Sunday, May 21, 2023

Salomon Glide Max TR Review: Salomon Joins the Max Cushion Trail Game..Big Time! 8 Comparisons

Article by Jeff Valliere

Salomon Glide Max TR ($160)

Introduction:  The Glide Max TR is Salomon’s most maximally cushioned ultra trail shoe, with a full 6 mm more cushioning than the Ultra Glide 2.  The upper is roomy and relaxed, though still with enough foothold to run reasonably confident through moderately technical terrain and even some technical terrain.  The Glide Max TR is exceptionally light for the amount of cushion, is soft and responsive, and is easily capable of tackling the longest days on the trail.

Pros: Cushion, comfort, lightweight, relaxed fit yet still with reasonable foothold

Cons: A gusseted tongue would be nice, but ultimately does not affect performance.


Approx. Weight: men's 9.75 oz  / 276g (US9)

Samples: men’s 10.25 oz  / 290  g US10

Stack Height: men’s 38 mm heel / 32 mm forefoot ( 6 mm drop spec)

$160. Available now.

First Impressions, Fit and Upper: 

I was recently invited to a Salomon press run/lunch, where they were promoting the road Aero Glide and Aero Blaze , where I was able to test the Aero Glide.  I really enjoyed the Aero Glide on a 4 mile run on roads and flat non technical dirt.  I commented that with a bit of tread and a more secure upper, it would make a great trail cruiser with the the Salomon folks informed me that the Glide Max TR is essentially that.  

The dual layer mesh upper is exceptionally comfortable and reasonably well structured.  Ventilation is reasonable, I have not had any issues in temperatures up to 80 degrees, but they are not the most airy shoe either and might feel warm if temps are consistently warmer.

The toe bumper is flexible and integrates into a continuous 360 degree rand to keep out some moisture and offer a bit of extended protection (though this is definitely not a shoe for bashing through talus).  

The heel counter is semi flexible and well structured, giving very good hold, stability and protection, with medium to thick padding around the heel collar.

The tongue is moderately padded and very comfortable, although surprisingly is not gusseted, which, especially for a Salomon and in 2023 (where a gusseted tongue just seems to be standard nowadays) is a bit of a disappointment and my single nitpick of this shoe.  While this is not a major issue, the tongue does shift a bit to either side and either requires an occasional reposition, or is OK to just ignore.

Also a departure from almost all Salomons is the absence of the Quicklace. Instead the Glide Max TR uses just normal laces that are soft with just a slight bit of stretch to them.  While I typically really like the Salomon Quicklace system, I find them to be a bit static and sometimes rigid, so I think, given the long distance/comfort purpose of this shoe, the more dynamic regular lacing adds to the overall comfort of the shoe.

Fit is true to size if a touch long, with plenty of room in the toe box.  The heel is secure, as is the midfoot, but with the stretchy laces, the midfoot has a (welcome) bit of give to it.  The ample room in the toe box is especially well suited for comfortable, long distance running and I think will accommodate a wide range of wider feet with no issues.

While not designed for, nor ideally suited to technical running, I have found that for my narrow, low volume foot that the Glide Max TR can easily handle moderate technical trails and short stretches of more technical trails with no real issues or trepidation.


The Energy Foam midsole is soft, light, flexible and responsive, with a rockered geometry to help aid forward motion.  This is the most cushion ever offered in a Salomon trail running shoe, a full 6mm more than the Ultraglide and it is much softer.  While the midsole is exceptionally soft, it does not feel mushy and is amazingly comfortable and compliant under foot.  

The deep stack gives an especially ample and bottomless cushion feel to the shoe, without feeling tippy or out of control with the stability enhanced by the wide platform. It is by far the widest of any Salomon at 96mm heel /80mm midfoot /122mm forefoot yet the shoe is light at about  9.75 oz  / 276g (US9) with the central midfoot carveout likely a key reason for the low weight for such a giant platform in width and stack height

See our Salomon comparative table at Comparisons. While not a speedster, I find the Energy Foam here to have a nice light, responsive feel to it and easily accommodates a wide range of speeds, from easy day recovery plods, day to day regular runs, uptempo training and easily long distance racing.


The outsole features Salomon’s tried and true Contagrip rubber with 3.5mm lugs.  This is a versatile outsole that for me has proven to be surprisingly good (although not ideal) for loose trail conditions and off trail conditions, average to slightly above average in the wet, but performs amazingly well on buffed out trails, moderate technical trails over road, dirt, gravel and works well on the road.  

So far, durability is proving to be very good.


The ride is dreamily plush , very soft cushioned, yet bouncy and lively enough, with a light feel to keep a quick pace over long distances.  While very soft and well cushioned, the midsole is supportive and predictable, with a great balance of flexibility, trail feel and protection.

Conclusions and Recommendations

The Glide Max TR is far and away the most plush/deeply cushioned Salomon to date.  It has a relaxed and accommodating fit that is ideally suited to long distances and will accommodate a wide range of feet, while maintaining a reasonable level of security for when the trail gets rough.  

The shoe feels (and is) very light given its maximal nature and the Energy Foam is airy, forgiving and energetic.  

I have run the Glide Max TR on a wide variety of terrain and they perform very well on everything but the most steep and technical trails for which they are not intended, but for short stretches they do fine with a bit of caution.  

