As a mega-brand, Salomon makes a wide variety of footwear, apparel and hard goods from skiing to hiking and everything in-between. With that breadth of products, they have in-house experts who dive deep into the products they create. For years, Salomon’s trail running line has remained fan favorites, with their limited-edition S/Lab products setting the tone. A new shoe in the line, the Ultra Glide is built for lightweight comfort and also has the ability to go from road-to-trail if that’s your thing.
Salomon Ultra Glide Features:
- Maximum cushioning
- Low-profile 4mm Contagrip outsoles
- Energy Surge midsole and rocker shape
- Breathable mesh uppers
- Quickace system for easy on/off
- Built for mixed terrain
- Standard width
- 38.2 mm heel and 32.2 mm forefoot stack
- MSRP: $140
Comfy all-rounders from Salomon
Salomon has made a name for themselves in trail running with the help of accomplished athletes who push the envelope of performance. The all-new Ultra Glide may not be built for racing purists, but instead, are optimized for everyday trail runners who want a single shoe for long trail runs or road-to-trail transitions. With plenty of cushioning, these are Salomon’s most comfortable shoes.
These days, shoes should not require extensive break-in and that was the case with the Ultra Glide. An office day and a long walk with the dog were all that was necessary. Sizing is as expected for Salomon as I went with my typical size 11.5 for added room in the toe box. With that, my average-width feet are cradled well with the Quicklace system and locked into the heel pocket. The toe box height is a little tall, requiring a touch thicker socks than I’d like to take up that extra space. That’s not a huge deal, but what has been more troublesome is a pinch spot where the toe box creases on my right shoe and pinches the side of my foot. It’s not noticeable while running, but is still noticeable when walking or hiking up inclines.
One of the trademarks of Salomon’s trail runners is their Quicklace system. Though not as dynamic as BOA, this lacing system makes quick work of the lace-up and removal process using a simple, locking toggle. The downside is you can’t pinpoint your fit as well as you can with traditional laces. In the end, I found my sweet spot and never gave them much thought after that. There is room to tuck the rubber pull tab under the top of the tongue, but only just barely. Make sure to do that so you don’t trip over the lace loop.
On the trails, you’ll immediately notice the smooth stride of the Ultra Glide’s. Much of this is due to the rockered outsole that allows for a natural step. I tend to just kiss the heel to the ground, then rock forward with each step. The Energy Surge midsole and Contagrip outsole work perfectly to deliver a smooth feel on all types of terrain — uphill and down. Even though these low-profile outsoles seem unassuming, they will deliver traction without bogging you down. This is particularly nice for road approaches. If you encounter mud, they will get stuck in the treads, but do expel easily as you continue running.
The overall package is stable and supportive with an excellent trail feel. Even on the roughest terrain, I always felt stable and never rolled a foot. Salomon has hit the sweet spot with just the right amount of protection. You’ll feel the terrain, but it’s just muted enough to eliminate forefoot discomfort on long runs. I did wish for a little more instep support. As mentioned, the forefoot has a little more volume that doesn’t seem to cinch down as much as I would prefer. It’s possible that the laces could extend down just a touch further, which could help with that and also cinch the initial part of the instep.
I used these for morning dog walks, mixed road/trail, trail runs and hiking throughout my test period. Certainly, they are versatile enough for all of the above, so if you’re looking for a do-it-all shoe, these are a great choice.
The Ultra Glide’s are Salomon’s max-cushioned trail runners and the Energy Surge midsole can be felt. They aren’t on par with the Hoka Speedgoat in their cushioning, but I’d say they are pretty good. If cushioning is what you seek, but still don’t want to sacrifice speed, these are a great mix of squish and responsiveness.
- Versatile transition shoe
- Low-profile lugs grip beyond their pay grade
- Quicklace makes for easy on/off
- Perfect balance of trail feel and protection
- Nice and stable
- Rockered outsole makes for a smooth stride
- Excellent cushioning without feeling bogged down
- High volume forefoot
- Can’t seem to cinch down the forward instep enough
- A little warm — great for winter running
The Bottom Line: Salomon Ultra Glide
Salomon has long been a major player in the trail running market — with shoes, apparel and accessories built to crush any type of trail run. The Salomon Ultra Glide has an excellent outsole with the right amount of rocker for a smooth stride. Additionally, the Energy Surge midsole works as advertised with just enough cushion without losing responsiveness.
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