Salomon Sense Ride 5 Review: Some Bad, But Mostly Good
For a versatile, do-it-all trail shoe for a wide variety of runners on a wide variety of terrain, Salomon put together a great package. As long as folks can find the right fit and can look past a couple of issues with cushioning, it would be hard to go wrong with these.
I’ve put a lot of miles into various Sense Ride versions since the originals came out in 2017 (I still regularly slip that pair on to the dog, in fact, which speaks to their durability & longevity). The new version inherits almost everything I like about the shoe, with two misses that drop them a couple of points for me.
One of those is the fit. These fit shorter & narrower than previous versions - enough that most folks will want to go up at least a half-size. Since no shoe company bothers to make a 13.5, I had to go up a full size from 13 to 14 - and even then, the toe box is a little more tapered and low than I’d prefer. I definitely miss the toe box width & roominess of the tragically-discontinued Salomon Supercross.
The tongue is the second thing that makes me a little vexed about this new Sense Ride. Overall, it’s longer and stiffer than I’d like.
The top end pushes against my ankle (which isn’t an issue if I wear crew socks, but I can feel it with no-shows), and I can feel the folds of the tongue pressing against the top of my foot.
Otherwise, the simple uppers don’t have any hot spots or irritating seams, which is basically my floor-level expectation for running shoes in 2023 (not all brands/models clear it, unfortunately).
The Sense Rides aren’t in Salomon’s race line-up and are pretty moderate weight, so I didn’t slip them on expecting to fly down the trail.
That said, the high-ish drop and firm sole made me feel pretty confident turning up the pace when I wanted to (although the thin forefoot made me think I probably shouldn’t do it for very long). From my perspective, these are Salomon’s middle-ground, accessible trail shoes that work for almost all runners in almost all situations.
The fit is a little more generous than the S/Lab Ultra or Pulsar Trail, which have a narrow, race fit that’s focused on performance over comfort. At the same time, the outsole isn’t as aggressive as the Speedcross 6, which has big, bitey lugs. The Sense Ride 5 is just a versatile, multi-strength shoe that’s going to work for most runners.
Not a major change from the previous version, but a few tweaks to the lug design & placement. Overall, they’re moderately deep and consistent across the entire outsole, which is exactly what I want to see on a jack-of-all-trades trail shoe. The rubber is full-coverage with no cut-outs, which probably contributes to the stiffness I felt in my stride and footstrike.
I’ve done many, many miles in various versions of the Sense Ride through a lot of summers, and never had an issue with them feeling hot or suffocating. Although I tested these in the late winter/early spring shoulder season, there was nothing about the mesh or construction that made me think I’d have a different experience.
I’ve never had a bad experience with Salomon’s Quicklaces, although generally, I prefer traditional lacing. That said, they don’t come loose and I dig the option to tuck the dangly ends away in the lace garages.
However, with the thick, stiff tongue, it would have been nice to have a little more flexibility to loosen the laces across the top of my foot. That’s a spot where traditional laces have the edge over Quicklaces.
I was impressed that Salomon kept the retail price of the Sense Ride at $120, which seemed like a killer value for a terrific shoe. It looks like they’ve bumped the MSRP up to $140, which doesn’t seem like a surprise when I’m paying $6 for a dozen eggs, but it takes a little of the shine off the value.
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