Salomon S Lab Sense Ultra 2

9.2
9.2 score
(GearWeAre.com) score (9.2)/10

Our GearWeAre.com score is based on 3 different factors: Editor's rating after in-depth testing. User ratings submitted on this page Overall score from the "reviewmeter" based on reviews across the web the weight of each factor is: 40% editor rating 15% user ratings 45% reviewmeter.
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Editor rating: 9.1 / 10
User's rating: based on 0 user ratings
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Salomon S Lab Sense Ultra 2 Review Facts

The Salomon S Lab Ultra running shoe is the latest, and some would say the greatest reincarnation of the popular series brand.  Designed to meet the specifications of Francois D’haene, one of the world’s premier long-distance runners, these shoes are designed to blend comfort, precise fit, and grip with a nice balance between firmness, response, comfort, and overall protection.  While it may not be the best choice for every runner out there, it certainly does meet the mark for quite a few.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Roomier forefoot
  • Stable shoe overall
  • Relatively light
  • Fit is relatively true to size
Cons
  • Traction is not ideal
  • A more expensive brand overall
See How
Reviews were analyzed here:
We read, analyze and sort reviews into positive & negative categories to give you the complete picture.
What are buyers saying?

We have spent 3.0 hours analyzing a total of 457 reviews.

These reviews are then categoried into "Positive" and "Negative" feedback.

Below you will read a summary of them:

Positive
  • I was a bit unsure about these shoes until I did my first few runs in them. I've run on dirt roads, paved, and smooth trails and I was impressed.
  • It seems that these are great shoes because they fixed the problems with the previous version. Great shoes overall.
  • I was nervous about this version but these are actually better than the prior version, in my opinion.
  • I love the upgrade to this version. Rock protection is a big deal. I've put 100 miles on these shoes so far. I will use these for shorter races and on the trails.
  • I got these shoes because I wanted a shoe with more cushion for the winter months of running. I am used to running in Speedcross shoes but these are great and aren't as hard. The Salomon S Lab Sense Ultra 2s fit like a glove but I did have to go up a half size.
  • So far these shoes are great. I wanted a shoe with a higher drop. A little snug at first but is more and more comfortable with each run. The shoe looks great and the traction is awesome too.
  • I originally got these Ultra 2s for a race for this year and I am not disappointed at all. The grip on these shoes is all for fun downhill running. Very comfortable. These are standing up well so far. They seem to dry quickly when they get wet. As for sizing, I always go up a half size.
  • I am a big fan of the S/Lab Sense Ultras so was a little concerned about all the changes. I am glad to know that Ultra 2s are just as good, maybe better.
  • To date, this is the most comfortable shoe and I have tried many. The balance between cushion and protection is perfect for me. I used these on various terrain and have put about 250 miles on them already and it's been only three weeks. They aren't showing any wear signs or tears. Want to buy a few more pairs and hoping that these don't change.
  • I intentionally purchased these to train for and run in a 125K race. These shoes are fantastic and they fit true to size. The Salomon S Lab Sense Ultra 2s provide so much control and they support the feet very well. I like how these shoes seem to get snug in the middle area when I am going downhill so that my feet don't slide to the front. I run with confidence in these shoes.
  • I didn't see the need for change in the previous version I was in love with that version and was very hesitant to try these. I'm not ashamed to admit that I am actually glad that I did now I know what all the hype is about. This provides great traction on all surfaces and it is the ultimate multi-purpose shoe. Although the uppers have more firmness than the older model it also has enough give. The toolbox is a bit narrow for me but overall this is a great shoe.
  • This shoe does its job well for a long time. This Is my everything shoe whether I want to run in the woods or use every day and it doesn't matter at what pace. I will point out that I did receive a blister and a development of another at the beginning of wearing these shoes but a blister pad took care of that. I'm sure the shoe will likely break in and the pads won't be needed.
  • This version is slightly more narrow in the toes but fits perfectly in the mid-foot. I can also notice several features that have been improved in reference to padding and the lacing system. I plan to use these for upcoming races and I don't intend on having any issues.
  • Overall these are great shoes I run a hundred miles and then so far. the wings really help to lock down the foot and are super comfortable. These shoes have solid traction too. I highly recommend them.
  • I am concerned with the durability of these shoes because I'm starting to see small tears on both shoes and it's only been two hundred miles. I will say that I do put a beating on my shoes and I just wish that they would last longer because these have the perfect balance between stability and comfort.
  • I am very impressed with these shoes. and they fit like a glove. True to size for me I ordered my normal size.
  • When I learned about these I was a little worried about the change because I am a fan of the previous model. The fit is great after going up a half size. These shoes dry quickly and the cushion is great.
  • A great investment in your feet.
  • These Sense Ultra 2s are my go-to shoes for racing and training. They are very comfortable and responsive enough. I really don't regret buying these shoes because they are perfect in every aspect.
  • I am already in love with them and it's only been a week. Classic S/labs but just with more comfort and support. The new lacing system took a little bit of getting used to. Perfect performance on various terrain. Awesome colors.
Negative
  • Some buyers don't like the wings
  • Too narrow in the toe box for some buyers
Reviewmeter
The Reviewmeter shows you an overall score that you can easily refer to. The highest rating is 10 (100% positive feedback)
Of the 457 reviews we found in total, 7% were negative, and 93% were positive.
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Outsole

