Monday, May 1, 2017

Salomon: Sense Pro Max Shoes Review

You may notice that a lot of companies now a day have their own line up of cushion shoes. The idea was popularized by Hoka One One back in 2009 and it took the shoe industries by storm. Most runners have embraced the idea that it helps them run better by reducing the impact and the stresses to their joints. I’m a big fan of cushion shoes and my friend who’s also a blogger can attest to that.

Salomon was never known to have maximum cushion shoes until now, they finally decided to follow the mainstream in order to compete, so they created their own max cushion shoes…the Sense Pro Max. I first heard of this shoe last February when I read the result of the Riverbank One Day Classic where one of my friends competed. It’s on the 24-hour race event where Salomon athlete, named Courtney Dauwalter of Golden Colorado, set a new record for women by racking a total of 155.39 miles aboard the Sense Pro Max shoes. Wow, that’s an impressive record and to rack those miles, those shoes must be utterly good. I’m no pro athlete but all I can say is, “if it’s good enough for Courtney then it’s good enough for me.”😃

It’s too obvious that I love Salomon. Below are some of the gears that I received in the past and you can read my in-depth reviews by clicking the items below:
·      S-Lab EXO Tight
·      S-Lab Sonic Shoes
·      S-Lab Light Jacket
·      X-Scream 3D shoes

The Sense Pro Max is Salomon’s highly cushioned shoes primarily designed for trails, but could also be well-rounded shoes. I’ve been wearing a lot of cushion shoes especially on my races and long training runs but those cushion shoes somehow lack the stability that I needed. I was so thrilled when the package arrived, I immediately felt that this fits my needs. The shoe weighs 290 grams for men size 9 and 260 grams for women size 7. It has a midsole height of 30mm/24mm giving you a 6mm toe drop and the shoe fits true to size with my standard 10.

·      Lace Pocket: easy storage for Quick Fit lacing system
·      Sensifit: works to cradle the foot providing a precise and secure fit.
·      Quick Lace
·      Friction Free Lace Eyelet
·      Molded EVA
·      3D Stretch Air Mesh
·      Profeel Film
·      Endofit: internal fit sleeve designed to hug the feet
·      Wet Traction Contagrip
·      EnergyCell +: high rebound midsole compound
·      Vibe: vibration attenuation system
·      Opal: a cushioning compound for high rebound

The upper material is made of a 3D stretch air mesh that provides maximum breathability and comfort especially on some hot muggy days. One of the concerns with Salomon shoes is that their toe box tends to be on the narrow side, that’s why some runners shy away from them. Well, fret no more coz you’ll be glad that they addressed that issue in the Sense Pro Max. Though it may not be as generous as the Altra or Topo shoes, the toe box is roomy enough that my toes don’t feel constricted and it felt more relaxed even when my feet started to swell during the run.

On top of the shoe is a synthetic toe cap that surrounds the perimeter of my toes for protection. Though this may not be as robust like the toe caps on the Speedcross 4, Salomon added some bonded overlays over the toe cap for additional structural support.

Salomon is known for their quick lacing technology that most runners love. They improved this technology by incorporating a friction free lace eyelets. They did this by inserting pieces of sturdy plastic materials within the eyelets, thus eliminating the fabric to fabric contact. I love this technology as it offers a constant pressure all throughout the top of my foot with a single pull and also the ease of adjustments if needed. Once you settled with the correct tension, you can hide and store the remaining shoe lace on the lace pocket at the top end of the tongue to avoid it from getting snag and cause you to tumble.

Almost all Salomon shoes that I tested has this technology that they incorporated, called ENDOFIT™, “it’s 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. This gives you the feeling that you are more connected and one with the shoe.

Salomon didn’t stop with their quick lace technology, they even have this feature called SENSIFIT™ that cradles my foot providing a precise hold and secure fit. The Sensifit relies on the quicklace technology by extending the pressure all throughout the medial foot. So how does it work? This helps eliminate my foot from sliding forward especially on the downhill section and avoiding the big toe from stabbing the top of my shoe.

The heel cup collar has a fast wicking material with a decent amount of padding for comfort and support. The back end is firm enough to secure my heel from coming out and prevent any slippage especially when tackling steep hills.

Salomon never runs out of idea, there’s always something that they want to improve so that we can enjoy our run. Located at the midsoles are these three technologies that work harmoniously to give you that exceptional ride. First is the EnergyCell+, it’s a high rebound midsole compound that provides energy return, while also delivering substantial cushioning and durability. Second is the Opal, it’s a cushioning compound that is inserted into the midsole that provides a soft and comfortable ride. Lastly, is the combination of both the Energy cell+ and Opal, called the Vibe. It’s a vibration attenuation system that is also inserted at the midsole to reduce the vibration and shock during foot strike. This also reduces the harmful load to the body. If I can sum it up, you get cushion, bounce, stability and less shock…interesting, right?

When it comes to lugs, the Sense Pro Max uses a widely spaced diagonal and trapezoidal shapes that are strategically located on the most contact areas like heel and forefoot. You’ll also notice that there are deep cut grooves in addition to the lugs for more ground control and probably use to divert water away. The lugs measure around 3 to 3.5mm but with the added Wet Traction Contagrip, these shoes can handle most trail surfaces with no problem at all. Since the lugs are not that super aggressive, this makes this shoe ideal for any type of surfaces, a great all-rounder shoe as I mentioned previously.

The Ride
This is the section that really got my attention. Before I go further, Salomon classified this shoe as a “max cushion shoe”. Yes, it is a maximum cushion shoe, but you have to remember that each company has their own way of determining (testing) the level of density of their materials. That said, it is unfair to compare the level of cushion of this shoe with Hoka or Altra. I have to do an apple to apple comparison against other Salomon shoes but not with other brands. The midsole felt firm and dense when I was pressed it with my thumb but I immediately noticed once it hits the ground and upon racking some good miles on it that it does provide some cushion plus stability that I really like.

I even took this on my regular road training and I hardly noticed the difference when I ran it on dirt roads. It delivers a smooth and cushioned ride and probably that’s the reason why Courtney chose to use this when she set the new record.

I’m sure Salomon have some numbers to show the difference between “with and without” the Vibe technology. The difference might be on a greater scale or minute, but I can only attest that based on what I felt. I have to say that my feet felt great even after hours of pounding. So, the Vibe probably does work and my feet are loving it.

My Verdict
Salomon took the leap when they created the Sense Pro Max and I am really pleased on what they have accomplished. A very well rounded shoe that delivers a great cushioning and stability. I understand if you have any hesitation, but give yourself a chance…it’s a must try shoe. The Sense Pro Max will definitely be one of my go to shoes from now on.

With a price tag of $150, the Sense Pro Max is within the average price range for most cushion shoes that will deliver pure joy and excitement to your runs. Like what their slogan says, “Time to play”. You can purchase this directly on their website or at retail stores near you.

Thanks again for reading and let me know how it works for you.


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