Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Salomon Predict SOC 2 Review

Article by Sam Winebaum

Salomon Predict SOC 2 ($130)


The Salomon Predict Soc 2 is an anatomically decoupled road trainer with a 28mm heel /20 mm forefoot stack height and a broad stable and flexible forefoot. Weighing about 8.8 oz / 249g it has an Energy Cell+ compression EVA midsole, a revised knit upper (the short lived v1 had poor support) and a full contact Contagrip FA midsole. I quite enjoyed the original Predict RA (RTR Review), didn’t run V2 which was said to be firm (RTR Review), and stayed away from the Predict Soc 1, a shoe our testers found so lacking in support they couldn’t complete their review. 

As always with knit uppers I was leery that they would be lacking in support or overcompensate with rigid cages (many Ultraboost)  and stiff toe bumpers (Brooks Levitate 4). 

Seeing it weighed about 1 oz less than the original Predict and 0.6 oz less than the first SOC and that older Energy Cell+ replaced the Predict v2’s firm Infinride foam I was curious to see where they might fit in a rotation. Daily trainer? More natural riding, flexible alternative to go with all the plated and rigid shoes we all seem to be training in? “Fun” shoe a la Saucony Freedom, ASICS Novablast, or FuelCell Rebel v2? Or something else?


Flexible, foot biomechanics conforming. A more natural smooth ride that is a break from rigid and plated. Sam

While not the most modern foam Energy Cell + and a relatively soft, full coverage, well decoupled outsole deliver a lively energetic if somewhat firmer ride. Sam

At last a functional knit upper with well secured mid and rear of foot and adequately secured toe box Sam


While about as fine a knit upper as I have run, toe box foot hold while comfortable and decently secure is overly stretchy over the toes leading to some toe lift and side to side slip at fast paces. Sam

Energy Cell+ foam here is decent but a bit dense in feel . The new Salomon Energy Surge foam with its airier bounce would easily have the shoe (with a non knit upper) challenging shoes such as Rebel v2.


Approximate Weight: men's 8.8 oz / 249g (US9)

  Samples: men’s  8.58 oz / 243g US8.5

Stack Height: 28mm heel / 20mm forefoot

The Predict Soc 2 loses about 0.6 oz compared to the Predict 1(same compression molded midsole foam as Soc) and close to 1 oz compared to Predict 2 (Infiniride EVA/Olefin blend). 

Available August-September. $130.  

First Impressions, Upper and Fit

Dark, dark and serious the Predict Soc 2 has a go anywhere conservative vibe.  I could easily see taking it for looks and performance as a single shoe on a trip mixing running, business, and leisure. 

The stretch knit upper is not overly snug over the top of the toes (looking at you Levitate 4) so not exactly high performance but adequate for most runs. 

Unlike some knit uppers which have to resort to big and often rigid “cages” to lock the rear and mid foot here we have an extensive decently pliable array of mid foot to rear support made of a rubbery feeling material that is not stretchy and somewhat but not overly  stiff. 

The rear part of the array is key as instead of being merely a mid foot saddle the single piece array also wraps the entire heel. Connecting lace up to the rear to lock the heel is always essential in run shoes and here, as with most of their shoes and given their trail heritage where it is essential Salomon does that lockdown very well given the knit upper

The rear collars are amply and comfortably padded without overdoing it and prevent any sensation of the dread top of knit upper collars flopping around sensation.  The heel counter is semi rigid with its substance mostly it seems coming from the wrap around rear overlay extension of the mid foot cage.  The entire mid foot to rear support array is one piece.

Lock down is excellent and easy, quite unlike v1 with its less extensive saddle. The “tongue” is  essentially an extension of the rest of the knit upper and has 3D ridges to provide some lace bite protection. 

I wish for a touch more substance to the 3D. The last lace hole goes through decently thick collar padding to provide padding from the exterior overlay. 

I do wish for more padding at the second lace hole which runs through the overlay.


The toe box has ample stretchy room with denser knit around the front and for the bumper. 

Denser knit is the only structure up front. There is no internal or external add on stiffening I can see. The bumper is as soft as the rest of the toe area, just bit denser knit that is less stretchy. While the top bumper works well it is a touch “casual” as my toes sometimes seem to stretch up and out particularly at faster paces with the knit not quite providing the front lock down I think is needed. It is close but I think the front needs a touch more structure. I imagine bunion sufferers may be very happy with this toe box. The knit upper proved surprisingly breathable in muggy warm weather.

