Salomon S Lab Sense Ultra 2017 – X-Series With a More Aggressive Outsole

Note 20 June 2017: Salomon have just announced the S Lab Sense Ultra 2 which is said to be available Spring 2018 (likely in Jan/Feb 2018). The new version includes more cushioning and a wider last in the midfoot. Salomon have also incorporated some technology from their cross country ski boot designs for skate boots- a stiff plastic element that crosses over the foot just below the ankle and is integrated with the speed lacing. This element is called “Skin Guard” and supposedly allows for better control on descents. Although not as adjustable as the ski boot equivalent, the “Skin Guard” looks like it might be an interesting development. Unfortunately, the shoe is now heavier at 300 gms for size 9 (US). Pictures and brief description here.

I have provided 300 km and 1200 km updates on this shoe.

introduction

Last summer Salomon announced that they were splitting up the S Lab Sense line to include two product branches- the “traditional” low drop, low cushion, “Kilian” shoe and a new product branch specifically for those runners who desire a bit more cushion and mid-foot support. The “traditional” shoes are continuing the evolution of the S Lab Sense line with the S Lab Sense 6 and S Lab Sense 6SG models.

l1030406

Salomon S Lab Sense Ultra for 2017. A new model and a new direction for the S Lab Sense product line. A direct replacement for the S Lab Wings? Possibly.

The new line of cushier shoes is called the S Lab Sense Ultra. Although the “ultra” designation has been used in the S Lab Sense line previously, this shoe is clearly designed for the demands of longer distance ultra trail use. But the differences in this shoe with the rest of the S Lab Sense line for 2017 are numerous and truly make the S Lab Sense Ultra a quite separate entity.

The question has come up in the comments as to whether the Sense Ultra is a direct replacement for the S Lab Wings 8. Although the Wings 8 is still in the SS 2017 line-up for Salomon it may have a short life. The Wings 8 is definitely a different shoe but the crossover with the Sense Ultra is so substantial it seems to lead to quite a bit of duplication at this point; we shall see.

l1030405

A reversed color scheme for the Sense Ultra from the rest of the S Lab Sense line is distinctive.

upper

The S Lab Sense Ultra for 2017 has a reversed color scheme from the rest of the S Lab Sense line with a black body and a red heel (compared to the red body and a white (Sense) or black (Sense SG) heel). The new S Lab graphic is also in evidence. Sensibly (pun intended), speed laces and a lace pocket are included.

All of the industry-leading Salomon fit technologies are incorporated including EndoFit, SensiFit, and OS Tendon. These fit technologies are the basis of what makes Salomon shoes such high performers.

l1030420

The Sense Ultra has a substantial toe bumper and (thank the heavens!) speed laces and a lace pocket.

Beyond colors, there are quite a few features that differentiate the S Lab Sense Ultra from the S Lab Sense starting with the significantly thicker toe bumper and what appear to be heftier materials in some of the overlays and the tongue. The tongue is also more padded than in the S Lab Sense, presumably to allow for additional comfort at long distances. For me, such long distance comfort has been an issue with the S Lab Sense line and I switched to the much more comfortable (and supportive) S Lab X-Series and S Lab Sonic for ultra distance races. I still will do 10 km to 30 km rugged mountain trail races and runs in the S Lab Sense however; the superior trail feel at higher paces is important. But if the race trails are buffed I will still use the X-Series/Sonic even at the shorter distances since these shoes are about the same weight as the S Lab Sense but have a larger outsole area with a less aggressive lug set-up, both of which can positively affect pace in smoother conditions.

l1030410

A trim but not too narrow silhouette looks to be a good fit for D-width feet. Wider feet may want to look elsewhere.

