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8.5 ounces / 4mm drop / $180
The Dirt: Made with input from Salomon team athlete Kilian Jornet, the S-Lab Sense Ultra is a race shoe designed to promote forefoot running.
Not only does this shoe look fast, it runs fast, too; however, the low-profile design may give your calves a workout if they’re not accustomed to it.
Though testers new to Salomon’s quick-lace system were wary, most were pleasantly surprised by its ease and effectiveness.
Best For: Just about anything—though some testers not used to the low heel-to-toe drop felt the Sense Ultra might be best suited for short-to-middle distance runs.
Traction: The Sense Ultra excelled in most conditions, especially dirt, mud and rocks. “I could hammer the most technical of trails with the utmost confidence,” said one tester.
Fit: True to size, the shoe wraps comfortably through the mid-foot and offers a sock-like fit. It runs a little narrow.
The Downsides: Price tag. One tester felt the shoe was flimsy on snow: “It got pushed around had no sense of grip or stability; my feet were numb from the cold.”
Tester-Monial: “This is the Ferrari 599 of running shoes.”
—Zach Woodward, Denver, CO
Check out the other 10 shoes in our Spring 2013 Shoe Review.