Outsole

One of the areas that the Salomon brand chose to change somewhat in this new version of their very popular shoe is the outsole area. Where previous versions found the tread to be more closely packed together and using a less than sticky rubberized material, this shoe is made from Contagrip rubber material that is designed to quickly shed debris and mud, even in the wettest of conditions. The outsole also offers great overall protection from sharp rocks without losing too much flexibility and responsiveness overall.
Midsole

Midsole

The midsole of this shoe is constructed out of dual density compressed EVA material that provides great overall feel, that is both firm and protective. It does add to the weight overall, and some may find the responsiveness less than ideal, but the material does offer good stability and cushioning overall.

Another aspect of the midsole area that most runners appreciated was the overall Energy Cell construction. This unique compound is designed to provide a fantastic energy return with every step while being balanced with the overall superior cushioning and durability of the shoe. Most runners found it to be a nice balance between overall comfort and performance when it came to the midsole area.
Upper

Upper

Perhaps one of the drawbacks to this shoe is the upper portion. The single layer mesh with nylon skeleton material offers adequate protection from most debris and dirt, but we found them to provide a bit of a mixed bag when it came to moisture protection and overall fit. In relatively dry or slightly wet conditions, such as a gentle rain or a puddle-filled trail, these shoes worked remarkably well, but we found them to be easily overwhelmed in a sudden downpour. We did, however, find that the quick-lace system allowed for easy and rapid on the go adjustments, which was a great thing, especially while on the longer runs. The substantial heel cup and toe bumper also provided great overall protection from abrasions and debris. The toe box was also fairly tapered and rounded, which gave to shoe a feel more akin to a true racing shoe.
Breathability

Breathability

Not surprisingly, the upper portion of this shoe is highly breathable. The mesh material coupled with the nylon framework easily allow air to circulate through the upper portion of the shoe, allowing for a fairly comfortable ride overall. There were some reports of the outsole and mid-sole not allowing for adequate ventilation, but overall most found this shoe to be a good choice when it came to ventilation while on the trail.
Comfort

Comfort

If you have average or narrow width feet, this shoe is likely to quickly become your go-to shoe for running, based on the level of comfort alone. It has a great combination of firmness, weight distribution, shock absorption, and overall fit to make it feel like an extension of your foot instead of merely a shoe. The more rounded toe box is tapered enough to provide a snug fit in the toe area, but still provides enough room for wiggling and maneuvering over rocky terrain. There were very few signs of blistering for the average runner, and both the mid-foot and heel area were held snugly in place even after a 100 miles of hard running.

However, like most shoes from the Salomon brand, if you have wider feet, they may pinch and confine in all the wrong places. The tapered toe box may end up causing a bit too much restriction, and the structural panels on the sides of the shoe may cause a bit of chafing over the long haul. While the quality and comfort may be good for the average runner, the runner with wider feet may simply find too many little things to overlook.

While the lack of design for wider fit may be a problem for some, for those with an average or narrow fit, the shoes also provide another feature that may quickly become a welcomed addition. The Endofit design features an internal sleeve that hugs the foot comfortably, offering great overall support and comfort even over the worst terrains. While this feature may be a bit too restrictive for some, others will find it quite relaxing on the longer runs.
Style

Style

The relatively low profile and vibrant yet fashionable colors make these shoes easy to spot, either on the trail or on the street. The blending of the black and purples appear to be almost seamless, and the overall look is a very popular one for this brand.
Durability

Durability

One of the areas where this ultra running shoe truly excels is in the overall durability. Countless reports and reviews of this shoe found that they withstood countless road tests and clocked in running miles in excess of 150 without so much as a reduction in overall tread depth. The seams were shown to be extremely tough, and well-made, allowing little if any moisture in, and even the insole was found to be made of a thicker, more durable material overall. If there was ever a shoe that was designed for the long haul, this certainly would be a contender for the top spot.
Protection

Protection

When it came to protection, however, this shoe provided some mixed results. The overall design and toughness provided fantastic protection from debris and rocks while on the trail, but only moderate to average protection from the weather or moisture overall. Many were underwhelmed by the shoe’s ability to withstand high rains or snowfall, or to help keep the cold out during the runs during the colder months of the year.
Responsiveness

Responsiveness

While the firmness and overall stability of this shoe are hard to beat, quite a few runners found them to be less than adequate in the responsiveness department. In most running environments and terrains the ratio between feeling the ground and cushioning was good overall, but on more adverse terrains where the ability to quickly adjust and adapt is paramount, the lack of springiness and responsiveness was certainly noticed.

