Reviews You Can Rely On

Salomon Pulsar Trail Pro 2 - Women's Review

Featuring a spacious design, TPU plate, one-pull lace system, and an Energy Foam midsole, this shoe is tailored for speed-oriented trail running on moderate terrain
gearlab tested logo
Salomon Pulsar Trail Pro 2 - Women's Review
Credit: Salomon
Price:  $160 List
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Manufacturer:   Salomon
By Ally Arcuri ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 30, 2024
71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 20
  • Foot Protection - 25% 7.0
  • Traction - 20% 6.5
  • Sensitivity - 15% 7.0
  • Stability - 15% 8.0
  • Comfort and Fit - 15% 7.0
  • Weight - 10% 7.6

Our Verdict

The Salomon Pulsar Trail Pro 2 is a spacious, well-equipped trail shoe with an embedded TPU plate and an Energy Foam midsole that is built for speed. While not the most rugged in terms of lug depth and foot protection, for fast buttery runs, this is one of our top recommendations. For light protection and epic control, this budget-friendly shoe will appeal to speed-focus trail runners who want secure, long lasting gear strapped to their feet. With a Salomon-specific one-pull lace system and indeed cushion only where necessary, the Pulsar Trail Pro 2 makes trail speed a reality.
REASONS TO BUY
Stable
Protective against debris
Well-placed cushion
REASONS TO AVOID
Difficult to put on
Comfort may not be universal

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $160 List
$160.00 at REI
$129.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$190 List
$189.95 at Backcountry
$139.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$100 List
$79.68 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
71
78
78
75
68
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Bottom Line This TPU-plated shoe is designed for speed-oriented jaunts on moderate terrainThis is our go-to recommendation for runners seeking a comfortable, well-tractioned shoe for short and long distances alikeA unisex shoe that offers superior performance across the board, boasting a protective yet sensitive ride with a grippy outsole and exceptional durabilityFeaturing an upgraded upper and a stable zero-drop design, this shoe is a dependable and comfortable trail running option, ensuring comfort even during extended runsAn affordable and functional trail shoe that is perfect for new runners, budget-conscious runners, any anyone looking to tackle moderate terrain
Rating Categories Salomon Pulsar Pro 2 Hoka Torrent 3 - Wo... Salomon S/Lab Ultra... Altra Lone Peak 8 -... Brooks Divide 4 - W...
Foot Protection (25%)
7.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
6.5
Traction (20%)
6.5
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Sensitivity (15%)
7.0
7.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
Stability (15%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
8.5
7.5
Comfort and Fit (15%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
9.0
7.0
Weight (10%)
7.6
8.0
6.9
5.3
7.4
Specs Salomon Pulsar Pro 2 Hoka Torrent 3 - Wo... Salomon S/Lab Ultra... Altra Lone Peak 8 -... Brooks Divide 4 - W...
Sizes Available 5 - 11 US
regular
5 - 11 US
regular
4 - 14 US
regular
5.5 - 12 US
regular and wide
5 - 12 US
regular
Measured Heel Stack Height 29 mm 26 mm 27 mm 23 mm 29 mm
Measured Heel-to-Toe Drop 1 mm 5 mm 8 mm 0 mm 8 mm
Rock Plate TPU No Not disclosed TPU No
Measured Lug Depth 3.2 mm 4 mm 3.5 mm 3.2 mm 3 mm
Measured Weight 7.39 oz 7.52 oz 8.05 oz 8.14 oz 7.82 oz
Upper Textile Mesh Anti-Debris mesh with sockliner Ripstop Mesh Mesh
Midsole Energy Surge foam EVA Energy Save PU foam with Profeel Film rock protection Altra EGO DNA Loft
Outsole All Terrain Contagrip rubber Rubber Salomon Contagrip MA MaxTrac TrailTack rubber
Heel Tab Type None None None Finger loop None

Our Analysis and Test Results

With a 29mm heel stack, an Energy Blade plate, and 1mm drop, the Salomon Pulsar Trail Pro is a shoe made for speedy efforts on creamy single tracks.

Performance Comparison



salomon pulsar trail pro 2 for women - don't let the narrow heel collar fool you. the pulsar trail is a...
Don't let the narrow heel collar fool you. The Pulsar Trail is a comfortable shoe ready to keep you company on moderately technical terrain.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Foot Protection


While not the most protective in the bunch, the protection of the Salomon Pulsar Trail Pro 2 speaks to the types of trails it was created for. It has a moderate toe cap with a laminated-style edge to deflect water and minor toe stubs. The Energy Blade embedded into its midsole is a speed-focused device, lacking the intensity of a traditional rock plate. While anything underfoot creates a level of protectiveness, the moderate 29mm stack and 3.18mm lugs fall short of being a shoe made for high mountain terrain. At first, the suction-like element of the heel collar is off-putting, but our testers grew to love its ability to deflect sand and dirt during fast-paced runs. The collar extends rather high up onto the front of the ankle, which takes some getting used to, but is highly effective when it comes to protection. The only caveat here is that if the laces aren't locked down well, the natural movements of your feet can create gaps in the heel collar, allowing sand to slip in. When the laces are properly configured, there is no stopping the sand protection provided by the updated Pulsar Trail Pro.

