This post is a follow up to my previous post regarding the availability of the Salomon Sense (and it’s sister shoe the S-Lab 5). A few weeks after writing that post, I made my up mind to buy it. It was a matter of time I guess, so having it sooner won’t really hurt (aside my wallet).
The Sense in a way, completes my trail racing kit, which now comprises of the S-Lab 5 and two soft flasks. I’m however, hoping to get my hands on Sense Hydro once it’s available early next year.
Prior to acquiring the Sense, I have not owned any Salomon shoes. I have run the trails a couple of times with my North Face Singletracks, before this eventual upgrade. This post will summarize the key points of the shoe, and whether it justifies its SGD$299 price tag.
A solid shoe coming off the S-LAB line. No compromises here. It has a sturdy toe cap, while not rock hard, is firm and covers the toe well. The shoe features the Sensi-fit design, which allows one to race in the shoe without socks (like Kilian does).
Ride and Response
The Sense was designed to promote forefoot running (aka Kilian Style). Thanks to the very low heel-to-toe drop of about 4mm, and lightweight build, it is a definite departure from other trail shoes of it class. While comparing it to other beefier shoes (like my Singletracks), it feels much easier to run up the slopes and maneuver in between technical trails.
The Sense offers slightly more protection than a minimalist shoe would, but much less than others (cue SpeedCross III, S-Lab 5, NorthFace Singletracks). However, having said that, it is more than efficient at protecting the foot, without sacrificing too much speed. I did feel my right toe rubbing quite often against the toe cap.
The Sense relies on a single TPU plate sandwiched between two pieces of PVA for forefoot protection,while it has softer heel to cushion impact during heel-strike or descents. I would caution trail runners, especially those who frequently like to run over rocks, be a little more careful. The chances of a rock getting through the sections of the forefoot (see image) are quite high, especially in the trails of Macritchie Reservoir (Singapore).
As of current writing, I have put in about 46km on the trails with the Sense, the most recent being my LSD session on the weekends (here). So is it worth the price tag? That’s quite hard to answer.
If you are serious about trail running, and love to run fast, then this might be the shoe for you (doesn’t hurt if you’re a fan of the Salomon racing team like I’ am). But of course, most Salomon shoes are around such said price range, so you would have already been serious about trails if are considering buying a Salomon shoe. But as far as I know, there is no other shoe that balances performance, protection and sheer good looks on the trails than the Salomon Sense does.