Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Salomon S-Lab Sense Pro Review

Salomon Sense Pro from runingwarehouse.com 

The Salomon S-Lab Sense Pro is one of the most versatile trail shoes that I've ever run in. In reviewing this shoe, I'm not going to get all technology reeked out, but you can see that below. Rather, I'm going to tell you exactly how it has perfumed for me.

Running on rocks!

Here's the deal, if you liked the Sense Mantra, then you will like the Sense Pro. The shoes are quite similar in my opinion, so if you're interested in the nitty gritty review, see my Sense Mantra review and you can kind of compare it to the Sense Pro. The main difference, for me, is that the Sense Pro is a bit more breathable and the upper has more wiggle room for the toes. Both have the same awesome tight lace system!
Sense Pro lacing, love it!
One of the main strengths of the Sense Pro is that it is a Trail-to-City shoe. For those of us who often run to the nearby trail, which means running on pavement to get there, this shoe performs about just as well on the road as it does on the trail.
Example of where I run w/ the Sense Pro
I have put countless miles on these shoes. I have done run commutes in these shoes on the roads of Commonwealth Avenue in Boston in the rain and with a backpack on to some local trails in Cleveland that are super muddy. The grip on the road is really good, especially when it's wet or slippery. It feels a wee bit clunky on dry road when I'm running really fast, but who's to say? Matt Flathery, a Salomon athlete and sub-2:30 marathoner wears these for fast road marathons to record-breaking 50mile races.
Just enough grip
As for the trail, I think these primarily perform on jeep roads, gravel, and lightly muddy trails. The rock plate really prevents me from worrying about stones and rocks. It's also stiff enough that I don't have to worry about awkward motion of the forefoot. Running over rocks, I feel quite stable and never feel out of control. They don't perform the best in super muddy weather, but if the trail is only slightly muddy or super muddy (but for not long distances) this shoe can still hold up fairly well.

Interestly, I think this shoe tends to perform particularly well in the snow. It has a solid grip and for whatever reason my feet don't get that wet. I find that the insulating feature is really nice in colder, wetter weather, but can be a little warm in hot weather, so I recommend switching put the socks depending on the conditions.

sub-7 min miles in this terrain with the Sense Pro
I've run anywhere from 6:30min/mi pace in these on tempo runs to slower 10:00min/mi pace on some gnarly trails.

Best of all, and why I recommend this shoe, is that if you are on a budget, you get a shoe that performs pretty darn well not the road while maintaining some of the classic qualities of great Salomon trail shoe. At $130, think of it as buying two shoes in one. And for durability, after 200+ miles, of which 75% has been on the road, there is no noticeable wearing down of the little lugs on the shoe. NICE!!!!

Weight = about 9oz
Heel-to-toe drop = 22mm (heel) to 17mm (forefoot), so 5mm-ish drop

For you tech nerds, here's the description from Runningwarehouse.com:

  • LT Muscle is a lightweight EVA cushioning compound that helps absorb impact forces.
  • Compressed EVA runs the length of the shoe for underfoot cushion.
  • Injected EVA in the forefoot provides underfoot cushioning.
  • Propriotection provides a individualized feel while protecting your feet from rocks and debris.
  • ProFeel Film a thin TPU film in the midsole providing midfoot protection without losing ground feel.
  • Contagrip is a uniquely designed outsole of differing densities, providing durable traction over varying terrains.
  • Dynamic Traction uses offset lugs to provide unparalleled grip on hard, wet, and loose surfaces.
  • OS Tendon system acts like a real tendon by flexing to provide stretch and balance during the heel-to-toe transition.
  • Open Mesh throughout the upper is breathable and quick drying.
  • 2nd Skin Seamless Construction provides a snug, performance fit while minimizing hotspots and blistering.
  • Sensifit overlays on the upper wrap the foot for a close, secure fit.
  • Endofit a sock like upper that yields unmatched comfort and fit.
  • Gusseted Tongue keeps shoe free from debris.
  • Quicklace made from durable Kevlar fibers provides easy shoe entry and exit and a secure fit.
  • Lace Pocket tucks laces out of the way while running.
  • OrthoLite Sockliner is composed of anti-bacterial material for reduced odor and moisture while adding cushion directly underfoot.
  • Strobel Last with the upper stitched to full length fabric for a comfortable underfoot feel.

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