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SHOE REVIEW: Salomon S/lab Phantasm 2

The S/lab Phantasm 2 has elements that will appeal to both serious racers and more casual PB seekers

Salomon S/lab Phantasm 2 Photo by: Matt Stetson

Salomon’s carbon-plated racer, the S/lab Phantasm 2 (not to be confused with the Phantasm 2, which has a fibreglass plate) is an update to the S/lab Phantasm CF, introduced in 2022. It has a lot to recommend it–particularly for runners with long, narrow feet who have trouble finding a plated racer they can lock down perfectly. And at a mere 210 grams, it’s also one of the lightest carbon-plated racing shoes on the market.

Shoe specs

Category: Neutral cushioning
Unisex: 210 g (7.4 oz.)
Offset/drop: 9 mm
Stack height: 37 mm
$340

Salomon S/lab Phantasm 2
Photo: Matt Stetson

The upper

The S/lab Phantasm 2’s upper is made of a very light and breathable, yet durable, mesh. It has a traditional lacing system, with a soft and stretchy polyester tongue that wraps very comfortably around the top of the foot. There is a decent amount of padding inside and just below the very thin, light and unobtrusive collar.
 
The fit is long and narrow, and will appeal most strongly to runners who answer that description; this is enhanced by the overlays on the side of the shoe, which narrow-footed runners will find supportive (but which others may find a bit restrictive).
 
Salomon S/lab Phantasm 2
Photo: Matt Stetson

The midsole

This is a very responsive shoe that becomes more comfortable with each use, and may require some breaking in; our tester found the midsole a little stiff at first, but could see the cushioning becoming softer and more forgiving with repeated use. 

It has a surprisingly high heel-to-toe offset/drop for a racing shoe; most are 4 mm or 6 mm. This makes the shoe a little more democratic, and appropriate for more casual runners who want to see how fast they can go in a 5K, 10K or half-marathon; however it may take a bit of getting used to for midfoot and forefoot strikers who are accustomed to shoes with a lower drop.

Salomon S/lab Phantasm 2
Photo: Matt Stetson

The outsole

The S/lab Phantasm 2 has the Salomon Contragrip outsole under the whole front half of the shoe, with a thin layer of smooth rubber at the back to protect the midsole. This gives you more control on toe-off, and it won’t let you down on wet roads, or on the track. It’s very grippy–one of the best we’ve tried, in terms of carbon shoes (which are typically relatively smooth on the bottom, since rubber adds weight). 

The verdict

This is potentially a good choice for racing 5Ks and 10Ks, or for a runner looking for an all-purpose speedwork shoe; it will appeal to runners with narrow feet, heel strikers and those who don’t mind a performance shoe with a relatively high drop. Once broken in, it could even be a good choice for the half-marathon or marathon.

 

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