Sunday, June 20, 2021

Salomon Running Predict 2 Review

Article by Jeff Beck

Salomon Predict 2  ($150)


Jeff: Salmon unveiled the Predict RA in 2018 and it impressed right out of the gate. The midsole was deliberately modeled after the human foot to allow it to flex appropriately as the foot was going through the gait cycle. Its upper was very impressive, and part of the marketing was that it was made alongside some of the best bras in the world - and you didn’t have to look too hard at the shoe to see the similarities. 

Fast forward some and we now have the Predict 2, and while a lot has changed, the design principle of allowing the shoe to flex with the foot has not gone anywhere.

The midsole is made from a nitrogen infused TPU based foam called Infiniride, but the outsole is virtually identical to the first model both in design and material, using Contagrip.

Salomon is mostly known for trail shoe superiority, and especially for super technical trails, so how does their premier road shoe stack up? Unfortunately for me, a little underwhelming.


Jeff: Shoe flexes cleanly with foot

Jeff: Contagrip outsole has great traction and durability

Jeff: Upper holds foot very well

Jeff: Fans of traditional running shoes have a shoe for them in 2021


Jeff: Midsole is incredibly firm and has very little give

Jeff: Upper seems best for narrow feet, and may be a bit overbuilt

Jeff: 10+ ounces for this level of cushioning seems heavy, especially at $150

Jeff: Low toebox that is limited especially by the welded overlays

Tester Profile

Jeff is the token slow runner of the RTR lineup, and as such his viewpoints on shoe and gear can differ from those who routinely finish marathons in three hours or less. Jeff runs 30 miles per week on roads and trails around Denver, CO (and sometimes on the treadmill when the weather gets too much for a Phoenix native). Jeff only got into running in his 30s, as a result his career PR's are 4:07 for the marathon and 5K at 23:39. Jeff has finished several ultra marathons, from 50K up to 50 miles, and is still debating if he wants to go down that road again.


Weight: men's 9.9 oz / 281g (US9)  /  women's / (US8)

  Samples: men’s 10.51oz  / 298g (US10.5)

Stack Height: 25mm (forefoot) / 33mm (heel)

Available now. $150

First Impressions and Fit

Jeff: I opened my Salomon box to find they sent me the Swedish flag colorway, a beautiful blue with yellow accents over the white midsole. While I enjoyed the Predict RA, I felt it could have had a little more squish to it, so I was immediately intrigued with the promise of a Predict with a new midsole material. TPU based midsoles seem to run the gamut - while most are dense, they really vary between bouncy and dull. The super scientific “stick your thumb into the side of the heel” test showed that the midsole was incredibly firm, but I don’t always put too much stock in that impression. The fit is very form fitting. Not a shocker that Salomon is a European company, the Predict 2 is very form fitting in every part of the foot from the heel all the way to the toe box. I would imagine runners with narrow feet would enjoy the fit quite a bit.


Jeff: The upper is made from a tightly knit mesh that’s almost like a bootie going forward, with a secondary layer over the midfoot that’s a soft cage. 

There are welded overlays going forward from the midfoot that line the toebox, and they all create a very close fitting upper.

The welds on top of the toebox limit the amount of vertical flex the toebox allows, which personally I don’t enjoy, but know that many runners with slimmer feet would appreciate the fit.

The tongue doesn’t have any additional padding, and the fit is a little awkward. There seems to be a little too much material around the tongue, so when the laces are pulled taut there’s extra tongue that folds in on itself. 

The heel collar has some flexibility to it, and there are cushioned pods on the inside and outside of the shoe’s heel that helps lock the foot down, and the exterior has a very premium feeling, reminiscent of the previous model.

The toebox verticality is a slight issue, but the width is adequate. I found I had rubbing issues any time I went longer than four or five miles at a time, but I do have a slightly wider-than-normal foot.


Jeff: The updated midsole was the element I was mostly excited for, and found it a little disappointing. Infiniride is a nitrogen-infused TPU midsole that is literally hollowed out in areas to encourage flexibility as you run. 

The grooves run down the center of the foot as well as across the foot - there’s a little more structure than the Nike Free series, but only slightly.

 That said, for a super flexible midsole, there’s lots of inherent stability to the shoe. Even overpronators could wear this shoe without concern, though the shoe’s overall firmness likely plays a part of that.

And whew, it is Firm, with a capital F. There just isn’t much give, regardless of if you land on the heel, midfoot, or forefoot. I can appreciate a firm shoe, but considering that the shoe’s marketing claims that Infiniride will give you a plush ride, it really feels like they missed the mark.


Jeff: The outsole is made from two separate rubber pods, though each of the pods is connected across the channels with a thin rubber strip that stretches as the shoe bends. It is Salomon’s highly lauded Contagrip, and the design has a number of notches in it. While it does create an odd squeaking noise on some surfaces, there is really solid traction, even on wet surfaces, and the durability is outstanding. While some shoes show wear in the slots between the rubber outsole, the Predict 2 has deep enough channels that runners will have a hard time bottoming out. Between the ultra firm midsole and the thick rubber outsole, durability should not be a problem with this shoe.


