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.
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.
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.
For the upper of the Sense Ride, Salomon uses 3D Stretch Air Mesh 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.
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.
Drop: The midsole of the Sense Ride has an 8mm drop, with 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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- Forefoot protection
- Heel Fit