Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A week of Test: Salomon S-lab Sense Ultra

In action, 1st day out

A week after opening the box of these super light weight minimalist shoes I am taking a small rest and smiling about the good times had in the alpine. I have been interested on trying the Salomon S-lab for some time now but it was a bit difficult to find a small size in Canada. Thx Phil Villeneuve and Fast Trax in Edmonton (http://www.fasttraxskishop.com), the Red Rockets finally arrived last tuesday!
Following is what I have been up to in order to put these crazy shoes to the test!

-20 km Alpine Run: Really buff trail, some rocks and roots, flowy climbs and compacted dirt
- 25 km Speed Mountain Climb: Steep trail going to undulating meadows, slippery rocks, glacier and scramble
- 24 km Alpine Run: Very buff alpine trail on compacted dirt
- 12 km Run on XC bike trail: Rainy run on slippery roots and rocks
- 20 km Alpine run to Scramble: Buff at time technical trail and scramble on loose rocks

Pictures come first then a quick review...!

Frisbee XC Alpine Trail

Summit of Mt Begbie for Breaky

Blanket from Mt Begbie
Keystone Standard Basin
Keystone Alpine Flowers
Keystone Standard Basin
View of Mt Williamson, Jade Lake

Mt Revelstoke, Jade Lake Ridge Run

Sunset on Mt Begbie

I'm not a pro runner or anything but I really enjoy the sport for cross training and so I end up doing a lot of it. A few years back, after running a but with different Salomon running shoes I felt like trying something different seems they all seemed to be too wide for my foot. I also felt like the boa system was never snug enough or it never really felt right for some reason. I also found that the durability was so so... Moving from the Brooks Cascadia to lower profile shoe with the Mizuno Wave, the Salomon S-lab is a whole other kinda shoe and I'm glad I went back to Salomon. First off, it fits really snug but not to the point of discomfort. Even if really light weight, the shoe is pretty stable on technical terrain. On glacier/ snow (granted it was not a steep glacier) they give pretty good grip. While scrambling they seems to also offer good support and traction. I was also impress on how comfortable the shoes are. No blisters, no pain no nothing... even after 100km. The only concern is the durability of the shoe. The light fabric and nature of the material makes then dry very quickly but I believe also more fragile then your typical shoe...it will make for expensive runs if they only last for 10 adventures! So far I have to say that they are an amazing shoe on all terrain and conditions. They are worth every penny. If you like minimalist trail shoe and are not sure if it's worth the extra money, in my mind, you won't be disappointed.
The only way to find out the durability topic I guess is to keep on running!

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