That being said, these shoes do receive relatively high marks for their use of the unique EnergyCell material and overall grading construction to attempt to find the balance between responsiveness overall and long-run worthy cushioning and stability. While some runners may prefer that the shoes lean more towards the responsiveness side of the scale, many will find that over the long haul, comfort and stability is more desirable.
Support

Support

Overall most people simply adored the amount of overall support and comfort that these shoes provided, even and especially in more rugged terrains. The OrthoLite open-cell molded footbed, wider padded tongue and true to size fit simply enveloped the foot of most runners providing great stability and support in a wide range of situations and terrains. Plus the relatively firm mid-sole allowed for great weight distribution.

Another unique aspect of these shoes that many runners, especially those who move over a variety of rocky terrains will appreciate is the use of the Profeel film. This material is designed to engage during the transitional phase to allow for additional support during the time when the shoe is rolling between the heel and toe areas. While this doesn’t sound like much, it can certainly add stability and consistency in your step over the more rugged terrain. This added stability and support in the middle area of the shoe certainly does allow for a more comfortable run over longer distances.
Terrain

Terrain

This shoe is clearly designed for trail running and can handle a wide range of changes in terrain, elevation, and angles of descent or ascent. The overall stability and cushioning make it a great choice for overall performance, but it may fall short in situations where flexibility is more important.
Price

Price

One of the drawbacks for many runners, especially those on a budget is the fairly high price tag for this shoe. The average price is approximately $180 dollars, which is a sizable investment, especially for a pair of good running shoes. However, given the superb durability, overall comfort and performance, it can be argued that these shoes are well worth the initial steep investment.
Traction

Traction

Generally speaking, most runners found these shoes to provide great traction on a wide range of terrains. However, where they really excelled were in places that were slick with wetness or rocky. The trapezoidal lugs are more widely spaced than previous incarnations of this shoe, and the depth of the tread allowed for easy shedding overall of mud and debris while running. Even running through damp clay, which usually swells up and sticks within the treads proved to be only a small obstacle for the traction of these shoes.
Flexibility

Flexibility

For the average ultra-runner, if one exists will probably find little to complain about when it comes to the flexibility of these shoes. They do have a nice balance between firmness, stability, and adaptability when it comes to a wide range of running surfaces. That being said, we feel that there is room for improvement when it comes to the overall flexibility of the shoe, especially if you’re moving over highly variable terrain.
Comparison to Other Brands

Comparison to Other Brands

For the most part, the Salomon S/Lab Ultra shows itself to be a bit of a Cadillac compared to the other shoes on the market today. They are a bit heavier, more cushioned, and provide a certain degree of stability, comfort and fit that others simply can’t compete with. However, for some that extra cushioning, support, and weight can become somewhat of a deterrent when it comes to overall nimbleness and performance. If you’re looking for a shoe for relatively short runs over terrains where responsiveness, lightness, and adaptability are key, you might want to look at other options. If you’re needing a shoe for longer runs over a wide range of terrains, this one should certainly be at the top of your list.
Stability

Stability

Generally speaking, these shoes are probably the most well-performing shoes when it comes to stability that you’ll find on the market today. The thicker outsoles and midsoles combined with the glove-like fit allows for fantastic weight distribution overall while keeping your heels and mid-foot areas nice and stable. That is not to say that there isn’t room for maneuvering; there most certainly is. However, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a shoe that keeps your feet more stable overall a wider range of terrains like this one does.
The Bottom Line

The Bottom Line

The Salomon brand is well known for their commitment to the runner and to meeting the challenges that they face on a regular basis. The level of overall stability, comfort, and support of this shoe are simply unrivaled, but it’s not without its share of potential problems. If you have wider feet, the snug fit and tapered toe box may prove to be a bit much to handle. While the protection from the debris of the trail is fantastic, the highly breathable mesh and nylon uppers may simply become overwhelmed in a sudden downpour or snowfall. Of course, there is the price, which may be a bit too steep for some runners who need to work within a budget. All that being said, though, these shoes would probably be a welcomed addition to the equipment bag of most runners.