Gear Review: Salomon Sense Ride
Footwear Reviews

Gear Review: Salomon Sense Ride

The Sense Ride is a new trail shoe from Salomon that's being marketed as a "quiver killer". To put this claim to the test, I brought the Sense Ride along for a two week trip to Iceland as my only footwear option. I've also taken the Sense Ride out for a few hikes in my local mountains. I don't think the Sense Ride will replace ALL of the shoes on my shoe rack anytime soon, but so far they've done a great job at tackling a wide range of trails and conditions.

The Sense Ride is a new trail shoe from Salomon that’s being marketed as a “quiver killer. For those unfamiliar with the term “shoe quiver”, many trail runners, hikers, and backpackers own a multitude of shoes, with each pair serving a specific purpose. To put this claim to the test, I brought the Sense Ride along for a two week trip to Iceland as my only footwear option. While in Iceland, they encountered wet rocks, muddy ruts, black sand beaches, lava fields, and asphalt streets. I’ve also taken the Sense Ride out for a few hikes in my local mountains, and I’ve even made them my shoe of choice at the gym and for track workouts. I don’t think the Sense Ride will replace ALL of the shoes on my shoe rack anytime soon, but so far they’ve done a great job at tackling a wide range of trails and conditions.

Gear Review: Salomon Sense Ride

The Sense Ride might look familiar to some of my readers, as it’s essentially a budget friendly version of the SLAB Sense Ultra. The major difference is that the Sense Ride comes in at $120 vs the $180 price tag of the Sense Ultra. There are a few material differences that I will talk about later in this review, but they are mostly minor, and not enough to justify the $60 price difference in my opinion. *The SLAB Sense Ultra has gone on to be Salomon’s best selling SLAB shoe of all time, so it’s not a surprise to see a more budget friendly option become available for the masses.

Gear Review: Salomon Sense Ride Travel Hiking Trail Running


Buy The Sense Ride: Amazon | REIBackcountry | Zappos


Fit and Feel:

Size: I purchased the Salomon Sense Ride in a size 12, which is a half size smaller than my usual 12.5. I tried on both the 12 and the 12.5, and my standard 12.5 felt too long. The size 12 is perfect. Weight: The Sense Ride in a size 12 comes in at 11.94oz per shoe.

Fit: The Sense Ride has a wider fit and more volume when compared to the SLAB Sense Ultra. This is a welcome change to me and others that have wider feet. Salomon’s SLAB products are notorious for their low volume and narrow fit. The Sense Ride will definitely be an option for a larger group of runners and hikers. Heel: The slight downside to this increased volume is that it’s felt with a wider heel fit. I don’t notice any heel slip while climbing, but there is a little more lateral wiggle than I think is ideal.  The SLAB Sense Ultra was a 10/10 for heel fit and lock, the Sense Ride is an 8/10. Midfoot: The Sense Ride has a great fit throughout the midfoot, with the perfect amount of volume and width. The width is similar to the SLAB Wings 8. There is a little more movement with these than I have with the SLAB Sense Ultra or SLAB Wings, but that added volume makes for more comfortable long days. Toebox: Upfront, the Sense Ride feels a lot like the Sense Ultra. There is plenty of room for my toes to splay. When I first tried on the Sense Ride, I thought the fit was a little tight upfront, after a few weeks of break in, they fit perfectly. I’m really glad I sized down to a 12.

Gear Review: Salomon Sense Ride Travel Hiking Trail Running

Gear Review: Salomon Sense Ride Travel Hiking Trail Running


Upper:

For the upper of the Sense Ride, Salomon uses 3D Stretch Air Salomon Sense Ride Gear Review Sensifit Endofit QuicklaceMesh along with their tried and true Quicklace, Sensifit, and Endofit (See Image). For those that have never worn a Salomon trail shoe: Quicklace is a kevlar shoelace that doesn’t require tying, Sensifit is the welded overlay that wraps the midfoot, and Endofit is the neoprene sleeve that wraps the upper of the foot to provide a secure fit. All of these pieces of upper technology work well on the Sense Ride to provide a very comfortable on and off trail experience. There have been a few times on steep trails that I would have preferred the more precise fit of the Sense Ultra, but most of the time I prefer the fit of the Sense Ride.  There has been no rubbing or hotspots for my foot. I’ve worn the Sense Ride in temperatures ranging from 40F to 100F and my feet have been comfortable in all conditions.

