Nutrition & Health
Sale & More
Date Posted: 9 August 2023
Wildfire staff review the Salomon Predict 2 road running shoes and Salomon Ultra Glide trail running shoes.
SALOMON ULTRA GLIDE
I’m one of the luckiest people to get a chance to review the new Salomon Ultra Glide. As a disclaimer, this is my first Salomon shoes and I usually run on road surfaces.
My first impression of the shoes is *gasp* is this shoebox empty? I am completely taken aback by how lightweight these shoes are! At approximately less than 300g, I fell in love with the fact that these shoes pack many amazing features, which we’ll talk about later. That’s the first win!
Design-wise, I’m a sucker for anything blue. So, the Bluestone/Pearl Blue/Ebony colourway really caught my eyes; however, the alternative choice, Mecca Orange/Red Orange/Crystal Blue deserves a mention. If my size is available in that colour, I would have gotten those instead to spice up my outdoor footwear collection.
I first tried running on the shoes for a run around my house just a few hours after receiving them because I was eager. I expect some adjustment buffer time since I was not familiar with shoes with a lot of lugs, but I managed to maintain my usual pace as with my Nikes. My usual trainers have flatter soles and I was anticipating any foreign discomfort or even ankle tweaking, but surprisingly I felt great in these!
The actual test run was for my 5k run, on mixed road/trail surface. Just like other trail shoes out there, Ultra Glide gives you ample protection from mud, dirt and whatnot. The highlight of this shoe is the maximum cushioning it provided. Balanced with a roomy toe box, my feet were enveloped in a snug & soft protection without any discomfort. That is what impressed me the most, being lightweight with all the padding to ensure the utmost comfort!
Not everything is all rainbows and flowers. For someone who is a virgin with the Quicklace system, it took me some time to actually learn how to work with it. Salomon has a great tutorial video, and once you got the hang of it, your laces stay put in the lace garage and you don’t have to worry about it at all!
To sum up, if Cinderella was a trail runner, I bet the Fairy Godmother would stock her with Ultra Glide that stays on her feet all the time. A happily ever after ending for all trail runners.
SALOMON PREDICT 2
First thing's first: these shoes look sharp! The colour fade from white to black makes them look zippy yet stylish. I would happily wear them around the streets of Melbourne just as I'd properly run in them.
I first pulled on the Predict 2 for a casual weekend run around the park near my house. The first thing I noticed was the integrated, gusseted tongue. It made getting into the shoes a bit of a squeeze, but once they were on they fit perfectly and felt super secure. The tongue is very thin and breathable, shaving down the weight of these pretty lightweight road runners and allowing nice airflow over the top of your foot. In fact the tongue and mesh upper form a single piece, with a TPU-like overlay that allows you to better customise your lace fit (and again, keeping the shoes light). The laces are just what you want: not too short or ridiculously long, neither flimsy and utterly flat nor super round and fat.
One thing I didn't immediately love was the heel cup. As a disclaimer, I generally prefer a 'flat' or smooth interior heel on my running shoes (think On Clouds). My heel is pretty skinny, so when shoes try to hold your heel in place with padded bits that jut out from the heel wall, it tends to irritate my skin. The Salomon Predict 2 has a soft moulded heel structure, although not as plush as, for example, my Saucony Kinvara 10s (its heel moulding is thick enough to actually hold my Achilles). That said, if you don't mind or like having a moulded heel, I'm sure this won't be an issue for you.
Getting out the door and walking down the street to the park, I was pleasantly surprised by how grippy these shoes felt! Grip is my biggest qualm with my otherwise much-loved On shoes, so I was struck by how much traction I felt. The Predict 2's sole has clearly had a lot more thought put into it than most road shoes who over-focus on their midsoles (comfort) at the expense of their outsoles (grip). The Predict 2 has used Contagrip blown rubber with defined ridges for grip and a harder rubber overlay on the heel - perfect for heel strikers like me who would otherwise wear down exposed foam. A groove runs through the middle of the sole, allowing for more natural, flexible movement - a feature termed "anatomical decoupling".
On my run, I didn't notice my shoes underfoot. I mean that in the best possible way! They simply didn't get in my way at all and were comfortable and unobtrusive enough not to constantly remind me that they were new shoes. No breaking in needed! One thing I did retrospectively notice was the flared midsole base under the heel. I'm a neutral runner, but I do have some trouble with patellar alignment, resulting in janky knee pain sometimes. Salomon's flared foam design gave me extra support for a more stable landing and enough under-heel cushioning to dampen the shock waves from my footstrikes. The midsole is Salomon's new InfiniRide foam, new in the 2 and inspired by the automotive industry.
Finally, my feet stayed cool and dry during my run on a day that while not overly hot was plenty sunny. This was probably thanks to the OrthoLite sockliner, which helps move sweat away from your feet and allows air to circulate in and around the footbed.
Overall, the Salomon Predict 2 is a great daily trainer shoe for road and park runs; one I'd highly recommend!