The toebox of the Sense Ultra is slightly narrower than the X-Series/Sonic but not as narrow as the S Lab Sense 5 (I have not examined the Sense 6 yet). The polymer overlays have the same pattern as recent editions. The mesh used in the upper forefoot and medial/lateral midfoot is also the familiar material that Salomon has been using in the Sense line for the past couple of years. The polymer overlay at the toe comes up a fair distance onto the top of the forefoot and also up the lateral and medial midfoot to protect this mesh from wear-out in high stress/high abrasion areas. Such mesh wear-out was problem with early editions of the S Lab Sense.

l1030418

The heel area has the familiar beefy and stiff, symmetric construction used in the Sense line for years. The heel counter is nicely padded and rolls over the top edge and down a bit. The liner material in this area appears to be a bit “loose” (see plan view photo above) but once the shoe is on there is no extra material being bunched up. This heel liner material is the one area on the X-Series/Sonic that actually wears. I have worn holes in the material after about 500 km but the wear does not adversely affect the comfort or performance of the shoe. Based on the construction here I expect this sort of wear will be seen on the Sense Ultra- but only time will tell.

midsole

The midsole is where the largest differences between the Sense and the Sense Ultra lie. All models utilize the “Dual Density” EVA compound that has been used in this line for a while but that is where the similarities end. First, the Sense Ultra has a drop of 9mm compared to the 4mm drop of the Sense 6- this is a big difference.  Second the cushioning in the Sense Ultra is much increased over the Sense. With a 25mm heel and a 16mm forefoot the Sense Ultra stands in a different category when compared to the 18mm heel and a 14mm forefoot of the Sense 6.  This is a substantial difference in midsole thickness, particularly in the heel. All of the Sense models have been increasing midsole thickness over the past few years indicating that even the Salomon athletes have been pushing to get a bit more comfort out of the Sense. But the Sense Ultra has taken this cushioning to new level. The 2017 Sonic 2 also has similar degree of thicker  cushioning as the Sense Ultra, but actually offers another mm of cushioning at the forefoot. A review of the Sonic 2 is forthcoming.

Both the higher drop and thicker midsole lead to increased comfort. The higher drop gives substantial midfoot support that is highly appreciated the longer a race (or run) is. The added cushioning in the Sense Ultra should not only give a cushier ride in general but also allow for speedier descents (particularly in buffed terrain) and give some reprieve for inattention to sharp rocks and other features known to lead to foot bruising. While running, the added cushioning is most notable in the heel  as will be addressed below.

Also new in this model are the Hoka-like lateral and medial chassis supports that approach the mid-plane of the shoe. This support system can help highly cushioned shoes from being too tippy- something that many runners have complained about for years in “maximal” shoe designs.

outsole

The outsole of the Sense Ultra is of a new design pattern not seen previously. The pattern is asymmetric and is made up of sparsely arranged diamond shaped lugs with a substantial (3mm) depth. The outsole is purely trail specific and you will want to limit the number miles on pavement. The compound is Salomon’s Premium Wet Grip ContraGrip material and this outsole should perform just as outstandingly as it does on the S Lab XA Alpine shoes reviewed earlier.

l1030409

A new outsole lug shape and pattern looks to be a good mud performer- but mud performance needs to be done on all of the variants to truly evaluate the performance. Given the epic snow year here in the central Idaho mountains, we will likely have an epic mud season as well!

The ProFeel TPU film rock protection is included, as expected and, combined with the added midsole cushioning, should make these shoes pretty bombproof on even the most technical of terrain. Mud performance will likely be good but this always has to be tested in the various types of mud as the outsole composition plays a big role in mud adherence. But again, if the mud performance of the XA Alpine is indicative then these shoes will be a good choice in muddy conditions.

running geometry

Historically the S Lab Sense line has been a “flat” and neutral shoe tending toward a minimalist user base. With the introduction of the X-Series in 2015 and continued with the Sonic in 2016, a significant “rocker” geometry is slowly taking hold over many models in the Salomon lineup. This is continued here with the S Lab Sense Ultra where a significant “rocker” is present even to the point of being very much like that seen in Salomon’s “Hoka”-like  Sense Propulse (2016) and Sense ProMax (2017).

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Not quite a true “Hoka” rocker but the Sense Ultra sure does have the “rocker” DNA built in. A “rocker” geometry is important with any highly cushioned running shoe.

