The hype has been massive over the launch of Salomons new ultra distance athlete shoe. If you’ve been waiting for a shoe which strikes the balance between feel and comfort, these just might be the answer you were looking for.
Like the other s/lab range they have a sleek low profile look, but the drop on these Ultra’s have increased to 9mm. This is exciting news for those out there who have been wanting to try or come back to a Salomon shoe which gives you more cushioning to push those longer distances.
The beauty of a good shoe is it’s ability to be in control without the need for you to control it, the Salomon Ultra certainly does this and allows you to let go and enjoy your run. After testing them out on a 4.5 hour run they felt light on my feet, I didn’t have to concentrate on lifting my legs up higher as tiredness kicked in – like I might with a slightly heavier shoe.
These ultras are also super breathable and don’t hold much water due to the smart design of mesh which covers the shoes upper. If you haven’t tried on the s/lab sense range they fit quite firm around your foot. The internal sleeve, which Salomon refers as the “Endofit” is basically a sleeve that runs from the foot bed of the shoe to the tongue.
My Nike frees are a size 9.5 US which I found converted to a size 9 US in Salomons, I was a bit weary of them being too small but after 200 or so kilometres in them that concern has disappeared. The snugness can easily be adjusted with the amount of pull you give on the quicklace system. If you have a wider front foot it would pay to try them on before you buy.
The sole flexibility is a touch harder than previous s/slab models however this doesn’t effect the control over the trails. The ground feel is great, and the protection this shoe offers deserves a massive tick. The lugs are also deeper than earlier models and although not aggressive, Salomons contagrip (durable outsole) handled well over slippery rock, mud and loose stones under foot. Come summer in Australia this shoe will dominate over the dryer, faster and more honed trails.
Apart from it’s ability to cushion your foot over longer distances, the biggest draw card is it’s flexibility for performance. Whether it’s your hill repeat, tempo or long run day on the trails this shoe can do it all.
It’s answered a call that runners have asked from a trail shoe, and Salomon has delivered beautifully.
Photography: Tom Le Lievre