PRODUCT REVIEW: Salomon Sense Ride 3
Author: Kai Pantano Date Posted: 27 March 2020
2020 brings us the brand new Sense Ride 3, the latest edition of the popular Sense Ride trail runner. Fans of the Sense Ride take note: this is the best version of the popular shoe that Salomon has ever made.
For over 70 years, Salomon have produced gear to enable serious play in the outdoors. They quickly grew into an outdoor sporting equipment powerhouse, developing skis, alpine hiking boots, running vests, and (of course) trail runners.
Salomon have incorporated quite a bit of trail running witchcraft into the Sense Ride 3, with Optivibe vibration reduction, a dual compound Contagrip sole and a brand new outer fabric.
The shoe is slightly softer under the foot than the Sense Ride 2, but still feels firm. Very firm in fact. Alarmingly firm straight out of the box, but after wearing them for a few minutes they do soften up a little.
The Sense Ride 3 feels nimble, responsive and comfortable on the dirt, particularly in tacky conditions. The outer material of the shoe sheds dirt and debris quite well and overall the shoe looks very sleek and fast. It’s also stitch-free, which gives the interior of the shoe a sock-like feel. This system, paired with an Ortholite inner sole and memory foam heel insert, keeps your foot secure and supported.
Optivibe vibration reduction optimises the performance of the shoe. Salomon describe it as cushioning that reduces the shock absorbed by the body, whilst simultaneously turning that energy into rebound. This provides a shoe that is cushioned, but not at the expense of your performance on the trail. You can feel this technology at work as your foot rolls forward. You feel fast. Over the course of a long run, Optivibe helps take the strain off your muscles, which results in less fatigue over time.
This energy-efficient technology is paired with a dual compound Contagrip sole, which provides excellent traction. The sole is constructed from two different rubber compounds: low density rubber through the middle of the sole and high density rubber around the edges. The result is an adaptive sole that’s flexible and sensitive, whilst remaining durable and responsive. Paired with a rock plate, the Sense Ride 3 will handle just about any terrain you throw at it.
Having often been put off Salomon in the past by their tendency to trend towards a narrower fit, what I really like about Sense Ride 3 is that it seems to accomodate a broader variety of feet. The Sense Ride 3 is burlier than the SR2, easily capable of all terrain, all-day runs or even an ultramarathon. This version is definitely less of a hybrid shoe and the work Salomon has clearly put into this trail runner has paid off.
My one problem with this shoe seems to echo throughout the trail running community. The quick laces are ridiculously long. Annoyingly long.
If you’ve hitched yourself to the Zero Drop wagon, this is not the shoe for you. The 8mm drop is immediately noticeable if you’ve dabbled in zero drop trail shoes.
For the uninitiated, it’s not the lightest shoe out there either at 280g. If you’re walking around town, the stiffness of the shoe might be a little off-putting, but the true wheelhouse of the Sense Ride 3 is definitely on the trail.
The Sense Ride 3 caters for professional athletes and beginners alike. There’s road running design elements in this shoe as well, so you can even get away with a cheeky dash across the pavement. I suspect it’s one of the best shoes Salomon has ever made, destined to join the XA Pro as a trail running icon.
Grab yours here!
Review by Kai Pantano, a content creator and photographer who searches for projects with a strong connection to exploration and the natural world.
He has tested and reviewed gear for Paddy Pallin, contributed to Wild Magazine, and modelled for SCARPA, Osprey, Sea To Summit, Paddy Pallin, The North Face, Patagonia, Icebreaker and RAB.
He currently works with Wildfire Sports & Trek as a gear expert.
Image Credit: Lachlan Gardiner