The “rocker” geometry is an important part of any cushioned shoe since the foot-set deformation at impact into the midsole cushioning leads to a noticeable barrier impeding forward motion. The “rocker” geometry can help overcome this issue by allowing for just a bit more rotation that makes the foot-set deformation less problematic. This geometry also promotes a forefoot-midfoot strike.

weight

The S Lab Sense Ultra shoe is quoted as weighing in at 275 gms (9.7 oz) for a size 9 (US). My size 7.5 (US) (40 2/3 (EU)) tipped the scales at 259 gms ( 9.1 oz). This is substantially heavier than the quoted 218 gm for a size 9 (US) in the Sense 6. So there is no free lunch as all the cushioning and support in the Sense Ultra comes with added weight. Weight matters- a lot, particularly for lighter weight (sub 125 lbs) runners like me. But in long races comfort will trump weight- and some will argue the same for longer training runs. The older I get the more I like comfort and this shoe tips to the side of comfort with a reasonably low weight. Not perfect but getting there.

initial running impressions

It has been an epic snow year here in the  central Idaho mountains- over nine feet of snow and counting. So there is no dirt to test the Sense Ultra on but there is plenty of packed powder trail for running. I’ve had the Sense Ultra out for about 30 km of mixed running including nice packed powder, some ice, and reasonable vert. As expected the fit is superb and the feel is that of a slipper with great grip. Proprioception is excellent and I find the midfoot support to be similar to the X-Series/Sonic.

The added cushioning is immediately noticeable, particularly in the heel and accentuated on downhills. Although cushy, the run feel is not overly so as is the case in so many highly cushioned shoes. The ice performance is very similar to that of the XA Alpine- good grip but one will still need spikes on any icy downhill.

I did one run with a new X-Series on one foot (I stockpiled some X-Series because Salomon put “traditional” laces on the Sonic for 2016) and the Sense Ultra on the other. The Sense Ultra has a slightly more cushioned forefoot but otherwise the feel is the same as the X-Series. The S Lab Sonic 2 (2017) has a similar amount of  cushioning in the heel and what appears to be a bit more cushioning in the forefoot compared to the Sense Ultra. As indicated above, I will be reviewing the S Lab Sonic 2 once we see some pavement and dirt here in Sun Valley. Unfortunately Salomon has continued with the “traditional” laces on the S Lab Sonic 2- a big mistake.

Although I will need many more miles to confirm this, the S Lab Sense Ultra seems to strike a nice balance of cushioning and proprioception much like the X-Series and Sonic. In fact I shall suggest that these shoes are very much a trail-specific X-Series/Sonic- which is exactly what I have been hoping Salomon would produce. The more aggressive outsole of the Sense Ultra will likely handle even the most technical trails from a grip perspective. This means that we might have something here that gets just that much closer to the never attainable, near-perfect ultra trail mountain running shoe.

price

$180 US. Steep as always, but likely a good value given the usual durability of the S Lab shoes.

bottom line

Finally, a cushioned Sense for the trail with good midfoot support and light(ish) weight. This may be my go-to shoe for the upcoming season. Stay tuned.

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37 thoughts on “Salomon S Lab Sense Ultra 2017 – X-Series With a More Aggressive Outsole

  1. Hi,
    thanks for your in-depth findings!
    Can you compare the Sense Ultra to last year’s Sense Propulse?
    I own that shoe, and like it for slow and recovery runs. But it’s just too heavy to use in earnest on long distances or in races. I still have the New Balance Leadville V2 for that, but would like more choice!

    Seen from the side, Propulse and Sense Ultra seem similar. But your description of the amount of cushioning reminds me more of the S-Lab Wings (which I use as an all-round trail trainer, but find a bit harsh on long distances). So I do not quite know where to put this shoe on a cushioning scale. Can you help me?

