Friday, August 02, 2013

Outdoor Retailer Summer13: Salomon Sense Family grows with Sense Pro

Salomon Sense Pro-Center
Update 11/13/13: Running Warehouse now has the Salomon  Sense Pro in stock. 17/22mm heel toe drop, 9.2 oz Men's 9. MSRP $130.

The Salomon Sense, the minimal light weight trail runner used by Kilian Jornet the last few years, while a fabulous shoe for this exceptional athlete is now logically extended for mere mortal serious athletes and different terrains with the Sense 3, the Sense Ultra, and the new Sense Pro.  The Sense Mantra remains in the line as a "recreational" door to trail model as does the new Salomon X-Scream models designed for all surfaces found in urban environments-dirt, pavement, gravel (right and left in picture)
Salomon Sense Pro
The key similarities between all Sense models:

  • the stretchy yet supportive Endofit with the Sensifit overlays
  • OS Tendon for heel to toe transition.
  • Salomon's QuickLace system
  • light weight: Sense 3 7.7oz, Ultra 8.6oz, Pro 9.5 oz
  • low drop, 4mm for Sense 3 and Ultra, 6mm for Pro
  • low stack heights( heel/toe in mm): Sense 14/10, Ultra 14/10, 16/10
Along with a welcome difference in price between the new Pro $130  and the Ultra $160 and Sense 3 at $200,and to my eye not quite the super fine carefully crafted materials of the Sense 3 and Ultra in the Pro and thus a bit heavier, the key differences between models are in the outsole and extent of use of ProFeel Film, a fabric like protective rock layer.
Left to Right- Salomon Sense Pro, Sense Ultra, Sense 3
The Sense Pro (left) has ProFeel Fim , the gray seen through the outsole extending all the way back through the midfoot. The outsole is similar to the Mantra's a "City to Trail" design, comfortable on the road and suitable for most trails.  A midfoot and heel striker would feel comfortable in this shoe. 
Left Salomon Sense Pro Right Salomon Sense Ultra

The Ultra has less ProFeel than the Pro and deep lugs, deeper than the model currently on the market. Ultra is now for soft ground and thus great in mud and snow.  I would use these daily for snow running.  All soft ground Salomon performance shoes will be distinguished by black and red colors.

The Sense 3 has lugs in the heel, the original had none to speak of. The ProFeel film is also extended from the original. Kilian is a pure forefoot striker and this design makes the shoe more accessible but nonetheless this is a racing machine. Salomon also expects runners to get 2X the mileage out of the Sense 3 when compared to the original versions. 

Given the low stack and drop heights all the Sense shoes should be considered fairly minimal. Probably not an every day trail trainer for most of us but great go fast shoes.  I like how Salomon has rationalized and organized the models and provided a performance Sense model at a more "reasonable" price point.  I believe the availabilities for the Sense 3 and Pro are Spring 14.

While at Salomon I also saw a new hydration belt the Agile. Made of a stretchy soft material with a wide simple velcro belt in front it features 2 deep stretch pockets with a deep center zip pocket. The 16 oz SoftFlasks will fit with far less flopping than in the fussy overly complex S-Lab Advanced Skin 2 belt.

Salomon Agile Run Belt


dogrunner said...

Thanks for all the interesting news. Any mention of when the Sense Ultra update softground will be available? I'd love to give them a try before spring!

Sam Winebaum said...

dogrunner I believe all the updates are Spring 14 but if there was one updated before I might guess the Ultra: mud, snow, and all.

harris said...

The new Sense 2 is just being released this month and now they are releasing a Sense 3 in the spring of next year? Is the Sense 2 different from the original Sense or just a minor update?

Sam Winebaum said...

Harris, from what they told meI think mostly an update to deeper lugs in the heel maybe a bit more ProFilm. Certainly they told me Sense 3 has more ProFilm than Sense 1. At link outsole of Sense 1 now on sale at Running Warehouse

David Henry said...

Have you heard if they will ever consider a size 13 US for these...frustrating that all the S-Lab models only go up to size 12. This looks like a very nice lineup of Sense shoes.

Sam Winebaum said...

Sorry David did not hear about larger sizes but did not ask. If I find out will post. I am lucky to sit at around a 9! test shoe size!

Kakapo said...

You've got this a bit mixed up! The Sense Ultra 2's you have pictured are the SG/soft ground model! There will be a normally outsoled version of the Salomon Sense Ultra 2 as well. The only significant changes are to the upper -which now should repel dirt a bit better.

The S-Lab Sense 3 ultra is called the 3 because S-Lab Sense 2 (non-ultra) was just released. In reality the S-Lab Sense 3 Ultra is the S-Lab Sense Ultra 2.

Confused yet? You should be!

Sam Winebaum said...

Kapako, you could be right. Would make sense but... The product manager who showed me the line did not bring up a S-Lab Sense Ultra for non soft ground. The Sense 3 with its more aggressive outsole appears to me to be closer to the current Ultras. He was very clear that all soft ground S-Lab shoes will now be black and red so the question is what will the next non soft ground Ultra look like in terms of colors?