As an initial impressions review, a 300 km update, and a 1200 km update have documented, the Salomon S Lab Sense Ultra 2017 has been an outstanding performer on just about any trail in just about any condition. Let’s now add to that list of superlatives with the words: incredible durability.
I now have in excess of 2000 km (1200 miles) on the S Lab Sense Ultra and these shoes are still going strong. Past experience with S Lab shoes has lead to excellent outsole and upper wear but as 1600 km is approached the midsole and ProFeel Film begin to loose performance- the shoes typically loose significant fractions of initial cushioning and the ProFeel Film deteriorates to the point where sharp rocks become increasingly difficult to step directly upon. None of this decrease in performance has yet appeared- even with significantly more mileage on the S Lab Sense Ultra when compared to previous S Lab shoes (S Lab Sense, S Lab Sense 3&4, S Lab Sense Ultra (original model), S Lab X-Series, and S Lab Sonic).
The midsole cushioning is holding up very well and although there is a slightly noticeable difference in cushioning when directly comparing these used shoes to a new pair of the same, it is not dramatic and it is not affecting the on-trail performance of the shoe. The shoe remains ultra-comfortable even for longer runs (20-30 mountain miles (3-5 h depending on vert) for me). There might be a tad bit of sharp rock coming through but it is minor and certainly not significant enough to put the shoes aside and move on to a new pair.
The upper has held up exceedingly well as they show no excessive wear in any of the high strain areas that have been issues in past S Lab shoes. In fact without the dust-decoration of the edges of the SensiFit overlays, the uppers look as new. The heel counter shows the typical wear-out at the expected place (top edge of heel counter at the furthest aft position).
This type of overall low wear in a racing shoe after 2000 km is singular in my experience and demonstrates what a great product this S Lab model is.
Salomon may have made that rare mistake of putting out a trail shoe that is over engineered from a durability perspective but still, even at high mileage, retains all of the trail performance expected in a racing shoe. I look forward to even more miles on this pair and know that I will be well served by the two additional pairs that I have “stocked” in the shoe closet!
Probably the most comfortable, highest performance, and durable shoe yet in the S Lab line. Highly recommended and look for sales this fall as the S Lab Sense Ultra 2 for 2018 is adding weight- not a good sign.