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Gear Review: Salomon Ultra Glide Trail Shoe - A Plush and Comfortable Choice for Trail Runners

CEO Tinh Phung
Image Source: ShopMrKatin.vn Salomon, known for their innovative trail shoes, has finally joined the high cushion shoe market with the release of their Ultra Glide. This long-distance cruiser boasts a plush midsole, grippy outsole, and...

Gear Review: Salomon Ultra Glide Trail Shoe Image Source: ShopMrKatin.vn

Salomon, known for their innovative trail shoes, has finally joined the high cushion shoe market with the release of their Ultra Glide. This long-distance cruiser boasts a plush midsole, grippy outsole, and comfortable upper, making it an excellent choice for various trail types.

Salomon's Journey to High Cushion Shoes

Salomon's entry into the high cushion shoe market came a bit later compared to other trail shoe manufacturers. In 2017, they introduced the Sense Pro Max, their first max cushion shoe. However, the Sense Pro Max had a firm ride and didn't gain much traction. Since then, many brands have followed Hoka's lead with their own plush cushion offerings, leaving Salomon behind. But in 2021, Salomon made a comeback with the Ultra Glide, their first max cushion shoe since 2017.

The Ultra Glide features an upper that will feel familiar to Salomon fans, resembling the S-Lab Ultra 2. The outsole utilizes the traditional Contragrip pattern and compound that Salomon enthusiasts know and love. What sets the Ultra Glide apart is the Energy Surge midsole compound, which is softer and more springy than anything Salomon has created before. After using the Ultra Glide for seven months, predominantly for hiking and trail running, I'm ready to share my mostly positive impressions in this review.

Fit/Feel/Comfort

Sizing and Weight

As someone who typically wears a size 11.5 US shoe but sizes up to 12 for most trail shoes, I found the Ultra Glide to be true to size in my size 12. However, it does have the characteristic tight toe box of Salomon shoes, which sometimes leaves my foot wanting more space. Having worn a lot of Altra and Topo shoes this year, I've become particularly aware of this. Some reviews mention that the Ultra Glide feels wider than your average Salomon shoe, but I respectfully disagree based on my experience.

My size 12 Ultra Glides weigh in at 11.41oz (324g) and feel remarkably light and nimble on the foot. Despite the shoe's large midsole, Salomon has done an excellent job of keeping the weight down.

Gear Review: Salomon Ultra Glide Trail Shoe Image Source: ShopMrKatin.vn

Upper

Fit and Build

The upper of the Ultra Glide is typical of Salomon shoes, featuring a breathable air mesh base that quickly drains water and dries. Over the air mesh, Salomon incorporates laminate overlays for support, with their signature 'wings' attaching at the arch to enhance lateral support and stability. The interior heel collar is plush and incredibly comfortable, reminiscent of the Sense Ultra Pro.

However, it's worth noting that the toe box on the Ultra Glide is a little tight, narrow, and shallow. The shoe also has a laminate toe guard that wraps up and over the foot, providing protection but making things feel snugger than desired. Although the toe guard offers good protection, I have experienced some discomfort during long downhill descents.

The Ultra Glide fits snugly and securely through the midfoot, preventing any sliding around. Despite the tall and soft midsole, I never felt a loss of stability on technical terrain.

The heel extends from the midsole and offers a comfortable and secure fit. I experienced no hotspots, rubbing, or discomfort in the heel area.

The tongue on the Ultra Glide features the traditional gusseted bootie system found in other Salomon shoes. It has a bottom loading lace garage and just enough padding to prevent the kevlar quick laces from causing any discomfort. While quick laces may not be everyone's cup of tea, I personally appreciate them and think Salomon executed them well on the Ultra Glide, much like their other models.

Gear Review: Salomon Ultra Glide Trail Shoe Image Source: ShopMrKatin.vn

Midsole

The Ultra Glide features a new Energy Surge midsole, which combines EVA and Olefin to create a dynamic blend. With a 6mm drop, the midsole offers 34mm of stack height in the heel and 28mm in the forefoot. For those accustomed to Salomon's traditionally firm midsoles, the Ultra Glide will feel like a different brand altogether. The durometer of the Ultra Glide is similar to that of my Altra Timps, if not slightly softer. This makes the Ultra Glide an incredibly comfortable shoe for all-day wear, slow runs, and long hikes on groomed trails. Despite the softness, the midsole maintains a good level of balance and stability, which also makes it suitable for fastpacking and peak bagging. Additionally, the Ultra Glide includes Salomon's ProFeel film stone guard to protect against sharp objects on the trail.

In the first 50 miles with this midsole, I found it to be absolutely incredible for all types of use. However, around that point, I noticed the shoe starting to pack down prematurely. As a 180lbs man, I'm accustomed to shoes wearing out a bit faster than usual, but the Ultra Glide is wearing down much quicker than most. The initial pop and energy I loved began to diminish. While the shoe isn't completely dead, the changes are noticeable. I'm not alone in this observation, as other reviews also mention the same issue. I hope Salomon can improve the durometer for better longevity in future iterations of this midsole.

Gear Review: Salomon Ultra Glide Trail Shoe Image Source: ShopMrKatin.vn

Outsole

The outsole of the Ultra Glide features a new variation of Salomon's reliable Contragrip pattern. The trapezoidal lugs provide ample grip surface area, making the shoe suitable for granite slabs. Additionally, the lugs' depth allows for proper traction on sandy and loose terrains. Compared to other models, the Ultra Glide's lugs have slightly more space between them, allowing them to shake loose sticky debris like mud and clay.

Gear Review: Salomon Ultra Glide Trail Shoe Image Source: ShopMrKatin.vn

Closing Thoughts

Priced at $140, the Ultra Glide is an excellent investment for lighter runners who can maximize its mileage. It's also a great option for those looking to add a recovery day shoe to their rotation. However, from my perspective, the miles per dollar didn't quite add up. Despite that, I genuinely loved the Ultra Glide, and I believe it's still worth a try based on the incredible first 50 miles it provided.

Remember, finding the right trail shoe is a personal journey, and what works for one person may not work for another. So, lace up those Ultra Glides and hit the trails with confidence!

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