    (If you know that shoe, I’d also be interested in a comparison with the NB Leadville)

    Best regards
    Kaspar

    • Hi Kaspar,

      I did not mention this in the review but I did a bit of running with the Sense Propulse on one foot and the S Lab Sense Ultra on the other to determine exactly what you are asking about. What I found is that the Propulse has a more cushioned feel, although not significantly so. But the foot set deformation in the Propulse is much more noticeable. I have used the same pair of Propulse quite a bit for daily hill bounding workouts and intervals throughout the fall of 2016 so there is a good bit of wear out and it still felt more “cushiony” and “dash pot-like”. The rocker on the Propulse is more pronounced and you can feel this as well. So I would suggest that you might find the Sense Ultra to offer a good balance between the slightly more harsh feel of the Wings 8 and the more “Hoka-like” feel of the Propulse. The main difference with the Propulse will be in the forefoot cushioning and the feel on impact- I prefer the feel of the Sense Ultra as it gives much more proprioception, something that is very important on technical trail, and something that, for me, is even more important than aggressive grip.

      So, bottom line, the Propulse feels highly cushioned with limited proprioception and the Sense Ultra feels well cushioned but with good proprioception. I expect that the Sense Ultra will be a great performer at long distances in the mountains. Hope this helps.

      • Thank you, that’s quite promising! I appreciate your careful explanations.

        I will try on the Sense Ultra as soon as available here. Based on your information, I’m positive that they will be a great complement to the NB Leadville (which I like a lot, but they don’t have that Salomon fit).

        All the best to you
        Kaspar

  2. Hi,

    I was considering purchasing the S-Lab Wings 8, but now that there are available, should I get them instead? Since you have run in both, could you do a quick comparison of the sense ultra vs the wings 8? Same level of cushion?

    Thanks,
    John

    • Hi John,

      I ran in the Wings 8 on one foot and the Sense Ultra on the other (and switched up left and right so I had each shoe on each foot) to try to determine any differences. For me, the Wings 8 feels more structured and I do not have as much proprioception as I do in the Sense Ultra. The two shoes are supposedly built on different lasts and both the shape of the shoes and my experience would support that they are. The cushion does not feel substantially different but the Sense Ultras do feel cushier, although my Wings 8 have a lot more miles on them than the Sense Ultra.

      I can feel the difference in these shoes just by putting them on and walking around- and I prefer the Sense Ultra which may have to do with how the foot sits into the overall structure of the shoe (i.e. the details of the last). So you might do the same to see if there is a significant difference for you.

      Hope this helps.

      • Hi Robert,

        I have only run in two Salomon shoes so far – the Sense Pro’s (horrible durability issues) and the S-Lab Sonic’s (which I love) – and have decided to stick only with the S-lab line. I definitely like the color of the new Sense Ultra’s over the Wings. The Black/Red looks really sharp imo. I think I’ll try them out.

        Will you be reviewing any other new Salomon shoes down the road, like the Sense 6 or the Sense Pro Max? I’m curious in those two as well.

        Best,
        John

      • Hi John,

        I will be reviewing the Sense Pro Max. The Sense ProPulse were my “go to” shoes for hill bounding and I am hopeful that the Pro Max will be an improved replacement.

  3. Hello all,
    I found something really cool on the Salomon website.
    Go on any section, for exemple jackets and type “-ss17” at the end of the url and you can see a sneak peak at the spring summer ’17 clothing line.
    Really interesting things on the pants section, s-lab modular shorts?
    http://www.salomon.com/ch/men/clothing-jackets-ss17
    http://www.salomon.com/ch/men/pants-ss17

    Look at this, really cool.
    Excuse my english, I’m from switzerland and I’m actually reading your blog without posting comments for about maybe 5 years, so thank you!
    Have a nice day
    Benoît

    • Hi Benoit,

      Thanks for pointing that out! They are about to launch the SS17 product line on the website and all of the material has been loaded ready to go. So with the added url specifier, anyone can see the products.

      The S Lab Sense modular shorts were announced and shown last summer- they basically have deconstructed the S Lab Sense shorts and given some length options and possibly more comfort. So the short now consists of an undershort, an over short, and a separate mesh pocket sleeve. Looks and sounds interesting and I will be looking forward to trying them out. I really liked the S Lab Sense shorts and they will be hard to beat… I also will be trying out the S Lab Sense T shirts- hopefully they bring them to the US this time!

      Thanks again and I am glad you enjoy the blog!

    • Hi Atanas,

      You could but the aggressive outsole on the Ultra would detract from any road running. I would suggest keeping the Sense Ultra on trails as much as possible and perhaps looking at the Sonic or one of the other Salomon models with the Vibe dampening technology for road running.

