Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Salomon: S-LAB Sonic Shoes Review

If you’ve been following my blog, you probably know by now that I’m a big fan of Salomon. Seriously, how can I not be? I’ve tested a lot of gears and apparels from different companies and I can honestly say that Salomon is on my top 5. From their PR all the way to the quality of their products are second to none. Salomon has been in the sports industry for almost seven decades, dating back from 1947. To be in this business that long, you definitely have something to bring to the table and people must like it.

Before I get into details, you may be interested to read my in-depth reviews on some of Salomon’s products that I reviewed in the past.
·      S-Lab Light Jacket
·      X-Scream 3D shoes

I can talk all day how good of a company Salomon is but I know that you’re here for the sake of my review, so let’s get into it.

Salomon’s S-LAB Sonic shoes are lightweight shoes designed for road running. The shoe weighs in at 7.76 ounces (220 grams) for size 9. The heel to toe drop is 8mm (Heel height: 24mm, Forefoot height: 16mm). These shoes are for runners seeking a neutral foot motion. The shoe is not gender specific, both “men and women” shoes are identical. The only difference is the sizing. Since I’m not familiar with the women sizing, I would suggest to give your favorite retail store a visit and have your feet size. But for men, the size 10 that I requested feel true to the size.

Oh yeah, there’s only one color to choose from…the Racing Red, it looks fast and flashy. So if you like that color then you’re in luck:-).

·      Sensifit: Works to cradle the foot providing a precise and secure fit.
·      Die Cut EVA: Provides excellent step in cushioning.
·      Quick Drying Breathable Open Mesh
·      Energy Cell+
·      EndoFit: an internal fit sleeve designed to hug the foot
·      Premium High Traction / Abrasion ContaGrip
·      3D Flex
·      3D Profeel Film


The upper material is made of a single layer breathable open air mesh, actually this mesh covers the entirety of the shoes. The toe box mesh is a see thru concept where no additional layer is being added, it is extremely breathable and abrasion resistance. I’ve tested this on afternoon runs and I literally felt the air passing thru the shoe. There is a synthetic toe cap support but it’s very minimal since they are trying to limit the weight of the shoe. I really don’t think this is a big deal since the shoe was designed to be on the road where there is less hazard compared to the trails. Speaking of the toe box, I found the space to be on the average…though not roomy but it’s not constrictive. It has the right space even when the foot starts to swell (as we all know) during the run.

Salomon has this technology that they incorporated called ENDOFIT™ “an internal fit sleeve designed to hug the foot in exactly the right places and improve feedback and foot wrapping”. Salomon used a stretchable, oversized, soft material on the tongue area that is sewn to the midsole of the shoe. You will get the that immediate connection once you step in the shoe which you will surely appreciate during the run.

Salomon is also known for their quick lacing technology, however, they opted to use the “retro style” lacing instead. The lacing they used are thin and light and does not absorb water. I’m not really sure what’s the reasoning behind this but either way it didn’t affect its functionality and how it held my foot.

The heel cup collar has a decent amount of padding, not on the thick side but comfortable enough to the skin and it helps prevent chafing. There is a good amount of heel support, it’s firm and stable on the back end. This helps in locking the heel and prevent slippage especially when pushing with my forefoot on area where I need to tackle the hills or inclined surface.

Another great feature is the SENSIFIT™ technology that cradles my foot providing a precise and secure fit. So how does it work? One of the issues I have on some of the shoes I tested was that my foot tends to slide forward especially on a downhill regardless of how snug and tight I do my laces. This helps eliminate that issue and never did I experience my big toe stabbing the top of my shoe. Kudos to that!


Salomon has incorporated a lot of great features to S-LAB Sonic shoes that were taken from their trail shoes…minus the aggressive lugs, of course. You can see the different patterns of tread and how it was strategically placed. It offers a premium high abrasion / traction ContaGrip rubber that works very well on different surfaces for superb grip.

Going to the midsole, it has the EnergyCell + foam which offers a decent amount of cushioning and energy return on the take off. The ProFeel Film which acts like pillow effect on the landing and absorbs the impact.  

The Ride
My very first impression was that there is no way that Salomon rated this 4 out of 5 on their “cushioning” category. I was curious since if these shoes were built for speed then one thing that manufacturer has to sacrifice is the cushion part. I have to be honest that I was spoiled from wearing maximum cushioned shoes and getting into this was somewhat different. I know that every shoe company has their own way of categorizing and rating their sole, when I pressed on the heel sole, it felt really firm and dense.

I ran with this several times on the regular 5-mile loop and felt that my feet were so low on the ground and it somehow forced me to land on my forefoot (I don’t know why). I stopped after a half mile to make some adjustments and to loosen my calves. After a mile of running and when my legs started to warm up, this shoe just went to work and it really showed what it’s made for…built for speed! It’s truly amazing that all my doubts in the beginning of it not being cushy just disappeared after just a mile in. The shoes were very responsive and I felt the rebound on the take off and support during landing. The feeling that I got from the S-LAB was really outstanding.

Along the course, I ran into some wet leaves and you know how it feels. Hesitant and doubting if I’m going slip or not and hopefully avoid the dreaded face plant, not with the S-LAB Sonic. I was very confident and felt that superb grip on wet and slippery area. This was even more noticeable on normal dry surface.

My Verdict
First, let me say that Salomon did an outstanding job in delivering a fast shoe in the S-LAB Sonic Shoes. I love the fact the all my worries and hesitation were completely erased after running into these shoes. I spent a lot of miles and I personally like to wear these on my short tempo and intervals. For a longer distance, I wouldn’t mind wearing these for my half marathon but I don’t see myself wearing these on a full one.

This may not be the lightest shoes in the market today but I can say that it can go neck and neck with those fast shoes. The responsiveness of the sole is truly remarkable, it will give you the support on the landing and added energy on the take off. Don’t just take my word for it, I highly suggest that you give it a try and feel the difference yourself.

The shoe comes with a price tag of $170, yeah it’s a bit steep in my opinion and that’s the only down side that I can say. But other than that, this is one great shoe that can deliver and you’ll surely enjoy. You can purchase this directly on their website or at retail stores near you.

Be sure to let me know what you think and I love to hear your feedback. Thanks again for reading…run fast but be safe!

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