The Sense Pro is another great trail shoe from Salomon. I bought this shoe a year ago and used it exclusively for trail running. I’ve been keeping this blog focused on hiking and backpacking of late, and therefore didn’t write a review on the Sense Pro until now. In the last few months I’ve been wearing the Sense Pro a lot for hikes, big and small. It’s quickly become my go to shoe, and is currently my favorite piece of footwear in my extensive hiking shoe rotation.
The origin of this shoe is rather interesting. Salomon had the Sense Mantra and Sense Ultra shoes before the Sense Pro came out. The Sense Pro was the lightweight shoe worn by almost all of their athletes for big races, whereas the Mantra was more of a daily trainer. The problem with the Mantra was that the upper wasn’t very comfortable. Salomon listened to their athletes and thew the upper of the Ultra onto the midsole and outsole of the Mantra. Voilà, the Sense Pro was born.
The Sense Pro offers great protection in a low profile and lightweight package. The shoe fits a little big compared to other Salomon shoes for me. I usually take a 12.5, and the size 12 in the Sense Pro fits just right. The Sense Pro retails for $130, but can be found for around $80 on sale right now.
The Sense Pro upper is made out of a very breathable and quick drying open mesh. I thought this material would allow a lot of dust to enter in, but so far this has not been the case. The second skin last and construction offers a completely smooth and seamless feeling on the foot. The upper holds snug in the heel and midfoot, but gives just enough space for the toes to splay.
Salomon uses welded overlays for the Sensi-fit and toe cap. I found this makes the shoe very comfortable and causes no pressure points when laced tight. The toe cap does a great job of protecting my toes from any rocks or roots on the trail. The Endo-fit sockliner is one of the reasons I’m such a huge Salomon fan. Just like all of the other shoes I own from this brand, the Endo-fit makes the shoe. It is just so incredibly comfortable. The other common Salomon addition to the upper is the quicklace system with the lace garage on the tongue. Finally, the Sense Pro upper has a semi-rigid heel counter that offers a lot of nice stability when side-hilling.
The Sense Pro midsole is built on a 5mm drop platform, with 22mm in the heel and 17mm in the forefoot. The midsole is a dual density composition with compressed and injected EVA. The more I hike, the more I appreciate compressed EVA. Injected feels nice and spongy at first, but loses it’s shape and protective quality rather quickly on harsh trails. I also like the responsive and agile feeling of the compressed EVA underfoot. I’ve put a lot of harsh miles on these shoes, and they still feel like they have a ton of life left. I’m hoping to push them to the top of Mt. Whitney in September, and maybe even take them for a Rim to Rim to Rim journey in the Grand Canyon.
The protection in the midsole is provided by Salomon’s Pro Feel Film, a rock guard I’ve learned to love over the last few months. What is so great about the film, is that it offers great push through protection without inhibiting the flex of the foot. There are times I wish it was a little more robust, but the light weight and flexibility are a fair trade off with less protection. I’ve taken these on some rocky trails, and was able to finish up with no bruising or foot fatigue.
The Contragrip rubber outsole has probably been the most pleasant surprise on my hikes. Salomon was marketing this shoe as a “city-trail” runner that can handle trails and roads equally well. That was one of the reasons I bought these shoes to begin with back when I had no intention of trying to hike in them. Had they not turned out to be so comfortable, I probably would have never found out how awesome this tread is on more technical trails. I’m really glad I gave them a shot.
The Sense pro outsole is a very toothy lug pattern with lots of grip offered from the shallow lugs. This shoe is incredible on rocks, dirt, sand, and hard pack. I’ve also really liked it on granite slabs and trails where precise footwork is key. I have yet to try them in mud, but I would assume the shallow lugs would struggle there. The outsole has cutouts in the forefoot which allows for great flexibility. One of the most important factors for me in an outsole is durability, and the Sense Pro nails this. I’ve done my best to beat the heck out of these shoes, and they refuse to show any wear. I think I’ll be able to push this pair to 500 miles of combined running and hiking use without a problem.
The Salomon Sense Pro is an incredibly comfortable shoe for all sorts of outdoor activities. Although it lacks a little in protection and stability, it makes for the perfect hiker when carrying a light load. The feather light weight, flexibility, and breathability make it disappear on your feet as you ascend mountains.