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Salomon Sense Ride 3 - Women's Review

A versatile cross-over trail runner that performs through most conditions
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Price:  $120 List | $89.96 at Backcountry
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Pros:  Versatile uses, good fit, nice support and comfort, responsive
Cons:  Not the most stable, doesn't perform well in mud
Manufacturer:   Salomon
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 29, 2020
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70
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#15 of 19
  • Foot protection - 20% 7
  • Sensitivity - 20% 9
  • Traction - 15% 6
  • Stability - 15% 5
  • Comfort and Fit - 15% 9
  • Weight - 15% 5

Our Verdict

If you're seeking a versatile trail runner, the Salmon Sense Ride 3 is one of our favorites. This durable and high-quality trail runner is built like a roadrunner to take on the trails. It's streamlined, protective, and comfortable. It has ample cushioning throughout the heel and midfoot, with sensitivity in the forefoot. The smaller lugs are quite grippy, holding to technical surfaces on both steep and flat terrain. While we do love this shoe, it's unfortunately not as stable as we'd like and doesn't perform very well in sticky mud. If you want a shoe that'll do for 99% of the terrain you'll encounter, anywhere around the world, this versatile warrior is a great choice.

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Our Analysis and Test Results

The Salmon Sense Ride 3 is a versatile trail runner that can go from the trails to the road. While its outsole isn't the most aggressive, it'll hold up on most dry technical and non-technical terrain. It's comfortable and features a specific fit best for regular to narrow feet. It has an 8-mm drop, suitable for both heel and midfoot strikers.

Performance Comparison


A look at the traditional Salomon Sense Ride 3. The new iteration features a reworked collar and midsole. It's not as light as it used to be  but it's still a versatile workhorse that'll perform on most terrain.
A look at the traditional Salomon Sense Ride 3. The new iteration features a reworked collar and midsole. It's not as light as it used to be, but it's still a versatile workhorse that'll perform on most terrain.

Foot Protection


Protection is above average in this shoe with it's ample cushioning throughout the midsole. The upper is protective from debris while the toe cap is tough, keeping your toes protected against stubs. This is a shoe we'd take on everything from speedy road workouts to technical trails. Expect your feet to feel protected. While the cushioning is ample, some of our testers did mention that they could feel rocks and roots underfoot, a product of its excellent sensitivity. As a result, it doesn't earn top marks in this metric.

The toe cap is protective while the upper will keep particulates out.
The toe cap is protective while the upper will keep particulates out.

Sensitivity


We love the sensitivity of this shoe. It features more cushioning in the heel with a thin layer in the mid and forefoot. This allows you to get intimate with the trail. If you prefer to feel most things underfoot, this shoe will provide that experience. It's far and away from a barefoot trail runner, but it'll give you a more intimate experience than most.

On all trails tested  we could feel most things underfoot which gives us confidence and a sense of intimacy with the trail.
On all trails tested, we could feel most things underfoot which gives us confidence and a sense of intimacy with the trail.

Traction


The ContraGrip outsole features many smaller lugs with medium spacing. It provides great traction on steep, rocky terrain that'll hug even slick rock trails.

A look at the non-technical but sticky outsole that does well on dry  technical  and non-technical trails.
A look at the non-technical but sticky outsole that does well on dry, technical, and non-technical trails.

The lugs aren't super aggressive and unfortunately doesn't shed very well. As a result, while it can perform on dry trails, its not our top recommendation for muddy or rainy weather. Surprisingly, on flatter snow surfaces, it actually does a decent job. However, on steep snow, we'd opt for a shoe with deeper lugs as we found ourselves sliding around quite a bit. While this shoe is built to handle basically any surface, it's optimized for dry conditions and can easily cross-over for road running.

Traction overview.
Traction overview.

Stability


The newest design feels a lot less stable than previous versions. While this shoe will help to keep you upright and intimate with the trail, we found lateral stability to be subpar. The heel is quite tall, and we actually feel more elevated in this shoe. We rolled our ankles a few times while running in this shoe. As a result of this instability, our main tester didn't typically choose it for more technical trails. The forefoot is fairly wide, but the fit feels more narrow and higher than it did before. Our experience? Less stable than other contenders and previous iterations.

The lateral stability of this shoe is lacking  but the design does keep the foot in place. The lateral welded skeleton adds some stability to the design.
The lateral stability of this shoe is lacking, but the design does keep the foot in place. The lateral welded skeleton adds some stability to the design.

Comfort and Fit


Many women love this shoe for its excellent comfort and specific fit. The fit isn't as wide as our super wide contenders but provides plenty of room for toe wiggle. The heel is specific, there is a little arch support, and a decently wide platform. For super long distances, we didn't choose it as we prefer a wider shoe (our main tester was wider feet). However, women looking for a slimmer fit will appreciate its ample room and stiffer construction.

It uses a one-pull lacing system that stuffs into a pouch on the tongue of the shoe.
It uses a one-pull lacing system that stuffs into a pouch on the tongue of the shoe.

Weight


A size nine shoe weighs 10.2 oz. Compared to other shoes, it is a little heavier but doesn't feel like that on the trail.

Value


If you're a woman seeking a less aggressive trail runner that'll do well over technical terrain and roads, the Salmon Sense Ride offers excellent value. We didn't have any issues with durability after testing it for over 100+ miles. The price is about average, and Salmon is known for its level of quality that's known to last well into the upper hundreds of miles.

This shoe is built for most trails. Whether you're crossing over to the road or tackling a rocky mountain ridge  they'll do the trick.
This shoe is built for most trails. Whether you're crossing over to the road or tackling a rocky mountain ridge, they'll do the trick.

Conclusion


The Salmon Sense Ride 3 offers a comfortable ride over most types of terrain. While it's suitable for dry technical trails, its limitations are reached in super wet or muddy terrain. This is an excellent cross-over shoe as well. If you typically stick to hilly trails that aren't climbing up tall mountains with wet or sloppy steeps, this 8-mm drop shoe will offer a comfortable ride over a plethora of distances. Built for racing and training, it's designed to transition from the pavement to the trail.

Amber King