Sunday, May 08, 2016

Salming Speed 3-Best Run Fast

Article by Peter Stuart

Salming Speed 3
The Salming Speed 3 is a neutral racer/trainer weighing in at 7.6 oz/215 g for a men’s 9, 6.5 oz/ 184g women's 8. The stack heights are 21mm heel and 16 forefoot for a 5mm drop. As indicated by the name, this is a go-fast shoe in the Salming lineup. Salming’s naming strategy is easy enough—they have the Miles for cushion, Distance (review here) for um, distance, the Speed for tempo, and finally the Race, that's obvious! Easy enough.
Salming Speed 3
Upper and Fit:  
Salming Speed 3

Salming Speed 3

Salming shoes are really well built. The materials and design are top-notch and they pack a ton of features and technology in and still look pretty sleek and simple. The upper is constructed with 3 layers of material: an inner layer of mesh, a middle layer for stabilization of the foot and a third thin layer of mesh on the outside. I can’t really tell what this design does functionally, but it gives a nice textural look and feels great on the foot. The tongue is perforated and nicely padded and stays in place very well.
Salming Speed 3

The heel collar is amply padded and the laces are good.
Salming Speed 3

The materials are a tiny bit stiff, but have broken in nicely. There is also an exoskeleton wrapping the foot which gives a nice, secure fit. The biggest issue I have with the Speed 3 is the length. The fit on most of the foot is great—they hold my foot terrifically well at true to size…BUT they run long.
Salming Speed 3
Salming Speed 3

It’s hard to say whether a half size down would fit my foot as well everywhere else, but it would definitely help as far as length is concerned. On one hand, who cares if there’s a1/4-1/2 inch too much shoe up front—on the other—it takes the shoe from being totally invisible through the stride to feeling like there’s just a little too much shoe to push. It makes them slightly slappy. If these shoes ran just a hair shorter I would love them. I love the feel of the shoe under the forefoot. The insoles are really high quality and they are really comfortable to step into. I’m also a big fan of the design—they look great.

Midsole and Outsole:
Salming Speed 3
The Speed 3’s midsole is Salming’s proprietary RunLite™ material. It reminds me a bit of the feel of RevLite™ from New Balance in that it is firm but forgiving and has a nice amount of bounce in it.
Salming Speed 3
Salming Speed 3

The outsole is made of something called TOC66 (Traction Outsole Control 66) compound. Essentially I believe this is a blown rubber outsole.  The colored sections on the bottom of the shoe are different densities and say things such as “lite rubber” by the ball of the foot and “durable rubber” by the heel.
Salming Speed 3

The big story on the Salming shoes is the ‘ballet line”, which is a diagonal line (at 75 degrees) crossing the shoe just behind the ball of the foot. Salming explains that the back 62% of the shoe is more stable and the front section is more flexible. This adds a nice bend to the shoe and makes for a smooth transition from heel or mid foot to toe-off. the combination of midsole and outsole lead to a really nice ride—especially at speed.

So how do they ride? The bad news is that at slower speeds the Speed 3 is just a little bit clunky—especially for a light shoe ostensibly designed for going fast. I have a suspicion that if they were just a little shorter they might feel slightly less clumsy, but I’m not totally sure. The good news is that when I pick up the pace, these babies fly. I LOVE this shoe at interval or race pace—they grip pavement really well, toe-off is propulsive and they disappear. I wish the ride was a little more consistent at different speeds, but I do enjoy running in them—particularly if I’m doing intervals or hill repeats.

I really like this shoe, and it is really close to being great, but falls just a little short for me—or long as the case may be. The biggest issues I have with the Speed 3 are the length (they run 1/2 size long imo) and the clunky feeling ride at slower speeds. They have broken in nicely, the outsole seems extremely durable, they look great and they are really solidly built.

Salming Speed 3 vs. Skechers GoRun 4
Salming wins out for me on materials and design, but the Skechers is more flexible and has a slightly softer ride.

Salming Speed 3 vs. New Balance Zante V2
Not totally dissimilar shoes for me. If the Speed was a little shorter it might ride as fluidly as the Zante at all speeds. Happy to have both.

Salming Speed 3 vs. Adidas Adios Boost 3
Hmmm, if I could have the ride of the adios boost with the deluxe materials of the Salming I’d be in heaven. Adios rides smoother and the fit is more dialed in for me. The Salming is not too far behind.

Salming Speed 3 vs. Asics Hyperspeed 7
Salming is a bit more shoe, is stiffer and a bit heavier. While the Hyperspeed feels good to me at any tempo and has a super dialed in fit, the Speed has a sloppier fit and a clumsier ride. That said the Salming is a more durable shoe for sure.

Salming Speed 3 vs. New Balance 1400 v4
Fit and ride are smoother all around on the New Balance. The ride of the Salming is a bit firmer and both shoes feel great at speed.

Score 4.7 out of 5
-.1 for running long
-.2 slightly clunky ride at slower speeds
Salming Speed Women's Photo Credit: Salming USA
Retail price $140. Available now.
All photos credit Peter Stuart unless otherwise noted.

The Salming Speed was provided to RoadTrailRun at no charge. The opinions herein are entirely the author's

See our review of the Salming Distance here

Interested in other 2016 shoes? Road Trail Run has reviewed 30 different models in the last 6 months! Click here for our summary page with links to all the reviews.

The Salming Speed 3 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

Peter Stuart's Running Bio

My running career got off to a slow start…in high school I was told I ran like a race walker and was thus relegated to race walking on the track team. I got back into running about 15 years ago and then into triathlon. Triathlon really rekindled my love for running, so about two years ago I hired a coach and really focused on the half and full marathons.  I broke a bad habit of putting in tons of moderately hard miles (and no easy or hard ones) and after plateauing at 3:25 (with some disastrous marathons in there), this past year I brought my marathon under 3:00 and my half under 1:25. Along the way I’ve developed a bit of a shoe problem.

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