Saturday, December 02, 2017

Salomon Running 2018 Introductions: Ultra Pro, Sense Pro 3, S/Lab Sense 7 & S/Lab Ultra

Salomon highlighted and introduced three key new models at The Running Event: 
Ultra Pro, Sense Pro 3, and S/Lab Sense 7.

n conjunction with the new models Salomon is organizing their trail running focused shoes into two general categories: Sense for faster, shorter distance pursuits and Ultra for longer treks. Under the  purpose category there will be sub categories under each of S/Lab, Pro, and while not called out we assume Ride as well. Thus the S/Lab Sense Ultra 2 coming March (see our introduction article here)  will be renamed S/Lab Ultra and the new ultra focused shoe just introduced for Fall 2018 is named Ultra Pro. 

Ultra Pro ($150)
Weight: US M9 10.3 oz/292 g, US W8 8.8 oz/251 g
Stack Height: Coming soon but similar to S/Lab Ultra
$150. Available Fall 2018
Salomon Ultra Pro
This spectacular looking shoe incorporates the key features of the S/Lab Ultra, applied slightly differently, and at a price point $30 lower. The Pro last and fit is slightly more relaxed than the S/Lab version. The purpose of the shoe is consistency in feel and support from mile 1 to mile 100. 

Similar to the S/Lab Ultra it has the external SensiFit wings which are designed to adapt as the foot swells over ultra distances, Energy Cell+ midsole, ProFeel Film and a slightly smaller EnergySave TPU forefoot insert. Neither has the Vibe vibration reduction insert found in the Ride and Pro Max.
Salomon Ultra Pro
The QuickLace garage is top from the top. This should help make lace up quicker and with less adjustment to get the right pressure.
Salomon Ultra Pro
Salomon Ultra Pro
A key difference between the S/Lab Ultra (below) and Ultra Pro is the use of a smaller TPU forefoot insert in the Pro which may actually be the reason, along with what felt to us as a denser potentially yet more supportive upper on the S/Lab Ultra, that the Pro is about 10 g lighter than the S-Lab Ultra by spec. PU is a denser heavier material than EVA. The TPU foam stays more consistent in compression and rebound than EVA during runs and over time. We are not sure of the reason for the smaller insert but it may be that as the now closer to market S/Lab Ultra went through its paces, Salomon found that a smaller insert and its lighter weight made sense going forward. The outsoles are similar Premium Wet Grip Contagrip with the Pro having slightly more mid foot overage and it also appears slightly more aggressive lugs than the S/Lab Ultra.
Salomon S/Lab Ultra
Salomon presents the Ultra Pro in video below from The Running Event

S/Lab Ultra
Stack Height: 26mm/18mm (8mm drop)
Weight: 10.6 oz./300g (US 9M)
MSRP: $180. Available March 2018

The current Sense Ultra is Salomon's best selling S/Lab product of all times (RTR review) and sees some big changes in the latest Ultra.  The changes are focused on improved and consistent durability under foot over time through a shoe size variable (above size 9 the insert is longer) white TPU insert at the forefoot, a graded stack height as shoe size increases, and increased upper fit customization through the introduction of external Sensifit wings to adapt to swelling feet over ultra distances. Thin overlays are now in a grid pattern and are extensive, again for increased durability and support. The upper materials are highly hydrophobic one of the design goals from Francois D'Haene, UTMB winner and the athlete for whom the shoe was first and foremost designed,
Salomon S/Lab Ultra
Sense Pro 3
Weight: US M9 8.9 oz/255 g, US W8 7.9 oz/226 g
Stack Height: Coming soon
MSRP: $130. Available August 2018
Salomon Sense Pro 3
The Sense Pro 3 is the Pro line's version of the S/Lab Sense. It has a more relaxed upper than its S/Lab cousin, one reminiscent of the 2017 S/Lab Ultra's.  Its Premium Wet Grip Contagrip outsole is slightly more aggressive than the S/Lab Sense 7's. It has ProFeel film rock protection.  At 8.9 oz this is a lot of shoe for the weight.
Left: S/Lab Sense 7 Right: Sense Pro
S/Lab Sense 7
Weight: Unisex 7.0 oz/199 g
Stack Height: 18mm/14mm, 4 mm drop
MSRP: $180. Available Fall 2018

Dropping a significant 0.8 oz or 22 grams, this ultimate trail running machine, and Kilian Jornet's go to  racer, achieves its weight reduction from a more minimal yet still highly supportive upper, a more minimal heel counter, and a very slight reduction in stack height. A soft ground version with deeper lugs will also be available weighing only 7.4 oz. Many road racing flats weigh more than these marvels!
Salomon S/Lab Sense 7
Other Salomon Introductions
The very popular Sense Ride (RTR review) will be available in August in a Gore-Tex Invisible Fit upper version. Invisible Fit laminates the waterproof breathable membrane directly to the upper. Traditionally such membranes have been a separate bootie adding weight, making shoes less breathable, and also when grit gets between upper and bootie affecting functionality and durability The sample we were shown was almost indistinguishable is softness and pliability from a conventional upper.

Salomon Running Avenue Road Shoes 
Left to Right: Salomon Sonic RA Pro, Sonic RA, Sonic RA Max 
Read our earlier article about the exciting Running Avenue road shoes coming this spring from Salomon here. We have been testing them for several months and they are fantastic.

Left to Right: Salomon Sonic RA Pro, Sonic RA, Sonic RA Max 
Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
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1 comment:

Rick Rushka said...

put a little over 600 miles on my sense pro 2's. such a great shoe. super verstile and love salomon's endifit and quicklaces. currently running in the slab sense ultra. these new versions (ultra pro and sense pro 3) aren't out until fall of '18? wish i could get my hands on those for spring / summer!