They are most ideal on moderate to less technical terrain, buffed singletrack, dirt roads, dry conditions and as a door to trail shoe.  I think the Glide Max TR is a great everyday trainer, mid to ultra distance race shoe on less technical terrain, an ideal door to trail shoe and even a fine road shoe.  Comfort, cushion and overall performance as a maximal shoe is as good as it gets.

Jeff V’s Score: 9.5/10

Ride: 10 So soft and cushy, yet stable and responsive

Fit: 9.5 very roomy and accommodating, yet with reasonably good foothold

Value: 10 Given all that the Glide Max TR offers, $160 is a value

Style: 8 Splitting hairs, not my favorite design/colors, but is OK

Traction: 9 for intended use, traction is excellent

Rock Protection: 9 very good with all the cushion, but beware of the occasional zinger on sharp rocks (specifically where there is no outsole in center midfoot/heel)


8 Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

2023 Salomon Comparative Stats

Salomon Ultra Glide 2  (RTR Review)

The UG 2 has 6mm less stack and the midsole is firmer, with a more secure fit and deeper lugs.  The UG2 is better for extended periods of running on terrain that is a bit more technical, whereas the Glide Max TR is more plush and better for longer distances over less technical terrain and is great for those with wider feet and prefer more wiggle room.

Salomon S/Lab Genesis (RTR Review)

The ultimate jack of all trades shoe, amazing for long distances on technical terrain or any terrain really, with better foothold for rough terrain, better protection all around, greater rugged durability for all mountain use and superior traction.  The Genesis is not as plush or responsive as the Glide Max though and the Glide Max is better for faster running over longer distances on less technical terrain

Hoka Speedgoat 5 (RTR Review)

Close in weight, the SG has 5mm less stack, but cushion and protection are still amazing.  Both are rockered and reasonably responsive and versatile, although the SG is much better on technical terrain with superior foothold and traction.

New Balance Fresh More Trail v3 (RTR Review)

The NB has 6mm more stack, costs the same but weighs an ounce more.  I struggled with the NB, as fit was not secure for me and it also feels unstable with all its stack height  (44mm heel, 40mm forefoot).

Brooks Caldera 6 (RTR Review)

The Glide has 3 mm more stack height, is over an ounce lighter and is a quicker, more agile shoe than the very large Caldera 6.

Saucony Ride 16 TR (RTR Review)

The Ride 16 TR is lighter, has better traction and is better suited for technical terrain, but the cushioning is not as plush (and there is 3mm less of it).  The narrow fit of the Ride 16 TR would very much limit any sort of long distance running, even for me with my narrow, low volume foot.

Craft Pro Endurance Trail (RTR Review)

I struggled with the Craft, with a loose fit on a tall stack, finding them unstable and hard to run if the trail was even slightly technical.  I wanted to like them though, as the midsole is very bouncy and responsive.  The Glide has a much more secure fit, is lighter by nearly an ounce, more responsive and more versatile.

Nike ZoomX Zegama (RTR Review)

The Zegama is an ounce heavier, more narrow in the forefoot, not as quick, responsive or a plush feeling.  I found the Zegama to be a bit ponderous, whereas the Glide is quick, light and energetic.

The Salomon Glide Max TR is available from our partners below



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Tester Profile
Jeff Valliere loves to run and explore the mountains of Colorado, the steeper and more technical the better. He has summited all of the 14ers in the state and can be found on mountain trails daily, no matter the weather, season, conditions or whether there is daylight or not.  On the side he loves to ski (all forms) bike and hike, often with his family, as he introduces his 12 year old daughters to the outdoors. Jeff was born and raised in New Hampshire, but has called Colorado home for over 25 years. He is 5’9” and 145 lbs.

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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Jeff Valliere said...


Bobcat said...

Is 'Energy foam' just a rebranding or do you think the compound has changed/been tweaked?

Anonymous said...

I struggled with the fit, particularly compared to the Ultra Glide 2 where I just had to pull the quicklaces. Adjusting the laces to get a similar tight but comfy lockdown required some patience, but was worth the effort. While I in general love big shoes like the NB FFM Trail v3 and the Caldera 6, I can't shake off the unnecessary foam at the sides feeling I get compared to the UG2.

Mark S. said...

Could you compare to the ASICS Trabuco Max 2 please?

Anonymous said...

Hello, it would be nice to compare to Catamount 2, thank you for this great review

Anonymous said...

And perhaps Divide 3 too which has the same Road To Trail purpose.

Matt said...

How does it compare to the Xodus 2? Please and thank you.

Jeff Valliere said...

Bobcat - Not sure, but it feels softer to me.

Mark S - The Trubuco Max 2 is heavier, more firm, protective, secure with superior traction, a better choice for more rugged terrain, where the Glide Max is better for faster running over less technical terrain.

Anon - Catamount 2 is for sure more propulsive and perhaps more protective and adept in technical terrain, a faster shoe for shorter distances. The Glide Max is much more plush and would be my pick for longer distances. Divide 3, a great shoe for the price, perhaps a bit more protective, but not as plush/light/fast. Divide best for more casual stuff, where Glide Max is more geared towards performance.

Matt, I have not tested the Xodus Ultra 2 (which is what I think you are referring to), but again would say the Ultra 2 has superior traction, is more responsive and protective for more technical terrain.