Sunday, November 13, 2022

The Kilian Shoes Compared! NNormal Kjerag vs. Salomon S/Lab Pulsar SG Video Review with A/B Test Run

Video by Sam Winebaum

NNormal Kjerag ($195) Salomon S/Lab Pulsar SG ($180)

In the video I compare the Kjerag to the S/Lab Pulsar. Both were developed and run to great success by Kilian Jornet but I think with different run type and distance focus with Kjerag leaning longer distances. Neither can be considered a max cushion type shoe.

They share identical 23mm heel heights and 6mm drop with the slightly heavier NNormal on a wider on the ground platform making them about 18g heavier than the Salomon at a mere 7.55 oz /231g in my US8.5 sample.  They also share Matryx uppers which differ in fit and construction. 
The outsoles differ in rubber type and pattern.
The Kjerag has a Vibram Megagrip rubber in Lite Base design while the Pulsar SG's Contagrip has a slightly higher lug pattern that is more dispersed for its softer ground focus. with the NNormal having 3.5mm lugs with broader contact surfaces, all of this affecting the ride. 

WATCH THE KJERAG TO S/LAB PULSAR VIDEO COMPARISON REVIEW (13:40)

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Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
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9 comments:

Doug said...

Are the heel counters fully collapsible in either shoe?

Anonymous said...

Doug, the Kjerag has a semi rigid internal heel counter while the Pulsar heel support comes from more pliable side external overlays with a rigid area vertically at the far back

70's Teen said...

You list the full stack for the SG at 32/26 - what is it for the Kjerag?

Jeremy said...

70's Teen: official stats 23;5 and 17.5. I think it does not include the outsole, I need to check out with mine

Anonymous said...

I am grateful that you did this comparison, and have been annoyed to no end that I haven't seen a breakdown of the compare/contrast between these obviously similar shoes. I still am looking for more info about why the Nnormal is marketed as an "any distance" shoe, but the Pulsar is strictly shorter/faster, considering their similar stats. (and by "marketed" I also mean reviews, speculation, etc.)

But I have to say... Only the tiniest bit of research would have told you that Nnormal is just pronounced "Normal." And the pronunciation of Kjerag is literally the first thing they tell you on the website description.

Unknown said...

This may sound like a weird question, but hear me out: Nnormal Kjerag vs Nike Pegasus Trail 4?

Now I'm sure the Kjerag is a better trail shoe in every way, but my feet are a full size different, and Nike accommodates customers with those needs. I've always been stuck between going smaller and risking blisters on my larger right foot, or going larger (sloppier fit) and risking rolling an ankle on my right foot. I currently have the S/Lab Pular in the right size for my right foot, and even in that shoe experience sloppiness in my smaller left.

I would for sure go a half size down in Kjerag, based on your review here, but I'm wondering if having the correct size for each foot in a trail shoe would outweigh features like vibram megagrip, super lightweight, longer lasting, etc.

Plan to use either for moderate to technical trail races 20k and up.

Anonymous said...

Anon - I have both of these shoes and what I would say is that the Kjerag feels much more like a traditional shoe. It has more stability and feeling of support that one would want for a long distance shoe but is still incredibly light weight and fast feeling midsole which allows it to be used for 'any distance'. Personally I think they nailed this shoe, I wouldn't hesitate to take it anywhere for any distance. The only time I would reach for the Pulsar over the Kjerag is for truly fast efforts at shorter distances. The Pulsar does have a more dialed fit and feels much faster but I just couldn't see myself picking it for anything over maybe a 50K.

I will also say that with 250 miles so far on my Kjerag and the midsole feels same as out of the box. Cant say that for any Salomon shoes made with Energy Surge which I do enjoy but it is not durable.

Unknown said...

Thank you Anon #2! It sounds like the Kjerag would make a well rounded trail shoe rotation along side the S/lab Pulsar, covering most fast, short, long, slow trail needs.

Do you have any input/experience with the Pegasus Trail 4 and how it would compare with the Kjerag other than price? The idea that I can get the right size shoe for either foot with Nike is appealing, and I wonder if that could outweigh the tech heavy durability of the Kjerag. That said, I'm looking for a pure trail shoe here, as I tend to use road shoes for my road to trail needs. I prefer smaller lugs and light weight for most off road terrain, hence my interest in both of these shoes.

Anonymous said...

Unknown - I haven't run in the Peg Trail 4 but I have 2 pairs of the Peg Trail 3. For me the Peg Trail is not great on techy trails and I used mine as a long run shoe. Its quite a bit heavier than the Kjerag and doesn't have the ground feel or nimbleness. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the React foam, it is very durable. The other thing is the 10mm drop of the Peg Trail, I did roll my ankle a few times in that which I think is due to the high drop as well as the unstable nature of the React foam. The Kjerag while it has a bouncy feel is a firmer feeling foam and with it being lower to the ground not as likely to roll an ankle.

If Nike lets you order 2 different sizes in a pair like you are saying you may want to think about the Kiger or one of their other shoes if you want something closer to the Kjerag.