  4. Very interested to hear your thoughts on the Sense Pro Max vs the Ultra. I like what appears a bit more burlieness of the Ultra but like the extra cushion of the Max. Running in the White Mountains makes shoe choice tough.

    Thanks,
    Jeff in MA

    • Hi Jeff,

      Yeah, I should be able to evaluate those two shoes in the next month or so- we still have tons of snow and the melt-out is likely to be quite late (like mid-May). But we are heading south to Southern Utah for some dirt soon!

      Even without knowing much about your running size/style, I will recommend that you try the Sense Ultra- it is a shoe ideally suited to the Whites as far as I am concerned. Between weight, cushion, proprioception, grip, and nimbleness the shoe hits a sweet spot that should work well not only there in the Whites but here in the Northern Rockies and, particularly well in the Alps. I will defer confirmation of this until I have more use, but all current indications are very positive (I did find some dirt in the Alps when there a couple of weeks ago and they performed beyond expectation). Unless you really need the substantial cushion of the Pro Max, the higher weight and less nimble feel detract when you are in “real” technical terrain- like some of the stuff there in the Whites.

      • Robert thanks for the feed back on the Ultra. I’m happy to hear that you seem at least somewhat familiar with the technical brutality of the Whites and what a shoe must be capable of. There is a reason that AT through hikers going south to north are 80% done when they hit New England but still have 80% to go 😳
        Me I’m 170-180lbs depending on season. Ideal running and hiking shape is 170lbs. Will be 60YO in July. To celebrate I want to run/hike what’s known as the “Pemi Loop”. 32 miles, 10,000 feet of elevation gain/descent, endless rocks. I hiked it last year just under 14 hours with a little. It of running at the end to get it under 14. I will hike it the opposite way again with my fiancé before doing the run/hike. Uber fit trail runners have done it under 7 hours which I can’t fathom. Anyway a shoe that’s super comfortable and protective for many miles of unforgiving rocks, grips like Velcro, and can support the foot with all the torsional twisting dealing with said rocks and roots is all I’m looking for 🤔. I’ll be checking out the Ultra soon but still am intrigued by the Pro Max mostly because of the extra cushion. Not sure the shoe itself is built for those type of conditions though.

        Jeff in MA

      • Hi Jeff,

        Back in the Pleistocene I spent quite a bit of time in the Whites, including on the “Pemi” Loop. Back then we were the “weirdos” who ran the trails. Later, even after moving to the Rockies, I would spend some time there each year during afternoon “off” sessions at the Gordon Conferences that I attended as a scientist (back then the Gordon Conferences were almost exclusively in NH). Haven’t been back since I retired in 2008, but we are planning an Eastern foray this coming summer/fall. It’s been so long I almost feel like I need a passport to go!

        Being a lightweight you need to take my comments with a good measure of caution when it comes to cushioned shoes. The mechanical properties of the midsole materials are very non-linear particularly with respect to load, strain rate, and ambient temperature. So, at my ca. 130 lbs the materials will respond in a noticeably different way to your 170 lbs. Specifically and for example, at the lower loads the “footset” upon impact will be quite different for me and my perception of the stability of the shoe will be toward a lower value. Likewise for other aspects.

        Given that cautionary note, I am finding the Pro Max to actually be relatively stiff and not as cushioned as I expected it to be. I ran in the Pro Pulse again yesterday and it felt much more cushioned than the Pro Max (the Pro Pulse has a thick Energy Cell+ midsole with no “inserts”). I think this difference may have to do with the “Opal” inserts. The “Opal” material is there to absorb mechanical vibrations but it also seems to be decreasing the net midsole compliance. As usual there is no free lunch in that if the “Opal” is, in fact, mechanically altering the vibration response of the midsole it is likely affecting other aspects- like net compliance.

