Photo: Matt Stetson

Drop: 8 mm
Weight: 300g (men’s 9)
MSRP: $220

The Salomon S/Lab Ultra is the new-and-improved version of last year’s much-loved Sense Ultra, Salomon’s top-selling S/Lab shoe.

This is a shoe for the serious ultra trail racer. Built for all conditions and wet terrain, it offers excellent cushioning and durability over long races.

The S/Lab Ultra is built on a semi-curved last, which combines the arch support of a straight last with the nimbleness of a shoe built on a curved last, and just enough stability without being too heavy for racing.

One of this shoe’s innovations is the new dual-density EVA midsole, which features a plastic urethane insert under the forefoot which is firmer than the rest of the midsole. (That’s the slice of white material visible in the photos.) The insert is designed to enhance both the shoe’s cushioning and its durability over long runs. It’s also longer in sizes above men’s 9, so the properties it lends are not compromised in the bigger sizes.

Salomon’s grippiest material graces the rubber outsole, with hard-core lugs designed to keep you upright and in control at all times.

Photo: Matt Stetson

The stretchy Sensifit wings on the upper expand as your feet swell during long runs or races, allowing the fit to actually customize itself and become even more comfortable throughout the duration of your race. The shoe also contains an internal sleeve that helps stabilize the foot, prevent hot spots, and maximize comfort.

The S/Lab Ultra uses Salomon’s patented Quicklace system, which is designed for fast, easy lacing and unlacing and no fear of your laces coming undone mid-race. The system has its fans and detractors, and admittedly you might not figure out what to do after lacing up without instruction. (Tighten laces by pushing the top part of the toggle down. Then roll the rubber sheath on the tail down and stuff it into the “lace garage.” To unlace, release the tail from its hiding place and pull up on the bottom part of the toggle.)

Photo: Matt Stetson

The fire-engine red design, fading to deep plum, will mark you as a contender not to be messed with.

All these things combine to make the S/Lab Ultra a welcome addition to your ultra racing gear repertoire.

 

 

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