Salomon S-Lab Sense
$200, 6.9 oz, www.salomonrunning.com
Constructed with Salomon’s “2nd Skin Seamless Construction,” the shoe features a breathable, open mesh that allowed testers to run comfortably sans socks.
The Sense boasts a four-millimeter heel-to-toe drop and a flexible mid-sole that allowed for exceptional ground feel. Testers lauded the shoe’s responsiveness, saying they felt agile on gnarly terrain.
Salomon’s Quicklace lacing system cinches quickly and evenly, and extra lacing tucks away in a tongue pocket.
Best For: A lightweight racing shoe built for the mid- to fore-foot-striking runner, the Sense screams speed—as long as it’s on trail. Testers agreed the shoe felt “out of its element” on pavement, but excelled on dry off-road surfaces. The shoe breathed and drained water well, too.
Traction: Outfitted with jagged multi-direction, “dynamic” lugs, the shoe gripped most surfaces, save wet rocks and mud.
Fit: Testers raved: The Sense offers unparalleled custom-feeling comfort. “They fit as though they were constructed around my foot while I stood in the factory,” exclaimed one tester.
The Downsides: Expensive. The shoe breaks down after only a couple-hundred miles, so it’s best reserved as a race-day and light-training shoe only.
Tester-Monial: “It is rare to find a shoe that offers both the benefits of light race weight and enough of a midsole to allow for mid-range, technical training runs. The Sense has done it.”
—Casey Weaver, Colorado Springs, CO