We collect all of the details of each shoe and compare them to other shoes' scores. This helps us discern which shoes might be right for you.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Traction


Since the Salomon Pulsar Trail Pro 2 is made for more moderate trails, it lacks the grippy, bitey traction of shoes made for vertical faces. With multidirectional lugs that stand just over 3mm deep, this shoe's rubber outsole was designed with agility and flexibility in mind. The Pulsar Trail Pro is a perfect shoe for moderate, flowy trails, but falls short when it comes to versatility. Great for creek hopping on wet, slippery rocks, we found the traction to be lacking only when on loose, silty gravel that makes up many of coastal California's trails. If your running needs have you scrambling up seriously technical terrain, you might have better luck with a different trail shoe. If your runs are centered around speed and agility on less demanding terrain, the Pulsar Trail is definitely worth checking out.

salomon pulsar trail pro 2 for women - the pulsar trail doesn't have the heftiest lugs, but their placement...
The Pulsar Trail doesn't have the heftiest lugs, but their placement and shape help keep you upright and moving forward.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Stability


Standing at 29mm with only a 1mm drop, the Salomon Pulsar Trail Pro 2 is much like other low-drop shoes we have tested in that it allows your body to create its own stability. Devoid of lateral structures and excessive lateral padding, the space that the Pulsar Trail gives your toes allows your body to do the work. The semi-circle of padding within the heel collar creates rearfoot security, adding to its overall stability. The one-pull lace system allows you to run with the Pulsar Trail firmly locked onto your feet, omitting any lateral shifting as you run. The toe box is slightly wider than average, a welcome change in the world of long, slim Salomon-made running shoes, which can allow for a bit of wiggle room. Our testers enjoyed the additional space, but some runners might prefer a less roomy fit and feel.

salomon pulsar trail pro 2 for women - the sockliner upper and one-pull lacing system provide...
The sockliner upper and one-pull lacing system provide stronger-than-expected lateral stability, though this shoe does not contain any additional structures for corrective support.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

Sensitivity


As is typical with plated shoes, the Salomon Pulsar Trail Pro 2 does not offer the best sensitivity around. This shoe has a semi-flexible outsole, allowing you to feel the muted sensations of the topography beneath you. The underfoot cushion feels specifically placed, protecting the more sensitive parts of your feet while allowing other parts to feel more. If you want to try out a shoe that isn't loaded with padding, the Pulsar Trail is a great shoe to try. Runners seeking intimate trail information will find the underfoot cushion too much, but those looking to dip their blackened-toenail-laden toes into a more sensitive option will find a nice balance in the sole of the Pulsar Trail Pro.

salomon pulsar trail pro 2 for women - the shorter lugs and flexible nature of the outsole on the pulsar...
The shorter lugs and flexible nature of the outsole on the Pulsar Trail make it a fairly sensitive shoe.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Comfort and Fit


Upon unwrapping the Pulsar Trail Pro 2, we were initially taken aback by the unwelcoming heel collar, precisely positioned cushioning, and single-pull lace system. To our pleasant surprise, slipping these shoes on proved to be a revelation. Within moments, we understood the buzz surrounding them. The strategically cushioned areas delicately cradled our tired feet, while the innovative lace system provided a secure midfoot lockdown—especially advantageous for navigating trails with speed and confidence. The cushion of the heel collar creates a secure and agile fit while the toe box allows space for toes to flex and work while running. The upper has a strip of padding to prevent the taught laces from digging into the tops of the feet. While not exactly a plush trail runner, we recommend the Pulsar Trail Pro to runners seeking a balance of comfort and speed-forward function.

salomon pulsar trail pro 2 for women - the forefoot of the pulsar trail is a bit wider than many of the...
The forefoot of the Pulsar Trail is a bit wider than many of the other shoes made by Salomon, making it a shoe that may appeal to a wider array of runners.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Weight


As we extol the agility of the Pulsar Trail, it's worth mentioning that it registers at 7.39 ounces for a women's size 6.5, which, while not particularly heavy, doesn't quite qualify as ultralight given its moderate capabilities. While we experienced no reservations about its performance during our runs, there's an intellectual inclination for it to shed some weight. In terms of weight, the Pulsar Trail falls squarely in the middle of the pack. If you're seeking an ultralight option, this may not be the ideal choice, but it certainly doesn't rank among the heaviest offerings on the market.

salomon pulsar trail pro 2 for women - the weight of the pulsar trail is pretty average, making it a...
The weight of the Pulsar Trail is pretty average, making it a neutral element when it comes to choosing a trail shoe.
Credit: Natalie Kafader

Should You Buy the Salomon Pulsar Trail Pro 2?


Depending on your needs, yes. The Salomon Pulsar Trail Pro is not a shoe that will suit every runner's needs. It is speedy, equipped for moderate trails, and comfortably stable. This is not the shoe we recommend for your 100-mile efforts, but for speedy jaunts on non-technical topography, this shoe has you covered.

salomon pulsar trail pro 2 for women - we know that the pulsar trail pro 2 won't appeal to all runners, but...
We know that the Pulsar Trail Pro 2 won't appeal to all runners, but it has become a standby in our rotation of trail shoes.
Credit: Ally Arcuri

What Other Trail Running Shoes Should You Consider?


The Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3 is a similar shoe that outperforms the Pulsar Trail. The S/Lab is a bit more equipped for rugged terrain but contains many of the lovable attributes of the Pulsar Trail. If speed on the trails is what you're after, the ultralight NNormal Kjerag would be a great shoe to seek out. If you like the idea of an embedded propulsive plate, the Hoka Tecton X 2 is a responsive shoe worth taking for a spin.

Ally Arcuri