I have previously only used Inov 8 trail shoes and although I have no complaints about them and my Roclite 290’s are still used weekly even after 600 miles a change can be good. Many of the greatest trail and ultra runners use Salomon so I turned to them to select a new shoe. I wanted something that could conceivably replace the Roclite in my shoe choice. A jack of all trades that would be comfortable for my long coastal runs and the mixed terrain that is often encountered on the circular routes I do in Devon.
The S/Lab sense ultra is marketed as the ultra distance athlete’s shoe. Striking a balance between ground feel and cushioning for mixed weather conditions. If the marketing was correct then they would be the perfect new trail companion. I have found them to be true to their word. The moment I put them on they fit extremely well. Hugging my foot so I felt confident on technical terrain without being narrow in the forefoot. The best example of their versatility and comfort I have experienced was during a 34 mile run on the Two Moors Way. The route took over 6 hours so I had lots of time on my feet to test the overall comfort that is required from an ultra distance shoe. We encountered mixed terrain including boggy moorland, road, muddy footpaths and after a navigation error even a golf course. I had no issues with the comfort of the sense ultra’s and after being on my feet for most of the day there wasn’t any signs of blistering and I felt like I could keep going, which would make them a good choice for 50+ mile races. The traction was also very reassuring, although they don’t have large enough lugs for the muddiest trails they perform exceptionally on pretty much everything else. I think part of that is the ground feel you still get from them, you feel nimble and can sense the ground beneath you to make the right foot placement choices which is half the battle. I have ran hundreds of miles in them and they have always been comfortable and provided confidence. I know a shoe is good when I do not spend much time thinking about them whilst I am running, if I don’t notice they are on my feet then they are doing their job.
- The comfort and fit of this shoe is the stand out for me. They were great from the first run and have never provided and comfort issues
- After over a few hundred miles I still have almost non-existent wear. I know from friends that other Salomon shoes have degraded after that kind of mileage but for me that hasn’t been the case in the Ultra’s
- I really like the simple styling and colourway, although not a big issue to most, many people still pick a shoe they like aesthetically
- They are a premium shoe and that comes with a premium price tag. Mine cost £140 but that is only around £20 more than some of their rivals
- The lacing system if you are unfamiliar with Salomon shoes can be difficult to get used to
Heel/Toe Drop: 8mm
Stack Height: 26mm to 18mm
Lacing System: Quicklace with pocket
Upper: Sensifit breathable mesh
I have really enjoyed running in these and they are my go to shoes for long stuff. The only reason I do not wear them even more is because they do come at a premium price and I have found sales hard to come by, so I try to limit the usage they get so that I can keep them for longer. Price aside though they are a quality shoe which performs across the board. Anyone looking for a shoe to still feel nimble in when running long you wouldn’t go wrong with a pair of Salomon Sense Ultra’s.