Gear Review: Salomon Sense Ride Travel Hiking Trail Running

Drainage: I got the Sense Ride wet while exploring a few waterfalls in Iceland and they drained and dried very quickly, even in cool and damp weather. The open 3D mesh played a nice role speeding the drying time. Debris: The downside to this is that they took in a bit of sand and fine dirt that required me to empty out my shoes. On most trails though, the Sense Ride does a great job of keeping out dirt and debris. Toe Protection: For toe protection, the Sense Ride uses a semi rigid welded overlay. This isn’t the most protective toe cap I’ve had on a trail shoe, but it’s definitely held it’s own when called upon.

Gear Review: Salomon Sense Ride Travel Hiking Trail Running


Midsole:

Drop: The midsole of the Sense Ride has an 8mm drop, Salomon Sense Ride Gear Review Sensifit Endofit Quicklacewith 25mm of stack height in the heel and 17mm in the forefoot. Much like the SLAB Sense Ultra, the Sense Ride doesn’t feel like an 8mm drop shoe when in use. The heel does a nice job of getting out of the way until you need it. Composition: The midsole of the Sense Ride uses Salomon’s new Vibe technology which I covered in my review of the Sense Pro Max. As you can see in the graphic, Vibe consists of two Opal pads inserted into an EnergyCell+ midsole. This is my second shoe with the Vibe technology, and I can say that Opal inserts do a great job absorbing vibration. I really notice a difference when running or hiking on steep downhill stretches of trail. The Sense Ride is the kind of shoe that can be used for short and quick outings, but is equally well suited for longer days on the trail. The midsole on the Sense Pro Max had too much stack heigh, resulting in less stability. The midsole stack of the Sense Ride and Sense Ultra is just about perfect for my tastes.

Gear Review: Salomon Sense Ride Travel Hiking Trail Running

Stability: The one area that I found the Sense Ride did not perform well is when I carried a heavy pack. With 30+ pounds on my back, I found the Sense Ride to be too soft, squishy, and and lacking stability. They were still very comfortable though, so I’ve been using them for these outings anyway. The Sense Ride is not marketed as a hiking or backpacking shoe though, so I can’t take points off for this. I just wanted to see if they would be a true “quiver killer” for my usage. Without a heavy pack on, the Sense Ride has great stability, and leaves me feeling confident on all but the most rocky terrain.  Flexibility: The Sense Ride has a decoupled outsole with four flex grooves to provide flexibility. This is one of the major differences when comparing this shoe to the SLAB Sense Ultra. I’ve really enjoyed the added flex in the forefoot, especially on steep uphills.

Gear Review: Salomon Sense Ride Travel Hiking Trail Running


Outsole:

Composition: For the Sense Ride Salomon uses their Premium Wet Traction Contagrip compound. I’ve used this compound on quite a few models now, and have nothing but good things to say. The traction provided by this compound has proven reliable on a variety of surfaces, including mossy rocks, wet logs, sandy slabs, slick granite, and loose talus. Design: Salomon is using the same trapezoidal lug pattern found on the SLAB Sense Ultra. This is one of the best features for this “quiver killer” of a shoe.  The flat trapezoid lugs have good surface area to provide traction on slick surfaces. The lugs are deep enough to provide grip on a multitude of trails, and the lugs are spread widely enough that they don’t collect mud or clay. There were a few occasions on muddy trails that I wished the lugs were a little longer, but that would effect their performance on hard pack. It’s a trade-off all shoes have to make. As I mentioned above in the midsole section, the Sense Ride has a decoupled outsole to provide added flexibility.

