Sunday, May 08, 2016

Review Salming T2 - Smooth Trails Cruiser

Article by Jeff Valliere

Salming T2. 9.7 oz/275 g  US men's size 9. 8.4 oz/ 238 g US women's size 8. $140Available now.

Salming T2

 I had not heard of Salming before reading Sam’s December post from The Running Event in Austin.  He had positive things to say about the brand and they looked great, so I jumped at the chance to give the T2 a test.

Initial Impressions:
The T2 looks sleek, fast, low and race ready.  They feel light in the hand and even lighter on the foot with a very high quality feel to them.  They really look fast!

Salming T2

The upper comprises mostly of ripstop nylon, which does an excellent job keeping out debris and dampness, yet is surprisingly breathable.  The stitched felt overlays are arranged in such a way to provide good stability and though not seamless or welded, are quite comfortable.  
Salming T2
The toe bumper is flexible and moderate at best, perhaps able to withstand a moderate stub on a rock or root (though I was careful not to test that out).

Salming T2

The heel cup is semi flexible and offers good protection and good heel hold.  The collar is on the low side, but feels great with just the right amount of cushioning.
Salming T2

The non-gusseted tongue is moderately padded and a good height, just right in my opinion.  The laces are flat and a touch thin, but did their job well.

Salming T2
The fit of the T2 is on the roomy side and I found that I had to really crank the laces down to the point where the eyelet loops are actually touching in order to ALMOST get a snug enough fit.  I have read of others cutting the lace loops off and punching their own lace holes to solve this issue.  Though improved fit was reported after performing that modification, I am of the opinion that if one needs to go that far, it just may not be the right shoe for me.  I have a lower volume foot and I just could not achieve the locked down fit from this shoe (as it is out of the box) as I would typically prefer.

The T2 also runs a bit long and I feel as though I could easily downsize by a half a size.  The shoe, though light and nimble, feels somewhat large.  

Toe room is ample, not overly so, but plenty enough for splay, swelling or to accommodate those with larger feet or those who just prefer room to breath so to speak.

Salming T2

The Salming T2 runs moderately close to the ground, with a 21mm heel and 16mm forefoot.  I was actually surprised to learn that the differential is 5mm, as it initially felt lower than that to me the first time I tried them on.

Cushioning is moderate and somewhat on the firm side, but is adequate for long days, feeling reasonably quick and responsive.

Salming T2
The lugs are on the low profile end of the spectrum for a dedicated trail shoe, but grab well on most dry surfaces and reasonably well in loose dirt and packed snow.

The Salming website description of the T2 states  “The T2 has a new outsole compound which significantly improves grip in wet conditions.”  Though I did not test the T1 and thus can not compare to this previous version, I found the hard compound rubber to not grab very well in the wet, especially on wet rock.

The rock plate in this shoe offers excellent protection from the sharpest of rocks and offers a nice pop at toe off, adding to the quick and responsive feel of this shoe.  I did however find that lateral flexibility is compromised.  This was not really noticeable on smoother trails, but when running on rocky, technical terrain, even at slower speeds, the shoe does not conform at all and I found the T2 to be very unforgiving.

Combined with my issues with fit and not being able to achieve a locked midfoot, I found the T2 to be very tippy and I felt quite tentative on technical terrain, especially so if any sidehilling was involved.

Treadwear and durability though seem to be excellent.

Overall impressions, recommendations:
I really wanted to like this shoe more than I did and admit that I may have had inflated expectations.  The Salming advertisements portray this shoe as one that would suit my all mountain preferences, but I found their description of the T2 to not be entirely accurate.  The lateral stiffness of the outsole, lack of lateral stability (mostly a result of not being able to properly lock down my mid foot) and lack of traction in wet conditions really made for an unstable platform and thus very tentative running over technical terrain.
Salming T2 

I quickly shifted gears though, along with my mindset and moved onto terrain on which this shoe might excel.  On smoother, dry terrain, like fire roads, double track or buffed singletrack, this shoe performs very well.  It is light, responsive and has enough pop to make this a very competent racer or up tempo trainer on this more moderate terrain.  Combined with the firm, yet supportive cushioning and good protection, I think this shoe would be adequate for any distance up to mid distance ultras (50 mile or 100k).
Salming T2
 Though this shoe did not fit me well, I have often sympathized for those with larger feet, as many manufacturers produce shoes that fit me just right, but I could not imagine running in them if I had an even slightly larger volume foot.  The T2 could just be the shoe to fill that void and accommodate those with a larger volume foot.

Salming is new to the trail running scene and I think they are off to a promising start and look forward to seeing how they progress in the near future.

Points: 4.1

-.3 for wet traction
-.3 for ill fitting upper/midfoot hold/lacing
-.3 lateral stiffness

Montrail Caldorado:  The Salming is a bit lighter and more responsive feeling, perhaps a better shoe for fast running on non technical terrain.  The Caldorado has better traction and is much more suited for terrain that is moderately technical or more.  Fit of the Caldorado is more precise for most feet.

Saucony Peregrine:  Similar in weight, the Salming is more responsive and has better fore/aft flex, though the Peregrine has much better fit, traction and performance in technical terrain.  Similar protection and cushion.

Salomon Sense Pro:  Similar weight and like the Salming T2, well suited for fast, less technical running.  Fit, traction and lateral flex are better in the Sense Pro.

The Salming T2 was provided to RoadTrailRun at no charge. The opinions herein are entirely the author's.
All photos except where noted Jeff Valliere

Salming T2 Women's Photo Credit: Salming

Reviewer Bio

Jeff Valliere is a former pro cyclist who now runs and climbs the mountains of Colorado. He has been top 5 Masters, top 25 overall, at the Pike's Peak Marathon several times, finishing 3d Masters this year. Jeff loves vertical accumulating more than 500,000 vertical feet per year, has climbed all the 14's and 200 of the 13's and has held FKT on several.  He often runs and climbs at night. Passionate about the sport but also the gear he has reviewed hundred of shoes for various magazines and sites and participated in product testing for many brands.  Formerly a bike mechanic he now works in Satellite Imagery. He has twin 5 year old daughters who keep him ever busier yet.

See our reviews  of Salming road shoes
Salming Distance 3 here
Salming Speed 3 here

The Salming T2 is available from Running Warehouse
Use Road Trail Run COUPON CODERTR10 for 10% off
Men's here Women's here

Also available from Running Warehouse Europe
Use Road Trail Run COUPON CODERTR10 for 10% off
Men's here Women's here

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