        I find both the Pro Max and the Pro Pulse to be less stable on technical terrain than the Sense Ultra 2017 mostly due to the stack height and, possibly footset. So given the nice cushioning of the Ultra and the great proprioception, fit, and grip it is much more suited to the technical terrain you are planning to run. But your experience with the Pro Max might be different to mine given the caveats noted above. The Pro Max does have a much better outsole than the Pro Pulse and it is much more aligned with technical trail running. Bottom line (as usual)- you probably need to try both to decide.

  5. Robert thanks so much for very insightful info 👍
    I did realize reading through your blog that you were very light and I know that can make a huge difference. Your familiarity with the Whites and NE are key though and what would make for a good shoe for those conditions. Your thoughts on both shoes seems to mirror the few other reviews I’ve been able to scrounge up. I tend to get analyses paralysis researching my gear but have gotten really good at sifting out info that doesn’t pertain to me or even the gear being reviewed. This Ultra sounds like a stellar shoe if it fits my feet ok. Really looking forward to the Speedgoat 2 also but I need something basically now for training and upcoming events leading to my Pemi beat down.
    Thanks again and look forward to the upcoming review of the Pro Max.

    Jeff in MA

    • Hi Jeff,

      The “analysis paralysis” is definitely a black hole. I would suggest ordering up the Ultra, the Pro Max, and the (new) Speedgoat (when it is available) from Running Warehouse in whatever size range is appropriate and bounce around your house to get a feel for each shoe. Running Warehouse offers free shipping both ways so it is just like going to a running shoe store except you do not have to deal with uninformed/misinformed sales associates- instead it’s just you and the shoes and as much time as you want to take. It can be a bit of a temporary investment (the turnaround is about 2 weeks at the shortest) depending on how many pairs you need to look at, but I have found it to be very functional, particularly if you have experience in trying on bouncing around in running shoes for evaluation. Running in them would be best but not as monetarily “neutral”. You can however run in a shoe from RW and send it back if you do not like it, the only difference is you get a store credit not a refund- here is their policy:

      “Products returned in used or worn condition within 90 days from the original invoice date can be exchanged for another item, or are eligible to receive a store credit for the full value of the purchase. Please note that while we want you to be happy with your purchases, an excessive number of used returns within a twelve-month period may limit your eligibility for exchanges or store credit.”

      I have no association with RW but I use them for many of my purchases and can highly recommend them. They are a critical source for those of us who live in rural/resort areas and who have relatively small foot sizes (many of the shoe stores here do not carry any significant stock below size 8US and they rarely have the top-line shoes that I typically look for).

  6. Any updates on your use of the Ultra vs the Sense 6 now that some time has passed? Do you still use both? My personal favorite thing with the older Sense 2-4 was how planted they always felt. Not sure I could do without that feeling of connection with the ground and stability. Also, is there a difference in terms of which shoe you are looking forward to running in?

    • Hi Carl,

      The 2017 Ultra is turning out to be an excellent shoe. As I have indicated it hits a sweet spot as far as proprioception and cushioning. The midfoot support is also very good and will be welcome in longer races and races with a lot of climbing. We still do not have much dirt here in the mountains of Central Idaho yet- I am still skiing every day (and running too) and we will be getting more snow tomorrow. My running so far has been on south facing hillside trails that are not very technical so I am not in a position to give any substantial guidance on the performance of the Ultra in technical terrain yet. Based on current experience, I expect that the Ultra will perform very well on technical trails. I also expect that I will be going with the Ultra for races this year- even the shorter (about 30 km) ones that I currently have scheduled- that is how good the Ultra feels w/r/t both comfort and trail feel!

      I do use both the Sense and the Sense Ultra. I generally will not run more than 30 km in the Sense

      • Thank you, Robert. Sounds very promising with the Sense Ultra. The reason why I’m asking this is that I seldom run as far as you seem to do (I’m a sucker for high tempo runs and interval training). What makes you decide between the Sense and Sense Ultra for a particular run? Is it just for variation, or what makes you pick up each pair and head out? The fun factor is pretty different in different shoes to me, and I go ‘bleh’ when I lose the feeling of direct contact with the ground.

