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Salomon Sense Ride 5 Review: The Ultimate Trail Shoe Experience

CEO Tinh Phung
I have a confession to make - I initially had a negative bias towards the Sense Ride 5. Years ago, a slightly confrontational and overly pretentious running store employee recommended the Sense Ride as the...

I have a confession to make - I initially had a negative bias towards the Sense Ride 5. Years ago, a slightly confrontational and overly pretentious running store employee recommended the Sense Ride as the only shoe I should consider. At the time, I was simply looking for a replacement for my beloved Ghosts, without any specific trail running intentions. But I succumbed to peer pressure and bought the Sense Rides.

To my disappointment, I hated the shoe. It didn't fit well, rubbed at my toes, and I couldn't figure out the Quicklace system. Despite my initial reservations, I decided to give the Sense Ride 5 a chance. Surprisingly, they became my go-to shoe for both trail running and bikepacking.

In short: The Salomon Sense Ride 5s ($140) are a versatile and stylish all-trail shoe that can handle various terrains and running styles. This season, they might just be the only shoe you'll need.

Salomon Sense Ride 5 Shoes Review

The Sense Ride 5s in all their glory The Sense Ride 5s in all their glory; (photo/Matthew Medendorp)

Brand Background

Salomon has been at the forefront of trail running shoes since before it became popular. While the rest of the world is now catching up, the brand has remained committed to mountain running. Not only are they technologically advanced, but they also boast cool colors that attract attention wherever you go.

The Salomon Sense Ride 5s in their natural habitat The Salomon Sense Ride 5s in their natural habitat; (photo/Justin Galant)

Sense Ride 5 Performance

Comfort & Fit

In a world where maximum comfort shoes dominate the market, it's difficult to describe any regularly padded shoe as supremely comfortable. However, the Sense Ride provides a unique kind of comfort that feels well-earned. Like any shoe, there is a slight break-in period, and the Quicklace system takes a bit of getting used to. But once you find the right balance, the Sense Rides offer the kind of everyday comfort that a broken-in pair of jeans does - dependable and durable.

3D Mesh and Quicklace system combine for a breathable, dependable upper 3D Mesh and Quicklace system combine for a breathable, dependable upper; (photo/Matthew Medendorp)

The lightweight 3D mesh upper is the star of the show here. It stretches and breathes, adapting to your foot's swelling during longer runs, while still providing enough abrasion resistance to withstand rocks and brambles. However, it tends to collect dust easily, so it's best to choose a different shoe for running in dusty conditions.

The Quicklace system may polarize runners. Some with wider feet feel constrained by the default lace setting, while others, like myself, appreciate the convenience it offers. It's an easy system that won't shift during your run, perfect for those who struggle with tying their shoelaces correctly.

Ride & Durability

Salomon's midsole material, known as "Energy Foam," strikes a balance between cushioning and energy return. While it may not provide the same propulsive technology as speed-focused road running shoes, the Energy Foam offers reliable and comfortable support. It maintains its cushioning and support, even after countless miles.

While not magic, the energy foam midsole is comfortable and reliable While not magic, the energy foam midsole is comfortable and reliable; (photo/Matthew Medendorp)

The 3.5mm lug depth on the Contagrip outsole makes the Sense Ride 5 a great all-terrain performer. While it might lack some grip on shale scrambles, it handles most terrains with ease. Additionally, it doesn't feel cumbersome when running on pavement, making it ideal for mixed terrain runs or when you're staying near a trailhead.

Trail runners often have a short shelf life due to their exposure to harsh conditions. However, the Sense Ride 5 has proven to be durable, accompanying me on various outdoor adventures without showing significant signs of wear and tear. Even the lacing system, which can be a finicky aspect of any shoe, has yet to cause any problems. And in the rare instance that the Quicklace breaks down, Salomon offers a reasonably priced repair kit.

Salomon Sense Ride 5 Shoes: Final Thoughts

It's all about the right balance It's all about the right balance; (photo/Matthew Medendorp)

Salomon's Sense Ride 5 is a true workhorse of a mountain shoe. It performs exceptionally well on all terrains, in all conditions, and for all distances. While it may not master every category, it excels in short to midrange runs with mixed terrain. However, it still delivers the performance necessary for long days in the mountains.

For those who appreciate the Quicklace system, this shoe is a true gem. It turns out the running store salesman was right all along - this is the ultimate shoe for all your running needs.

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