Sunday, November 20, 2022

Salomon Speedcross 6 Multi Tester Review: Tuned Up Icon!

Article by Dominique and Sam Winebaum

Salomon Speedcross 6 ($140, $160 GTX)

Dominique: My first pair of Speedcross was a second hand pair given to me by a Park City friend – the Speedcross 2, which I reluctantly tossed a few years ago. I am thrilled to test the Speedcross 6, all in black/phantom, an old favorite with new upgrades.  

First released in 2006, this classic model was a trailblazer back in the day, yet has remained popular (selling 1,000,000 pairs in Europe alone) and this despite Salomon’s newer line-up of trail running shoes that have outperformed the Speedcross. 

Trail runners are still hanging on to their Speedcross for a number of reasons, Contragrip® outsole & lug profile included, but notably, it has gained relevance as the”ultimate fashion sneaker” (see this article in GQ).  In short, trail runs and hikes, catwalks, and around town latte runs are all popular platforms for the Speedcross.

Sam: Despite running in just about every Salomon over the last 15 years, I have little history in the iconic Speedcross, the prior 5 being the only one I can recall testing. I found it excellent in deep snow and quite unstable anywhere else due to its blocky heel and stiffness, with an over-precise snug fit  but was a fine shoe to walk around town in! 

On the surface before trying them on the run all I could see was a nice 0.95 oz / 27g drop in weight, a new softer soft shell type upper vs the prior debris mesh and a new lug pattern. On the run (and I ran them with 5 on one foot and 6 on the other) the changes added up and positively so. Read on to find out how.


Classic and popular style with an attractive look Dominique/ Sam

More flexible, more runnable than Speedcross 5: Sam

Lighter by 27g / 0.95 oz in my US 8.5 Sam

Notable upgrades, including an upper that has more stretch and toe room: Dominique/Sam

Protective and durable upper:  Dominique/Sam

Specificity as a trail shoe for muddy/snow conditions: Dominique/Sam


Sizing is too generous (women’s version): Dominique

Not an all around trail run shoe : Dominique/Sam

Salomon has newer and better performing models for trail running : Dominique/Sam


Approx. Weight: men's 10.5 oz  / 298 g (US9)  /  women's oz / g (US8)

Samples: men’s 10.26 oz  /  291g US8.5 (Speed Cross 5 US M8.5: 11.2 oz / 318 g)

Stack Height: men’s 32 mm heel / 22  mm forefoot

Available now. $140, $160 GTX

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Dominique: This sixth edition of the Speedcross features a number of upgrades, notably the upper is stretchier helping create a roomier toe box and a more comfortable fit.  It has shed weight from its predecessor and the Contragrip® outsole has been slightly modified with more spacing between the lugs with broader contact surfaces. 

For a sturdy trail shoe, it is fairly lightweight, weighing 9.93 oz/281.5 grams in my size 9.  The fit is secure and comfortable though I find the sizing to be too generous with extra room in front of the toes. In checking Salomon’s sizing chart, a US size 9 is the equivalent of a 41 ⅓ Euro, which is more than a 40.5 in Euro for a Brooks’ Ghost US 9.  Perhaps the generous sizing is intentional so that there is additional space between your front toes and the upper when running down hill on muddy trails or with heavier socks.  Yet, I would personally size down half a size. 

The upper is made of ripstop fabric which is mostly nylon woven into a square pattern with an abundance of reinforcements.  A comfortable upper that is both secure and protective but not waterproof, though the Speedcross is also available in GTX ($160).  Notably, rubber encircles the entire lower part of the upper, not just the toebox, adding an extra layer of protection for your feet and from shoe ear. This is indeed a sturdy trail shoe that is very protective.    

Salomon’s trademark LACING SYSTEM: Quicklace™ is always reliable and easy to operate though I have learned to stick a finger in the pocket lace in order to be able to stow away the lacing system after pulling  the laces tight. The tongue is well padded and pairs well with the Quicklace™ lacing system in creating a snug and secure fit.  

Sam: I received my usual US8.5 and the fit is true to size with notably more toe box comfort and room than the Speedcross 5. 

Also affecting the ride I see that instead of stitching the end of the outer soft shell type mesh (replacing a tighter stiffer debris mesh) to the end of the laces Salomon leaves it free floating. 

This not only improved the flex of the 6 but reduced bunion area pressures. The front overlays are now more segmented and all the overlays are now slightly thinner and softer. Overall the fit is noticeably more comfortable but maybe a bit less precise and for the intended purposes of most users of the Speedcross that is a good thing. For mud and deep snow speed Salomon has other options such as the S/Lab Speed 2, Wildcross, and Cross Pro. 


Dominique: No changes have been made to the midsole foam itself that I can tell.  It is the same EnergyCell™ which according to specs is “a high-rebound midsole compound that provides exceptional energy return along with substantial cushioning and durability.”  It is a comfortable midsole, yet the outsole with its sturdy lug configuration, dampens the properties of the rebounding factor of the cushioning, as opposed to enhancing it.  This is a 10 mm drop shoe with a 32 mm heel height and a 22 mm forefoot height.  