        I am also so envious at the snow you are getting that I am choosing to ignore that part of your reply! If only I also had that ‘problem’…

      • Hi Carl,

        I use the Sense for most of my on-trail VO2max interval sessions (e.g. 8 X 800m, 4 X 1600m) and some of the lactate threshold (LT) sessions (e.g. 3 X 8 min uphill (usually at 10% grade or greater)). For the longer LT sessions (e.g. 4 X 15 min or 2 X 30 min uphill) I will switch to the Ultra (or in the past two years, the X-Series). This is to keep any foot issue from developing. I found that if I pound too hard for too long in the Sense I will get some sort of foot issue (e.g. minor bruising or metatarsal sensitivity). But I am old so you may be more durable.

        Also, I enjoy the downhills more with a more cushioned shoe (so long as it has good proprioception). So in any run that has significantly long downhills (like 3-5 km of continuous down) I will go with the cushioned option. I find my speed to be higher and my feet stay happy.

        Yes, it is nice to still be skiing but we have had enough snow after this epic year- we had more than 20 feet (6.5m) of snow for the 2016-2017 winter and, so far, over 135 days of skiing. I am ready to get out on the trails running… when they finally melt out!

  7. Let’s get the most important thing sorted right away: There can never be ‘enough snow’! More is just always better. Skiing all year around is what we were meant to be doing.

    Now that I’m back on topic again: Hi again, Robert, and thank you!

    That really helps, as your use of the Sense is quite close to the type of running I love to do. I’ll confess that the longer LT sessions aren’t quite as much my cup of tea but they do need to get done as well. It’s looking more and more like I perhaps might stick with the Sense, but I’m still incredibly curious about the Sense Ultra, especially as I am not getting any younger either. Speaking about curious, I’m also really curious how the Sense 6 feels during running compared with the 5. I’ve seen some simplistic tests using a force gauge on the midsole and the results showing the 6 to be quite a bit softer than the 5 (10-20% depending on where placed and angle used). Hard to tell if it’s actually something that is noticeable while running though.

    Anyhow – thank you for all your answers and enjoy the snow!

    • Hi Carl,

      Yes, agreed on the snow- more the better and a longer season!

      As far as the Sense 6 being softer than the Sense 5, I am not sure because I skipped the Sense 5 (I used the X Series and Sonic instead). The Sense 6 is definitely softer than the Sense 4 and it is noticeable while running.

      Hope this helps. It is currently snowing here…

      • Oh, I misread you earlier then and thought it was the 5 you had. I’ve only tried the 2-4 before, so for me a 6 will probably be a good first step. I can then move on to the Ultra if I start doing longer runs and/or my XT 5 Wings SG wear out. I’ve never been particularly fond of those though, but they last forever (mostly) sitting there on the shoe rack! For every step I take with them, I just think of how much more drive the steps would have in a Sense. My XT5 are a bit too detached from the ground, and ofc a taller shoe is inevitably not as stable. They also simply don’t sit as well on my foot, which might be a key reason for my cranky attitude to them.

        Have fun in the snow tomorrow, Robert! I’ll be in the office… 😉

      • Hi Carl,

        The XT Wings are a very different shoe and I understand why you do not feel comfortable in them. The Sense are a big improvement in fit and ground feel. If you do longer runs you will definitely benefit with the Sense Ultra. Good luck!

  8. HI Robert !
    Thank you for the in-depth review !!
    I’m planning to give the Ultra a try ! I’m currently using the S-Lab Wing, but, it is a bit harsh after 2 hours for me.
    My wings are 46EU / 11UK US. Does the fit of the Ultra is similar to the Wings ? Would you recommend to try the same size as the Wings ?
    Many thanks !

    Vincent,
    from France

    • Hi Vincent,

      Yes, the fit in the Sense Ultra and S Lab Wings 8 is the same, at least in my experience. You should be pleased with the Ultra- I have now 200 kms (update coming soon) on them and they are the most comfortable trail shoe I have run in. Between the Salomon fit technologies, the “sweet spot” cushioning, and the high performance outsole they are just a great shoe. Hope it works for you!

  9. Pingback: 2017 Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra… Best Trail Shoe Ever? – The Juskuz Experience

  10. Pingback: Review: 2017 Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra – Vermont Running Company

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