Protection: Salomon has gone with ProFeel Film in the forefoot of the Sense Ride for rock protection. ProFeel Film is a thin and flexible layer of thermoplastic polyurethane. This is one area where I think the SLAB Sense Ultra has the Sense Ride beat. I’m not sure if it’s the decoupled outsole, but there is less underfoot protection with the Sense Ride. When hiking on rocky trails, I can definitely feel the ground a bit more.

Gear Review: Salomon Sense Ride Travel Hiking Trail Running


Buy The Sense Ride: Amazon | REI Backcountry Zappos


Closing Thoughts:

The Sense Ride has really been a near “quiver killer” for me, as they’re the only shoe I’ve worn in the last 6 weeks. A comfortable and breathable upper paired with a responsive midsole and grippy outsole make for a tough shoe to beat. These would slot above the SLAB Sense Ultra in my book for the upper fit and $60 price difference. The SLAB Sense Ultra has better underfoot protection, but the Sense Ride isn’t too far behind. With around 70 miles of mixed use, the durability of the Sense Ride seems to be really good. The midsole still feels new (even after 400lbs squats), and the outsole is hardly showing any signs of wear.

Pros

  • Price is competitive at $120
  • The outsole offers superb grip and traction
  • The midsole works well for running, hiking, and walking
  • The upper breathes well and dries quickly

Cons

  • Forefoot protection
  • Heel Fit

Photos of the Sense Ride in Iceland:

I'm Drew, creator of Trail to Peak. Trail to Peak brings content to life on the web through breath-taking photography and captivating video. I launched Trail to Peak in 2014 with a goal to inspire readers to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. I have traveled to 19 countries, walked Camino de Santiago, hiked the John Muir Trail, trekked through the Andes of Peru, and am constantly seeking new adventures in my home state of California. Joining me on my weekly adventures is my partner, Julia, our son, Owen, and our two goldendoodles, Isla and Lilly.

22 comments on “Gear Review: Salomon Sense Ride

  1. Debated on an hard on the Sense Ride vs Sense Pro Max. I have the Pro Max from zappos. so I’ve only worn them on carpet. The seem to fit ok in 12. but I will be returning them for the same shoe from runningwarehouse so I can give them a fair shake. The sense ride I’ve only got a few miles in. You can feel the ground on rocky terrain. Too much? perhaps a personal preference. My engineered idea is this. The older Altra superior came with removable rock plate. I might put that under the sense ride sock liner to see how it changes things. My biggest concern never having run in Salomon was the wide in forefoot/toebox. Its snug in mid/forefoot. but it wasnt an issue during my first 9 miles. Odd thing for me was I got was seemed like an early warning hot spot under my left big toe (interior side) and on the side of the ball of my foot, also just behind the big toe. Never in all my years have I ever had anything going on there. So not sure what to make of it. Maybe another run or two and they will break in like yours. overall pretty satisfied. More details as I put a few more miles on them.

    • Drew Robinson

      I think the ground feel is definitely a personal preference, as some people actually like it. I prefer a lot of protection in the forefoot of my shoes as my feet fatigue quickly on local trails when they take a beating. I think the drop-in stone guard for the Altra Superior is a good idea. It’s nice to be able to add a little more protection when needed. Let me know how the toe box on the Sense Ride breaks in once you get a few more miles.

  2. Once again a great review! Thanks for sharing.

    Since you have also used and reviewed the La Sportiva Bushido, how would you compare the (the Bushido) with Salomon Sense Ride?

    • Drew Robinson

      Thanks! For traction and grip, the outsoles are about the same. The underfoot protection is a little better with the Bushido. The upper on the Sense Ride is more forgiving and comfortable. The major difference is in the midsoles. The Sense Ride is plush and comfortable, but not overly stable. The Bushido is much more firm, making it better for technical terrain and/or days with a heavy pack. These are actually my two favorite shoes in my quiver right now.

      • Thanks for the quick and very detailed reply. Having read many of your gear/shoe reviews i can fully trust what you say about the bushido and the sense ride.

        The bushido is also my choice of preference for several activities. Actually, I’m just back from an 81 km backpacking trip (wearing the bushido) which included 4 peaks of about 2.500 meters above sea level each.

        Again, thanks for the review and for the reply.