On the plus side, having no overlays or underlays up front allows the foot to work far better with the platform’s flexibility, decoupling and the foot in motion than I recall the Predict RA’s or Sonic Balance’s did. Salomon calls the fit a 360° Articulated Upper and I think this is accurate marketing speak. While we have a flowing flexible feel up front before you get there you have a secure and locked down fit towards the rear. 

My sample is at my true to size US 8.5. Given the soft, stretchy and pliable knit front, If I could, I might try a half size down to see if the toes rose less and there was side to side motion at faster paces. It is not a huge issue but as with all stretch knit uppers toe boxes can be comfortable but not always as secure as I would like.

I did note my narrower right foot overall was less well held than my wider right so I think medium to wider feet will fit this upper better than very narrow ones.

We actually had pairs of the Predict Soc 1 but found them not really run able due to the lack of midfoot and rear support. The picture above illustrates the prior “360° Articulated Upper”. Clearly unsupported at mid foot and not nearly as well connected from lace up to rear in my view with these issues now well resolved with the new rear support array and padding. 


The midsole is Salomon’s Energy Cell+ a compression molded EVA which goes back a few years and was in the original Predict, Sonic RA and is in various Salomon trail shoes such as Wildcross. 

The midsole is somewhat on the firm dense  side with a clearly felt component of rebound. If my notes are correct the bottom unit is identical to the original Predict (RTR Review) and not that of the Predict 2 (RTR Review) which had an Infiniride EVA/Olefin foam which our tester Jeff Beck found disappointing in its firmness.

Here the foam sits somewhere between Saucony’s PWRRUN EVA and PWRRUN+ leaning a bit more towards the EVA. It is not a super bouncy foam such as ASICS Blast or Nike Zoom, but clearly more stable. It is not as springy light as Hyperburst is. While somewhat firmer I prefer this foam to Nike React which has a duller if lighter feel. While I no longer have my Predict RA, from memory the Soc 2’s midsole seems somewhat  bouncier and more energetic.

The midsole design includes anatomical decoupling grooves through the outsole with also matching grooves directly under the foot in the foot bed.  You can clearly see the flex grooves in the outsole lining up with those in the midsole side wall in the picture above with the lateral side of the outsole at the bottom of the photo. The decoupling is clearly noticed yet there is plenty of stability especially upfront the decoupling and stability is a unique element of the midsole and ride. Overall while not super soft and bouncy the midsole is engaging in the sense that you really feel your foot working (easily) in concert with the cushion and geometry during the gait cycle.

At faster paces the midsole (in conjunction with upper hold)  seems to get a touch mushier than I would prefer up front but SOC always remains stable with an easy smooth flow with the platforms of support functioning independently but in concert. While a neutral shoe with a knit upper the platform is inherently stable but due to the knit upper more than anything probably not ideal for heavy pronators.


The outsole is Salomon Contagrip FA road rubber in a full contact design with as mentioned in midsole anatomical decoupling grooves and support platforms in a design made to work closely with the midsole. Grip has been good on all surfaces including light sand over pavement and durability should be good. The rubber is relatively soft and I might wish for a touch firmer flavor of Contagrip to give the shoe more pop and faster paces.


The combination of rebound of the foam and the geometry delivers a ride on the more “natural” side with plenty of flexibility but also forefoot stability. Salomon’s geometry here combines a carefully designed anatomical decoupling (as in the prior Predict and Sonic) with independent platforms of support. All of this is clearly felt on the run as a lively, well cushioned if on the firm side ride with a clear sense the foot is in the action and not isolated from feel or natural motion yet also with clearly enough support. This is not the free and somewhat out of control (for me) ride of say Saucony’s Freedom 1-3 yet at the same time there is a similar, fun more natural ride. 

Where can it sit in a rotation? For me it provides a more foot in the game, flexible, natural  option in a sea of plated and rigid shoes. It has plenty of underfoot support and stability and let’s just say enough upper support (especially at the mid foot and rear)  for daily training if you like a stretch knit upper and its less than total front lockdown. So as with the underfoot, a bit more awareness of what your foot is doing is good but I see somewhat less suitability for uptempo efforts, especially longer ones given the nature knit and the relatively low stack. 