Jeff: While many shoes in 2021 are getting higher stack heights and softer landings, the Predict 2 bucks that trend by remaining planted and firm. I definitely prefer a softer ride, I can appreciate a firm one in the right place - but this shoe is beyond firm. It does have a smooth ride, attributed to the shoe’s geometry, but the landing is borderline harsh. There isn’t much of a snap or pop at toe off, which usually accompanies a firm shoe. In the upper section I had an issue with the toebox being narrow enough I didn’t want to run more than five miles, but the midsole made me want to wrap up the run long before the toebox did. 

Conclusions and Recommendations

Jeff: This is one of the bigger shoe disappointments of the year so far. The original Predict could have used a little softer ride, and maybe a little more room up front, and this shoe got substantially firmer, harsher, and the toebox shrank in width and height

The cushioning underfoot is almost non-existent the shoe lands so hard, but the shoe is heavy enough and doesn’t have much of a snap at toe-off making it appropriate for faster runs either. 

The geometry of the shoe allows for lots of flexibility and there is a smooth quality to the ride, but the landing is so harsh it is hard to get in a rhythm. The welded overlays on the upper are largely unnecessary, since this is a road shoe. The outsole is durable and tacky, and despite there being a ton of rubber under foot, it doesn’t restrict the super flexible midsole. More and more shoes are hitting the $150 price point, but this shoe doesn’t feel like it belongs in the same category. That said, if you are one of those runners who hates seeing so many shoes get taller and softer, this is the shoe for you, but unfortunately, it is not the shoe for me.

Jeff’s Score 6.35/10

Ride: 6 (50%) Fit: 7 (30%) Value: 5 (15%) Style: 10 (5%)


Mizuno Wave Rider 25 (RTR Review)

Jeff: Mizuno’s “standard” daily trainer feels like an ultra plush easy day shoe in comparison to the Salomon’s super firm Infiniride. The Mizuno upper is more plush and has much more room up front. While a few of us wouldn’t have minded an extra few millimeters of squish in the WR25 forefoot, in an A/B test it is not lacking at all compared to the disappointing Predict 2.

Atreyu Base Model (RTR Review)

Jeff: Atreyu is the Texas startup base model is all about the basics, lightweight and unstructured upper, straightforward EVA midsole, and low cost. While lighter runners than I have raved about the Atreyu, I’ve enjoyed a number of my runs in it once I adjusted my expectations - yet it feels more cushioned than the Predict 2. The Predict 2 wins in durability (Atreyu has a completely exposed midsole) and fit and finish, but the Atreyu runs smoother, more cushioned, lighter, and literally half the cost. 

Nike Pegasus 38  (RTR Review)

Jeff: Nike’s version of a “Death and Taxes” shoe that’s been around for close to four decades, this version of the Peg uses React foam with a Zoom Air pocket under the forefoot. The Peg doesn’t have nearly the flexibility of the P2, but it is far more cushioned and has a more accommodating upper. Even if you don’t like the bag under the forefoot, the Nike s head and shoulder above the Predict, and $30 less.

Saucony Ride 14 (RTR Review)

Jeff: The Ride 14 was a very minor upper update from the amazing Ride 13. Using Saucony’s firmer PWRRUN midsole the Ride is on the firmer side of things, but in an A/B comparison against the Predict, the Ride midsole has much more give to it. The upper is more plush and spacious, making it far more versatile and enjoyable than the Salomon. 

Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. No other compensation was received by RTR or the authors for this review beyond potential commissions from the shopping links in the article. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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Bobcat said...

Is it firmer than the Hyperion Tempo?

Josh W said...

This is a general question. I’m new to speed hiking. Get to board on the pavement. I found some trails that I consider pretty technical very rocky and root filled. Some large boulders to traverse. I’m concerned about stability. Want something fast and light. Was considering using say the merrell sky fire or similar and wearing some light ankle braces for support. Or should I go with a mid or high. Was looking at the cyklon or salewa dropline. Just hoping for some help. Thanks

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Josh,
Before looking at ankles braces I might first look at width of underfoot platform (Hoka Speedgoat and mid version), and how stout heel counter is (Merrill generally very good in that respect) and consider mid height. ‘Word of caution about mid height. Often it is just really for show, The collars and lace up have to be stout enough to wrap the foot at lace up (Salomon).
Sam, Editor

Josh W said...

Thanks for the reply. The speedgoat was on my radar but was wondering about the height. I have cliftons and would like to still have some feel of the trail and such. But that’s the idea. Mostly hiking with the ability to pick up the pace when the trail allows. Recently found the site and love the honest reviews and comparisons to other models.