The long awaited ‘Sense Ultra‘ has arrived. THANK YOU Santa……
As many of you will know, the ‘Sense‘ has become the shoe of choice for those who are wanting to run on trail with a minimalist and responsive shoe. However, we can’t all be as efficient as Kilian Jornet or Andy Symonds.
The Sense Ultra offers a little more but holds true to all the elements that have made the ‘Sense’ so popular.
The Salomon S-LAB Sense Ultra Racing is one of the lightest trail shoes ever made. It is heavier than the Sense but has added strengthening of the sole for longer and harder races.
It has the new lacing system: Quicklace this reduces the weight of Sense.
Dynamic Traction: allows the Salomon S lab Sense optimum grip in all conditions. It was developed by Solomon with the greatest athletes without any compromise. It has different grip and texture which has been designed to optimize grip when it is necessary.
EndoFit: has an inner liner to the shoe designed for positioning the foot optimally.
Drop: a low 4mm drop to provide a natural contact and feel with the ground.
OS TENDON: Thanks to this system inserted in the sole of the S lab intermediare sense, there is a natural flow with excellent energy return.
Profeet Film: is a protection film that will protect your foot area from angular or sharp objects that are on the trail. The Sense offers maximum protection despite its lightness.
Weight: 240g in 8.5 U.S.
When you lift up the box you think wait a minute… they forgot the shoes! Not so. These ‘runners’ are super light.
The lacing system as with all Salomon is reassuring and holds the foot firm. But the lacing is different to other models. It pulls the foot tighter, holds the foot in a firmer grip and the new ‘Garage’ for storing the lace is an improvement.
The addition of the internal ‘Endofit’ makes the shoe more comfortable than you would ever imagine. They can be a little tight to get on at first and you may initially think; uh oh, wrong size. But once your foot is in the shoe it is snug and supremely comfortable. The most comfortable shoe I have ever worn which translates to 100% confidence when running on road or trail.
I am not a small guy and therefore I always felt the original ‘Sense‘ was maybe just a little too minimal for me… certainly on longer runs! not so with the ‘Ultra’. The additional cushioning is immediately apparent. The 4mm drop means that you need to be on your mid to forefoot so if you are not used to this style of running you need to take your time. Start with shorter runs of say 30 mins every other day and gradually build up time in the Sense Ultra.
The sole has grip but nothing like the ‘SLab Softground‘ or ‘Speedcross‘. The shoe is therefore certainly more suited to road and hard pack (or rocky) trail. If your running in soft ground they perform perfectly but if you are in a great deal of mud the added grip of the Soft Ground or Speedcross may be a better choice.
In use they are a dream to wear. On the roads they are light, responsive and provide that feel that I have had with traditional racing flats. The bonus with the ‘Sense Ultra’ is the hold of the foot. The speed lacing and Endofit provide supreme comfort. On the trails this becomes even more apparent as the foot moves from left to right comfortably with changes in terrain without compromising your security, foot hold or grip..
It’s early days in testing but this shoe will not be of my feet for a while… they are so comfortable I would even be tempted to use them as slippers.
Now then, I need to go run…..
As a foot note, (no pun intended) Spring/ Summer 2013 will see a new Sense model – ‘Mantra‘
I saw this shoe earlier this year at Cavalls del Vent. A couple of the Salomon runners tested the shoe (Emelie Forsberg and Philipp Reiter) By all accounts a great edition to the range but too early to provide some detailed feedback.
The Mantra will be an everyday trainer in the same mold as the Sense and Sense Ultra. It’s a door-to-trail hybrid. With it’s 16mm heel and 10mm front (6mm drop as opposed to 4mm) and 260 grams weight, it looks to be a featherweight trainer without requiring the user to go to a 4mm drop shoe. Salomon has been heavily delving into exactly how different heel-to-toe drops effect actual stride speed which has resulted in their “Natural Motion Construction.” A lower heel drop supports a mid-foot or forefoot strike that in turn better enables muscles, instead of joints, to absorb shock. Ultimately, their argument is this builds greater balance and overall running efficiency. More to follow….