I have reviewed all of the previous generations (Gen 1, Gen 2, Gen 3) of the Salomon Relax “recovery” shoe and have found the products to be very comfortable and to provide support that helps with foot recovery after long and/or technical trail runs/races. The RX Moc has been a daily wear shoe for me ever since it was offered in 2010/11 and the 4th generation is no exception.
RX MOC 4.0
The RX Moc 4.0 is an evolutionary product that builds upon the features, design, and function provided by the prior generations of the product. These functions include high breathability, a very “cushy” midsole, a grippy outsole, and, most importantly, a footbed design that provides support around the edge of the foot. All of this carried forward in the 4.0 version along with adding a couple of new features/materials.
But the most important feature is the “cupped” footbed that supports the edges of ones feet and that allows for comfortable walking/hiking even after a long trail run/race. As I wrote in the earlier reviews:
“The concept is that after running there are certain muscles in the feet that are more impacted by long training runs/races and require additional support after the training run or race for efficient recovery.”
My experience is that the concept works- but even if it is a placebo, the shoes are super comfortable, machine washable, and highly durable.
changes from 3.0 to 4.0
The primary change with the 4.0 vs the 3.0 is that the heel counter is now designed to be crushed down and thereby allow for use of the shoe in either a traditional way (with heel counter) or as a slip-on (e.g. like a clog). Many users of past models of the RX Moc have chosen to just ignore the heel counter and use the shoe as a slip on. Unfortunately the heel counter was not designed to be crushed or to be rubbed by the heel. As a result those that used the shoe in this way (including myself) found that the crushed heel counter developed holes and this compromised use as a traditional shoe. The new design allows for both comfort and durability in switching back and forth between use types- it’s a great idea! All one has to do is remove the insole, push the heel counter down, and replace the insole- presto, you now have a slip-on.
The other significant change from the 3.0 version is the insole. The 3.0 had a two layer insole that was comprised of a cushy polymer underlayer with a thin, grained faux-leather top layer. The 4.0 version has a single cushy polymer insole without a faux-leather layer. My use found that eventually the faux-leather insole layer began to delaminate from the underlayer. This occurred after many (about 25-30) machine washings. Such washings are rather rough on any adhesive system so this experience is expected. However, the faux-leather never fully delaminated and the small amount of delimitation never affected the performance of the shoe. In any case, Salomon have decided to replace the faux-leather with a one-layer system which, so far, is just as comfortable and will likely be as durable.
A minor change with the 4.0 is the mesh fabric pattern on the upper. The 4.0 has a two-piece pattern that wraps diagonally across the top of the foot whereas the 3.0 pattern is a two-piece “serpentine” pattern that is longitudinal. I do not feel a substantial difference between the two with the exception of the 4.0 feeling a bit more “huggy”. This could just be due to the fact that the 4.0 is new but time will tell.
One of the nicest aspects of this shoe is the washability. One can just throw these in the washer and let them air dry and a shoe that was quite dirty comes out looking as new. This was particularly important for the “orangey” S Lab 3.0 model that I have been using since 2013 as it would get quite dirty given daily use across many activities, including camping. I expect the same to be the case for these black 4.0’s
As mentioned above, the outsole is nicely grippy for a casual, street shoe. The outsole, however, has areas that are not particularly durable. The area within the rubber tread layer that nearly circumscribes the sole is the “chevron” pattern area that appears to be made of “midsole-type” material (likely EVA). This material does not wear well and I have found it to be essentially smoothed out within about three seasons of my daily use (April-November). That’s still a lot of use and the rubber area is still intact and quite grippy, it’s just that the total grip of the outsole is somewhat diminished. This has not prevented me from using the shoe as it still performs well even without the “chevron” pattern being present- now six years later! Just something to note.
As this is a casual shoe, the colorway choice can be important for some users. The 4.0 is available in black with a black midsole (as shown here), blue with a white midsole, and red with a white midsole. That is quite a limited choice. In the US only the black and blue variants are available. I find the white midsole to look a bit “clunky” but that is just my opinion.
In the past there has been an S Lab version of the RX Moc and these variants were what I have reviewed earlier. The S Lab variant was just cosmetic- special colors and S Lab badging, so the shoe itself was the same. The 4.0 does not offer a S Lab variant for the 2019/20 season. Perhaps there will be one in the future. I must say that I like the black version as it blends well with many situations- athletic, casual, and, for some here in the mountains, even for more formal occasions. I likely will not wear any other casual shoe throughout the spring-summer-fall.
$75 US. As usual a bit on the high side but given the comfort, the foot recovery aspects, the flexibility to transform the shoe from a traditional fit to a slip-on, and the durability that I have experienced, this shoe represents a reasonable value.
A nice evolution of a proven casual/recovery shoe with high comfort, durability, and flexibility. Highly recommended!