It’s been a while since I did a gear review on the blog, but the ones that we have done are some of the most popular posts we’ve got… so time for another. This time, what’s more important to runners than what’s on your feet? For me, that means a pair of Salomons – I’ve run pretty much exclusively in their shoes for the last 6+ years and at the moment I have four pairs on the go in my rotation – two pairs of Sense Escape with 870 and 423 miles usage on each of them, and two pairs of Sense Ride with 266 and 423 miles.
Both models are something of a crossover shoe, much less grippy than a full off-road/fell shoe like the Speedcross, but also more durable and comfier for for hard trails and road. The Sense Escape are my go-to for running on roads or tarmac or gravel paths – basically running around town – and the Sense Ride for anything primarily on trails or hills. The newest pair get used for races, the older Sense Ride for everything else trail-y and the Sense Escape for mainly road runs. I tend to wear my shoes up to about 1000 miles before they get consigned to non-running use – at the moment an old pair of Sense Ride 2 are my everyday (non-running) shoes and a very old pair of Sense Escape are used for gardening in!
Like all Salomon shoes, these both tend to fit people with narrower feet (although they do now offer wide-fit versions of many of their shoes) but that suits me just fine. The few times I’ve had an issue with their shoes e.g. holes in uppers / failed welded panels after less than 200 miles, they have been very good at issuing a warranty replacement, even if the original purchase was from a channel retailer like SportsShoes.com or Amazon.
You’ll see Salomon sponsored runners all wearing the latest S/Lab shoes, but don’t be fooled – the Sense range are a good budget alternative and you can certainly find them at good discount of you shop around. On with the detailed reviews!
Salomon Sense Ride
“A versatile trail shoe that does it all, the Sense Ride 5 is equally in its element on short, fast trail runs as on ultra distances. A super comfortable overachiever that easily adapts to a variety of terrains, with a balanced midsole for cushioning, response and an engineered mesh upper with Sensifit for just the right amount of comfortable hold.”
That’s how Salomon describe the Sense Ride – the two pairs I am currently using are the Sense Ride 4, but I have worn multiple pairs of both Sense Ride 2 and Sense Ride 3 and since they ironed out a few design issues with the second edition the 3rd and 4th are very similar and the latest edition looks much the same. With an 8mm drop and 3.5mm tread depth they have a good amount of grip – I feel very comfortable in them on loose gravel, grass, and rock. While they are obviously far from zero-drop they are also noticeably more stable than the Speedcross. They feature the Quicklace system which is a single pull-and-lock system, with a “lace garage” a.k.a. a pocket in the top of the tongue to keep the end out of the way. The lace tension seems to hold really well and I rarely have to adjust them, even on very long runs. The upper is nice and breathable but there is a good rim of welded rubber all the way round which keeps your toes dry through grass and small puddles. They also do a Gore-Tex variant which I’ve used in the past and is great keeping dry through long grass, mud and deep puddles but not so much if your feel are going to get soaking – in which case just embrace it and let them drain dry!
Pros: A good balance between cushioning, protection and responsiveness – you can feel the ground but my feet were still OK after running >150 miles at one stretch in these. If you like a lot of cushioning (looking at you, Hoka wearer 😉) something like the Ultra Glide might be better. They are also reasonably grippy and aggressive enough for short trail and hill races. The cushioning doesn’t seem to wear out either, even up to ~1000 miles, the outsole will wear out first. Great value too – often available in the ~£70 range if you don’t need the latest colour / model.
Cons: The outsole tends to wear quite quickly and unevenly (at least for my pronation pattern), although this does mean there will still be plenty of grip left somewhere! Not much to complain about though – if I had to run in just one shoe it would be these ones!
“The perfect shoe for discovering the joy and freedom of trail running. Sense Escape is comfortable as a traditional running shoe, but also provides the extra protection and grip needed on paths and uneven terrain.”
Sitting somewhere between a road shoe and light trail shoe, these do very well for runs which are mostly on road/pavement with a little bit of trail or grass. They have a 10mm drop, but I never found them to feel unstable, perhaps because the midsole is not too thick, meaning the overall stack height is still quite low, even at the heel. Not sure of the exact tread depth, but maybe 2.5mm (a bit less than the Sense Ride) however the outsole is made of the much more durable Contagrip MD compound, so every pair I’ve had of these the upper has worn through before the sole! They also come in a Gore-Tex variant, as well as the reflective “Nocturne” which is what I have at the moment. Lacing is a standard flat lace, but I have found these to grip my foot a bit too tightly and always swap them out for some 3rd-party stretchy laces which allow for a little bit of flex.
Pros: a bit more cushioned than the Sense Ride, perfect for road interval sessions! Almost indestructible outsoles mean these shoes can last well over 1000 miles if you take care of the uppers.
Cons: No longer in production, which makes them very hard to come by but if you get lucky and find some in your size they are typically quite cheap. Let me know if you find any UK 10.5 – I bought the last two pairs I could find online earlier this year 🙏 Maybe I should take a look at something like the Aero Volt?
I hope you found these reviews useful – let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment below 👇 To read more of our gear reviews, just browse the “Gear Review” category!