Comments about Mens Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 Trail Running Shoe:
I am a 160 pound avid runner. I have average arches and my feet are normal, slightly wider than average forefoot. I run predominately on trails. I train at a 5-6 minute mile pace and run between 15 and 20 miles a week.
I had been running in Pearl Izumi Synchro Fuel XCs for a year and a half - I thought the PIs were some of the best trail shoes I'd run in. PI discontinued the Synchro Fuel XC and I wasn't happy with some of the other shoes in their line. I had run in Salomons years before and after reading some reviews and customer comments on this sho, decided to roll the dice.
I am not sorry I did, these shoes are nothing short of phenomenal. The fit is excellent - I found them to be true to size with a roomy enough toe box for my feet. Part of the great fit comes from the unique lacing system which is a breeze to use, I'll have a hard time going back to conventional laces. The lacing system pulls the shoe together around your foot, it's almost like having a custom-fitted shoe. It's much more flexible and responsive than any conventional lacing system I've used. Normally, when you pull on conventional laces you get tensio nin the upper two or three eyelets and the rest of the laces are just there unless you pull each eyelet to adjust. With the Salomon laces you get tension throughout the lace every time you put the shoe on. My feet are probably like most folks - they are slightly different in shape and size depending on the day and the time of day - wit the lacing system on these shoes they always fit perfectly.
The construction is great - a very light mesh upper with a rock solid sole and surround, I think this probably gives the shoe it's "grounded feel". The shoe feels very light - despite it's 14oz weight which is quite a bit more than I was used to with the PIs. My legs haven't noticed the difference and my training pace hasn't suffered. The shoes breathe nicely, it might not be a great show for freezing climates but down here in NC they're perfect, and would probably be fine in hot temperatures as well. The toe shield is awesome - much more substantial than on most shoes - toes are protected and there is pretty much no chance of having your toe blow through the mesh at the top of the shoe which happened on my PIs (I run in some rough areas with a lot of obstacles that can wear on the uppers). The soles have a great tread pattern and are fantastic when wet. Not sure what materials Salomon uses that makes them different, but I have noticed that these shoes really grip, even on wet pavement, which is unusual for a trail shoe.
As far as structure, they have a very responsive sole but enough sole plate where I'm not feeling rocks and roots - I know they're there which is good, but no pain or undue pressure. The soles flare at the bottom to provide plenty of stability without being overly firm or restrictive. The sole is also flexible enough to allow a very smooth gait transition from heel to toe. I have noticed my balance is definitely improved with these shoes - I noticed specifically in part of my stretching routine where I'm on one foot and pulling up on my knee to my chest - almost no wobble in these shoes compared to my PIs.
One thing that really surprised me on these shoes is the insoles - I have run on aftermarket insoles for almost a decade because most manufacturers put a cheap foamie in their shoes. The insole on this shoe is light, but it's molded structure with a couple of different materials that really gives nice cushioning, arch support, and stability. I tried my normal RRS stability insoles and actually prefer the insole that came in the shoe, that's what I'm running in.
My overall impression on this shoe is that I love it. A perfect combination of stability, cushion, traction, and protection. It truly feels like it was custom fitted to my foot. My performance has reflected the quality of this shoe. Salomon's may cost a little more, but based on this shoe - it's worth every penny. I'm just hoping Salomon doesn't "improve" or discontinue this shoe too soon!
Feels true to size
Feels true to width
Was this a gift?:
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend