Over the years, I’ve worn a wide variety of Salomon trail runners. In fact, almost 25 years ago, they were the first pair of trail running-specific shoes I purchased. Since that time, Salomon has refined their craft and have a variety of shoes for both road and trail running. The new Pulsar Trail Pro is built around a unique one-piece knit upper with fit duties being handled by their reliable Quicklace system. No real complaints after several months of abuse, so let’s hop right in.
Salomon Pulsar Trail Pro Trail Running Shoes Features:
- All Terrain Contagrip® MA outsole
- Lightweight Energy Foam midsole
- Energy Blade plate for added stability and propulsion
- Quicklace lacing system
- Mesh uppers with knit collar
- 6mm drop (33mm rear / 27mm front)
- Weight: 10.5 oz each (size 11.5, actual)
- MSRP: $160
Quality performance and fit
With the variety of shoe options, it’s good to be a trail runner these days. Now that both maximalist and minimalist designs have found a happy medium, you can get excellent trail feel and cushioning at the same time. Enter the Pulsar Trail Pro, with just the right blend of everything you could want in a trail runner.
Breaking them down, you get one of my favorite lacing systems on the market — Quicklace. I do appreciate BOA Lacing System, but Quicklace is simpler and more reliable. With even pressure throughout the uppers, a simple tug and tuck has you in business. After tucking the toggle into the tongue garage, I slip the end into the laces, which has proven to be a winning recipe for all Salomon shoes I’ve tested. Granted, you can’t pinpoint fit like traditional laces, but there’s never any discomfort or pressure points.
I really appreciate the one-piece mesh/knit uppers, which keeps debris out and simplifies the fit. The biggest benefit is breathability as the Pulsar Trail Pro’s breathe extremely well. The uppers are very cohesive and quickly feel like an extension of your feet. Pulling them on is pretty easy, but could be improved with a heel pull tab.
While these do have a more traditional fit, there’s ample room in the toe box to prevent squished toes. I have no complaints with the wiggle room as my toes never feel cramped. I consistently wear an 11.5 in Salomon shoes and that stands true here.
On the trails, you’ll be pleased with the trail feel and natural stride on offer. I love rockered soles and the Pulsar Trail Pro’s deliver that. The shape of the midsole and the Energy Blade do have a tendency to propel you forward. Each step flows naturally to the next on all terrain with a subtle “rebound” taking you to the next step. I really appreciate the low-profile lugs as they work together with the whole shoe to deliver excellent, consistent traction. The outsoles also provide consistent toe-off with every step.
With a lightweight design, these shoes are nimble across all types of terrain. Climbing through technical ascents or simply moving along at a quick pace, you can step with confidence knowing that the shoes just disappear underfoot. I appreciate the level of forefoot protection, but I’d love just a little more trail feel to detect the nuances of the terrain.
Descending, you’ll find ample traction and stability. The Quicklace system keeps your feet in place on even the most demanding of descents. Stability has been outstanding too with not even a smidge of ankle twisting on any terrain.
How about cushioning? On paper, the stack height and construction looks a lot like squishy shoes from other players. In practice, there’s plenty of cushioning, but they do lean on the firm side. Don’t be deterred if you’re seeking cushioning, but these aren’t going to match up with a pair of Hoka One One’s. And, when temperatures drop into the 20’s, they stiffen up a little more. I’d summarize the cushioning as sufficient, but more focused on the rebound than absorption. The Salomon Ultra Glide offers more squish, as an alternative.
The knit upper and collar offers unique trail protection and does a great job of reducing trail scree from entering. It doesn’t eliminate it, but it’s certainly reduced. Importantly, it does make for a really comfortable fit. No blistering issues at all throughout my testing and I’ve gone from box-to-trail without concerns.
- Love the smooth stride
- Quicklace is always a winner
- Really comfortable uppers
- Great traction on all terrain
- Nimble, quick feel
- Uppers do a great job of keeping debris out
- Breathability in spades
- Midsoles firm up in cold weather
- Could use a heel tab
The Bottom Line: Salomon Pulsar Trail Pro
The Pulsar Trail Pro’s have a lot of goodness to them. Tops on that list is the smooth stride as each step propels to the next with excellent traction. I can maintain a smooth and fast pace and they just disappear. Quicklace is always a winner and the uppers perfectly cradle my feet. I’d love a touch more cushioning and trail feel, but overall, that’s being pretty picky.
Buy Now: Visit Salomon.com