Salming has just started to show its face in the US market and there has been an overall good response. The Race 3 model is a light weight responsive shoe that is perfect for a mixture of short and fast-paced runs. A great training shoe that offers a nice and natural feel, this contender is true to its name. With its racing look and feel, you can cover anything from a speed workout to a longer more relaxed road run. We felt ourselves turning to this shoe as our go fast option. When thinking of the perfect road shoe design, the Brooks Ghost 10 or Asics Gel-Cumulus 18 might come to mind, but don't discredit the pros of a shoe like the Race 3. The design brought back memories of track spikes and speed workouts.
Salming Race 3 Review
Cons: Price, runs narrow
Our Analysis and Test Results
Racing flats are the most responsive kicks, featuring a stiff outsole and minimal cushioning. The new Race 3 features Salming's RunLite midsole which offered an effective and lighter, yet efficient and responsive sole. The even response that we felt in the Salming Race, as a result of the RunLite design, is a firm feel that is not impactful on the body. The new soles of this year's Race are made of EVA, not memory foam (as seen in earlier Race model), and rake in a near perfect 9 out of 10 for responsiveness.
Salming uses a Torsion Efficiency Unit on the mid forefront of the shoe bottom, which adds sturdiness to the structure. The Race 3 came in as the most responsive shoe for women, ranking highest in our side-by-side testing. Others scoring high in this metric, but having a more traditional feel, are the Brooks Ghost 10 - Women's and the Nike Air Zoom Structure 20; both of these contenders came in right behind the Race 3, each scoring an 8 out of 10.
This contender is a well-cushioned racing flat, staying true to being a minimalist shoe. While it is well-cushioned, the Hoka One One Bondi 5 can provide additional cushion, should that be what you're looking for. The Race 3 provided us a firm ride. We found that due to the minimalist nature, the Race took some time for our feet to adjust to. The light weight of the shoe has a new midsole, which Salming calls RunLite. Did someone say carbon fiber? The RunLite midsole featuring a Torsion Efficiency Unit that is made of carbon fiber; while light weight, it's still able to withstand our full impact during a gait cycle. The Nike Air Zoom Structure 20 also used carbon rubber in their sole (under the heel).
The Brooks Glycerin 14 - Women's was the only contender to score a perfect 10 out of 10, with the Brooks Ghost 10 - Women's and Bondi 5 trailing closely behind, both scoring a 9 out of 10. If landing comfort is a metric that's important to you when shopping for a running shoe, these shoes should be taken into consideration.
Durable and breathable support is given by a two-layer upper construction with an ExoSkeleton construction on top, earning the Race a 7 out of 10. The first layer is made of mesh material that almost wraps the entire inside of the shoe; on top of that is another thin net of mesh that is breathable and keeps pebbles and unwanted items from entering the shoe. Even after going for a run on a dirt road, we didn't find ourselves needing to dump any rocks out of our shoes.
Being a minimalist shoe, there aren't lots of bells and whistles on the Race 3; if extras are what you're after, check out the Best Buy Asics Gel-Cumulus 18. The upper on the Race 3 seems to have been built with the mindset that less is more. If you're looking for a minimalist design with a higher upper comfort rating, take a look at the New Balance 860 V7, which scored a perfect 10 out 10, holding our feet securely in place while providing a fit that quickly adapted to our feet.
This contender has an Exo Skeleton middle layer that wrapped around our feet, giving the shoe a secure fit, and lending itself to comfort. The Torsion Efficiency Unit connected our forefoot to the heel and the 8 mm lugs provided excellent grip on a large range of surfaces, from wet payment to gravel roads. While testing these shoes, we felt this piece of technology was effective in ensuring that our feet were secure when making contact with the ground. The Nike Air Zoom Structure 20 and Brooks Glycerin 14 ensure additional stability, as both offer increased midsole support and a lacing system that hugged our foot, adding security.
The Race 3 boasts decent construction, as its layering system provided comfort with the added benefit of security. In critical areas of the outer sole, the sturdy rubber kept this contender from wearing too quickly, earning it a 7 out of 10. A more durable running shoe with comparable features is the Salomon S Lab Sonic; the S Lab Sonic features a lightweight design and is able to handle more abuse. For overall durability, we'd recommend the Brooks Ghost 10 - Women's or the Brooks Glycerin 14, as both proved to be two of the highest scoring contenders in this metric.
This shoe has been constructed using Salming's two-layer system. The first layer of mesh is smooth and soft, with a hole venting system, while the second layer is made of finer mesh, which kept unwanted items from entering our shoe and potentially disrupting our run. We liked the breathability of the Race 3, which allowed for runners with hot feet to gain the needed comfort to go far and fast; unfortunately, being that these are a very breathable shoe, they do take on moisture in almost any type of weather. For a shoe that performs well in cold weather, take a look at the Asics Gel-Quantum 360 or Saucony Guide 10. Alternatively, the Salomon S Lab Sonic scored a perfect 10 out of 10 in this metric, maintaining a high level of performance and breathability.
With such a high amount of cushioning and protection in such a light package, the Race has the potential to carry you through your first half marathon, all the way to the marathon - if that's where you're heading. The weight of this minimalist shoe melts away, letting you focus on the important things in life - like that girl in front of you that you're totally about to overtake for your first 5k win. In fact, this contender feels as light in hand as they do on your feet. If you're looking for a light and well-cushioned shoe that includes additional support, check out the Brooks Ghost 10- Women's or the Nike Air Zoom Structure 20.
The Race 3 is an above average choice for a racing shoe and trainer. It can be used in everyday activities from short to long runs, but is recommended as a go-to race day shoe. This contender features bright and fun color combos that transition nicely from sport to street.
The Race 3 retail for $130. If you're a runner looking for a racing flat that will take you to the finish line in style, this might be a specialized shoe that is worth the price tag.
Keeping it simple, the Salming Race 3 performs as a racing flat shoe that has minimal stability features. The key feature is the RunLite midsole, which offered a responsive sole that was effective, light weight, and efficient. This shoe is a must try for race day, as it's flexible, light weight, and comfortable.
— Brittney Ahrens
Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.Learn More