      • Drew Robinson

        Thank you! I appreciate the kind words and readership. Great to hear that you’re a fan of the Bushido as well. 81km and 4 peaks above 2,500m sounds like a great outing. Where was that?

      • I really mean what I wrote on my previous comment. So my compliments again.

        With regards the location on the 81km is in the Pindos region, Mount Tymfi in Greece.

        If you have wish and time you can check the first (of the four) part of this backpacking trip here:

        https://olympusmountaineering.wordpress.com/2017/08/13/mount-tymfi-pindos-thru-hike-part-1-kapesovo-mezaria-gorge-vikos-canyon-mikro-papingo/

        In the coming days, more parts will follow with the high peaks and the famous Dragonlake of Mount Tymfi.

      • Drew Robinson

        Thanks for sharing the link! I will be following your blog from now on. Are there treks that are doable in December? I’m looking for a winter trek I can do with my family, but am not familiar with the Greek winter weather. Thanks!

      • Hi and thanks for following back. Much appreciated.

        Answering to your question, in Greece there are many different areas where you can go trekking. Some of them are well organised (and more popular) and other routes less organised, less popular but still beautiful.

        Some suggestions might be the following:

        1. Mount Tymfi (Zagori, Pindos) O3 route (the link I have sent on the previous message, is a part of this route)

        2. E4 path in Crete. A beautiful route that combines nice treks, sea, mountain and the exceptional Cretan cuisine

        3. Mount Olympus Trails. There are many different beautiful paths on the Mountain of the Greek Gods. All beautiful.

        If you wish, you can have some more info on this post I have wrote some time ago.

        The Ultimate Guide of Hiking and Mountaineering in Greece

        https://olympusmountaineering.wordpress.com/2016/09/20/the-ultimate-guide-of-hiking-and-mountaineering-in-greece

        Finally, in case you would like to have further and more detailed information, feel free to let me know.

      • on my previous reply, I forgot to mention the Mainalon Trail with a length of 75 km. You can find more info here: http://menalontrail.eu

      • Drew Robinson

        Wow! Thanks for the great list of trails! I’m going to start doing some research for a December trip. Thanks!

  3. Marcin Siehankiewicz

    Now my favorite shoes for the fast and lightweight 30-35 mile mountain hiking are Akasha and two pairs of Wildhorses 3. I know that you like and appreciate these shoes. For me some trails is too much wet or technical in Wildhorses and too smooth in Akasha’s. I should consider buying this “quiver killer”? (I never used any Salomons – my last true “quiver killer” was Cascadias in version 9). Thanks for next excellent review – i have been waiting for this!

    • Drew Robinson

      We have a similar taste in shoes! I went through 4 pairs of WH3s and am on my second pair of Akashas. Like you, I’ve found that wet and technical is a not a good combination for the WH3 or WH4. The Sense Ride is a shoe that rides like the Wildhorse, but has much better traction and grip. The rock plate in the Wildhorse is better, but that’s about it. I haven’t reached for my Wildhorse 4 since I bought these.

  4. Very comprehensive review. And based on that, looks like the Sense Ride will be worth trying out on one of my sedona hikes. Will probably “follow your footsteps” in the sense that I’d try it out on all kinds of trail.

  5. Hey Drew –
    Nice review! I’ve really been struggling trying to find a replacement for my Brooks Cascadia 12’s. As I’m getting older, my feet are changing a bit and no longer getting long with Cascadias – I need a bit more room in the toe box. I also need a shoe with some structure in the upper for the steep, technical descents I hike here in the Northeast. Lastly, grip on wet rocks is always a plus. After trying on a dozen shoes at REI, my favorite was the Peregrine 7 but they had one issue which was a deal breaker for me – not enough structure in the upper. They’re truly lightweight running shoes and my toes jam up against the front of the toe box on steep descents, even sizing up a full size. Can you please comment a bit more on the fit and volume of the toe box on the Sense Rides?
    Thanks!
    Derek

    • Thanks, Derek! I have a pair of the Cascadia 12s, but the narrowness upfront has kept them on my shoe rack. It’s a shame because I really like the upper, midsole, and rock protection in the forefoot. The Sense Ride will fit with more precision than the Peregrine, which makes it a better choice for steep and technical downhills. Not as good as the SLAB Wings 8, but still a nice option. The grip and traction of the Ride is far and away better than the Cascadia. Salomon’s new outsole compound is amazing. If your only complain on the Peregrine is the sloppy upper, I think you’ll really like the Sense Ride and/or SLAB Sense Ultra.