Sam: I detect no differences in the Energy Cell foam to finger pressing but I do note a new heel area geometry with a more pronounced heel carve out to I think soften landings. 

In my A/B test run with the Speedcross 5 I felt a slightly softer landing at the heel and less of the “blocky” somewhat unstable feel of the 5 on harder ground.  The foam is for sure not plush and energetic as Salomon’s newer Energy Surge is and which is a better option for firmer ground but at least now the Speedcross is adequately cushioned for some firmer ground running and more stable as well.



Dominique: The Speedcross Contagrip® outsole is a combination of a rubber compound and a lug profile that is specifically designed (as per specs) to handle muddy, loose, soft or uneven terrain.  

With my prior Speedcross 2, I wore them extensively on snowy trail and road conditions even though they were not GTX and not designed for the snow.  I find the softness of the snow a good platform for the outsole.

Sam: Known as a soft ground shoe (mud and snow)  the Speedcross has always had a widely spaced pattern of big lugs. Here I measure the lugs at 5 mm vs about 6.5mm for the Speedcross 5. 

The lugs are also broader with more contact on the ground. I doubt that traction will suffer although to date my runs have been on dry ground and wet leaves (excellent traction there). What I can feel is that greater ground contact leading to a slightly more cushioned and more stable ride on firmer ground.  


Dominique: Ideal terrain for the Speedcross 6 are mud, wet leaves, soft surfaces.  I am not the “mudder” type and not experienced in running muddy trails.  I stay away from hard surfaces and look for soft trails in order to enjoy the ride.  I do plenty of walking in my Speedcross too. 

Sam: the combination of more front flexibility (upper and new outsole configuration), new lower broader lugs, and heel midsole geometry changes clearly make the Speedcross 6 “more runnable” on a broader variety of terrain without so far compromising its soft ground focus.  A bit more forgiving underfoot, lighter, more flexible, smoother flowing, more comfortable its range of uses is somewhat extended for me. There are other options more versatile but if the soft ground uses are primary you will still get that but now other firmer terrain will be more pleasantly handled.  

Conclusions and Recommendations

Sam: Salomon did a great job “softening” the edges of the Speedcross without compromising its essence or iconic styling. The upper is clearly more comfortable, especially upfront with more room and less binding and stiffness in the toe box. 

The new flexibility upfront makes them more runnable on smoother terrain. The new slightly lower profile outsole with broader lugs reduces weight to a very reasonable for substance 10.26 / 291g  oz in my US8.5 further enhancing run ability without so far for me without impacting grip. Maybe a bit less precise and aggressive in feel,  I will take the increased stability, comfort and smoother flow any day. Is it my first choice for most trail running in the Salomon line, no, but it is clearly more practical and effective as a trail runner than before while still one of the most iconic trail and around town shoes out there.

Sam’s Score: 9/10

Further reduction in the blocky heel feel and widening of the narrow rigid midfoot platform would be a plus.

Dominique: The Speedcross is a classic and popular style from Salomon, which is oriented towards specific trail conditions, such as muddy, soft, and uneven terrains.  Though not intended for snowy trail conditions, I wore my prior pair (Speedcross 2) in the winter, trail running and hiking when in Park City.   

For trail runners who love muddy and snowy trails , the Speedcross 6 will serve them well.  This new edition comes with a series of worthy upgrades, including a roomier fit around the toe box and slightly more spacing between the lugs which is conducive to a less rigid outsole.  Women sizing might be a bit off as per my experience and would size down half a size.  

Dominique’s Score: 8.9 /10



Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

Sam: While I did not review if you are looking for a dedicated soft ground running shoe look to Salomon's S/Lab Speed 2, Wildcross (RTR Review) or Cross Pro (RTR Review)

The Speedcross 6 is available now in many colors and GTX


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Tester Profiles

Dominique has run for over 40 years, consistently about 25 miles per week at paces between 10 and 11 minute miles and once a week down in the mid 9 minute miles. She races rarely, but always surprises more hard core runners in her age group when she does. She has a 1985 marathon PR of 3:16 in her second marathon which at the time put her on the top 10 Swiss women’s lists. She is the mother of two grown children, both runners post college, and enjoys nordic and alpine skiing, hiking and trekking, and gardening. 

Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 65 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. 2022 will be Sam’s 50th year of running. He has a decades old 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range if he is lucky, 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’s.

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Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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Anonymous said...

Did Sam or Dominique experienced any blisters on the front of the plantar area. I just tried them for 5 miles 8.5 and I am 8.5 woman’s size and I got a blister. I am going to try them with more cushioned socks and my other insoles.

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi Anonymous,
Sorry about the blisters. We got none. But unless on snow or mud or for some hiking we would not choose the Speedcross for much running, That arched midfoot and deep lugs make ti more special purpose shoe. You might look at Sense Ride 5 we just reviewed here:
Sam, Editor