me to feel more connected with the ground that I’m running on. For me, a good trail shoe needs to provide that sense of connection in order to maintain my pace and balance. Because of this, I prefer these shoes over other trail runners that fall into the “maximalist” category, as Salomon has managed to deliver a high level of protection for the runner’s feet and legs, without sacrificing that connection. This is partially achieved by offering a stiffer ride that can be felt almost as soon as you put the shoe on. Where it really becomes apparent however is post run, when your legs and feet don’t feel so beat up. In fact, I found my recovery time was fast and efficient when running in the Sense Ride.
Where I live, breathability and moisture control are a major consideration, and it is not uncommon for me shoes to be soaked with perspiration after a long run. While the Sense Ride did an all around good job at handling those conditions, I still ended up with wet, sweaty feet at the end of nearly every run. This isn’t necessarily an indictment against these shoes, but it is important to point out nonetheless. If you run in dry environments where this isn’t a problem, you’ll find Salmon’s trail shoes to perform very well. But if you live in warm, humid climates like I do, don’t expect these shoes to perform any miracles. Breathability is quite good, but it can only do so much.
In terms of durability, I was once again impressed by the Sense Ride. I’ve easily put 200+ miles (320 km) on these shoes, and yet they still look brand new with only a bit of dirt and dust revealing their use so far. The traction is still extremely good and their aren’t any scuffs, cuts, or tears to be seen either. I suspect that I’ll have to replace them due to the eventual loss of cushioning more than anything else, which typically comes around the 350-400 mile (564-643 km) mark.
Priced at $120, the Sense Ride feel like a great bargain. These shoes are comfortable without going overboard on the cushion, while also maintaining a high degree of stability and control. They are also feel fast and agile on your feet, even when ascending and descending on a technical terrain. if you’re in the market for a new trail shoe that can also be used for light hiking, walking, or even occasional mountain biking, this is a good choice for sure. Considering the performance that offer, I would have expected to pay more for the shoes. That is a testament to what Salomon has created here and just how good they truly are.
Buy the Salomon Sense Ride at REI at a reduced price.
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