      • Thanks Drew!
        Curious while we’re discussing Salomon – do you have any experience with the Sense Marin? I ask because it checks s lot of boxes – widest toe box in Salomon trail running line, contragrip wet outsole with similar lug pattern and lug depth to Sense Ride, same protective film in sole as Sense Ride, 6mm drop, upper seems like it’s nicely structured/cushioned while still providing drainage and breathability. This shoe looks like a real winner, going to try them alongside the Sense Ride when possible.

      • Hey Derek, I actually just bought a pair of the Marins! I found them on a Labor Day sale last week. The shoe reminds me of a wider Sense Pro 2. The wide fit is really nice, but the upper has a little too much volume. I have to tighten the quicklaces until the eyelets on either side are almost touching. I had the same issue with the Sense Pro Max. I just wear thicker socks to help. I’m going to start testing them on the trails next week. Based on fit, I prefer the Ride. It might be different for your foot though.

  6. Derek Zeitel

    Thanks Drew, that’s helpful. Found a local shop today that had the Sense Ride but only in a half size larger up from my already sized-up-size. Tried them on, they feel like a superb trail runner. Walking around the shop and up and down their fake-rock-lump, I suspect I may want something with a bit more structure/support in the upper for fastpacking but they did feel really good underfoot. I wouldn’t mind a bit more width in the toe box but there was plenty of volume up there in size 13’s I had on – I’d normally wear a 12.5. Sounds like the Marins may have too much volume as well. Looking forward to a more thorough review of the Marins in the future.
    Take care!
    D

    • Glad you had a chance to try them on. I’m hoping to put more miles in the Marins soon. I’m really looking forward to Salomon’s 2018 releases. The new Wings Pro 3 are essentially a non SLAB version of the Wings 8. They’re also releasing the XA Elevate which is the XA Enduro without the internal bootie. I liked the XA Enduro, but the internal bootie caused a weird fit and lots of heel slipping. I’m hoping to get the XA Enduro and Wings Pro 3 as soon as they’re released.

  7. Drew,

    I follow your blog as I also wear a 12.5 and in a lot of shoes the forefoot is too small, but sizing up to 13 can sometimes mean too loose in the heel fit. For me a quiver killer shoe would lean more toward the ability carry up to a 20-25lb pack 10-15 miles, while also being flexible enough for some trail running. There will be the odd weekend when water scarcity or carrying part of my 11 year old’s gear pushes pack weight to 30lbs. Your reviews have been really helpful for figuring out what works for me in general. I tried a pair of shoes from the Adidas Terrex line based on you reviews. The Adidas trail runners I tried were a couple models down from the Agravics as I wanted to get a feel for the brand’s last in general before dropping too much on a pair knowing I wouldn’t be able to decide without getting them too roughed up to return. The Adidas I tried out are the much cheaper Terrex Galaxy Trail in 13D and are great for day hikes and 10K mile trail runs, but lack a plastic shank to provide solid support for long days with a pack. Six to eight mile days as an adult leader with Boys Scout troop were fine, but longer solo days and they leave me wanting..

    I have considered trying a pair of Nike Wildhorse as Nike Structures in 12.54E are great road running shoes for me. However, I hike in Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee and the outsole looks more suited to rocky western conditions than to the mix of mix of dirt, roots and limestone that dominates regional trails. The burlier models from the Inov-8 Roclite series look promising also. Suggestions from Drew or anyone with similar experience would be appreciated.

    Short list for all around trail shoes:
    Adidas Agravic
    Adidas Swift R
    Inov-8 Roclite 305
    Nike Wildhorse 4
    Sportiva Bushido

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