Conclusions and Recommendations

Sam: Nothing super new and fancy here. No super foam, no plates or rigid rocker just I find an incredibly pleasing more natural foot in the game ride. Relatively firm mainly due to ist quite low (for these days) stack of 28/20  but with clearly felt rebound, the Predict Soc is a ride that provides a break from highly prescriptive plated or rigid shoes, yet which, at the same time, has plenty of underfoot support and a smooth fun flow.

The knit upper..It is well held overall especially at the mid foot and rear with an excellent but not overdone “cage like” design. The front of the shoe could use a bit more structure for my tastes as the toe bumper is essentially a somewhat denser, less stretchy knit than the rest of the toe box knit. Things got a bit shakier in hold and feel up front at faster paces. I would also like to see slightly firmer rubber for more pop, again at faster paces.

I think a light even mono or sandwich mesh upper or similar here would perfect the fit and lighten yet more.  We check in at 8.8 oz /249g in a US9 which is pretty darn good and helps extend the utility of the shoe and gives it a light on foot feel. Its looks and versatility make it a fine option as a single shoe for travel which might involve running, business, and leisure. Now to have some real serious fun and buzz, if Salomon put its newer Energy Surge foam with its softer feel and more noticeable rebound and a lighter non knit upper in this exact same underfoot platform the Predict  would be fantastic. 

Sam’s Score: 9 /10

Ride: 9.2 (50%) Fit:8.7 (30%) Value: 9 (15%) Style: 8.8 (5%)


Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

Saucony Freedom 1-3 (RTR Review)

Sam: I never got along that well with the overly flexible often poorly held Freedoms 1-3. Too much work to keep things moving and the 4mm drop was felt as a low heel when tired. The Predict Soc 2 has some of the same vibe but is more stable, easier to move along, and more fun.

Saucony Freedom 4 (RTR Review)

Sam: The Freedom 4 changes the model with a firmer, more stable ride than the first 3 versions or SOC. Stiffer and even with PWRRUN PB firmer ( likely due to its firm outsole) the Freedom 4 is more stable and more locked down than our knit SOC but overly serious and stiff underfoot in comparison to the Predict SOC 2.

Salomon Sonic 3 Accelerate (RTR Review)

Sam: The Accelerate is clearly a higher performance uptempo near racer to the more “casual” runner SOC 2. It shares many of the same attributes of anatomical decoupling and has a more secure foothold. Its underfoot platform is snappier and more responsive with clear vibration dampening from its Obtivibe midsole.

Puma Liberate Nitro (RTR Review)

The considerably lighter Liberate immediately came to mind. Its ride is more  dynamic due to its supercritical Nitro foam, it’s upper is simpler and lighter and more secure overall. And only $110 to $130 with plenty of outsole rubber.  It may not be quite as stable underfoot or slow pace and casual fit versatile as the SOC but it is fast and fun. 

NB FuelCell Rebel v2 (RTR Review)

Sam: Lighter with a very energetic, considerably bouncier supercritical foam midsole the Rebel is pure fun. This said it is less stable underfoot  and doesn’t have the slower paces versatility of the SOC. It  shines best at speed. As with others here the SOC upper is fine but doesn’t compare to the hold and performance of the Rebel’s for pure faster running. 

Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 64 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. Sam has been running for over 48 years and has a 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range training 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah. He is 5’9” tall and weighs about 164 lbs if he is not enjoying too many fine New England IPA.

Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links. These partnerships do not influence our editorial contentThe opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

Enjoyed this post? Never miss out on future posts by Following RoadTrailRun News Feed
Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and currently preferred shoes

RoadTrailRun receives a commission on purchases at the stores below.
Your purchases help support RoadTrailRun. Thanks!

USA  Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
FREE 2 Day Shipping EASY No Sweat Returns
EUROPE Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
Join VIP Family, Get Free Shipping and 15% in VIP Benefits on every order, Details here

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
Use RTR code RTRTOP4 for 5% off all products, even sale products
FREE Shipping on orders over 99, 30 days return policy, no questions asked.

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
FREE Shipping on most orders over $40

Men's & Women's  SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE


Please Like and Follow RoadTrailRun
Facebook: RoadTrailRun.com  Instagram: @roadtrailrun
Twitter: @RoadTrailRun You Tube: @RoadTrailRun

No comments: