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Salomon Sense Ride 4 - Women's Review

A durable and protective cross-over shoe loaded with a sticky outsole and lots of cushioning to keep you protected on the long haul
Salomon Sense Ride 4 - Women's
Photo: Salomon
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Price:  $120 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Great value, sticky rubber outsole, sheds mud well, moderately cushioned, sensitive
Cons:  Lacks stability, crease across the forefoot causes a pinch point
Manufacturer:   Salomon
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 28, 2021
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66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#16 of 16
  • Foot Protection - 25% 8
  • Traction - 20% 8
  • Sensitivity - 15% 7
  • Stability - 15% 5
  • Comfort and Fit - 15% 4
  • Weight - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The Salomon Sense Ride 4 is a durable and well-protected cross-over trail runner. It features a ContraGrip outsole with 4mm lugs that bite down on most surfaces. The 8mm heel-to-toe drop offers a little extra cushioning for heel strikers while promoting a sensitive yet comfortable ride. The sticky rubber does well on rocky surfaces, shedding mud when the rain starts to fall. Unfortunately, it lacks the stability you'd want on super technical and off-trail terrain, making it best for moderate trails. Explore urban environments and backcountry trails in this trail runner built for fast training runs and long ultra distances.

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Star Rating
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Pros Great value, sticky rubber outsole, sheds mud well, moderately cushioned, sensitiveLight, very protective, excellent mud shed, superior traction, surprisingly stableExcellent traction, great balance of foot protection and sensitivity, specific fit, durable outsoleLightweight and streamlined, durable elements, very sensitive, precise fit, protective upper, stable on technical terrain, fun color optionsSensitive, stable, precise fit, great for technical surfaces
Cons Lacks stability, crease across the forefoot causes a pinch pointNarrow fit, runs small, rigid construction takes time to break-inHigher heel is less stable, lugs wear down on pavementExpensive, no extra room in the toe box, tongue requires readjustment, zero drop design is best for only someHeavier, lacks cushioning, best for narrow feet
Bottom Line A durable and protective cross-over shoe loaded with a sticky outsole and lots of cushioning to keep you protected on the long haulStable and deliciously sticky, this contender is just a crusher all the way around, built for training runs and long distances alikeAn aggressive trail shoe that is built for the steepest and most technical trails out thereOur favorite for its low profile and zero-drop design that feels like an extension of the body, ready to tackle technical terrainA sensitive yet protective trail runner best for technical terrain, with a little less cushioning in the forefoot
Rating Categories Sense Ride 4 Dynafit Feline SL - Women's Speedcross 5 Inov-8 Terraultra G270 Bushido 2
Foot Protection (25%)
8
8
9
6
6
Traction (20%)
8
9
9
8
8
Sensitivity (15%)
7
9
7
9
9
Stability (15%)
5
8
7
9
8
Comfort And Fit (15%)
4
6
7
6
8
Weight (10%)
6
6
5
9
5
Specs Sense Ride 4 Dynafit Feline SL... Speedcross 5 Inov-8 Terraultra... Bushido 2
Measured Weight (per shoe, size 9) 9.8 oz 9.8 oz 10.7 oz 8.3 oz 10.3 oz
Heel-to-Toe Drop 8 mm 8 mm 10 mm 0 mm 6 mm
Stack Height (Heel, Forefoot) 32 mm, 24 mm Not disclosed 35 mm, 25 mm 12 mm, 12 mm 19 mm, 13 mm
Upper Textile/synthetic Mesh, continuous nylon Nylon mesh, sythetic overlays Mesh and TPU AirMesh, Thermal adhesive microfiber, High frequency welded ripstop
Midsole EVA & Optivibe composite foam Feline SL midsole Injected EVA Powerflow Max 1.5 mm dual-density compressed EVA
Outsole Rubber Sticky Pomoco Outer Contragrip Graphene Grip Dual-Density FriXion XT V-Groove with Impact Brake System
Rock Plate? Not disclosed Not disclosed Yes Not disclosed Yes
Wide Version Available? No No No No No
Sizes Available 5 - 12 5 - 11 5 - 12 5.5 - 11 36 - 43 EU

Our Analysis and Test Results

What's New With the Salomon Sense Ride 4?

  • Updated mesh that is more breathable
  • Lighter weight
  • Updated heel cup
  • Thinner collar around the heel

A look at the updated version of the Salomon Sense Ride 4 (right) in...
A look at the updated version of the Salomon Sense Ride 4 (right) in comparison to the Sense Ride 3 (left).
Photo: Amber King

The Salomon Sense Ride 4 remains a responsive ride for moderately technical terrain. It offers excellent cross-over performance with fantastic underfoot protection and a sticky outsole. While we appreciate the sensitive yet protective ride, we do wish it was a touch more stable. It has a wider toe box in comparison to other Salomon shoes, with an 8mm drop from heel to toe.

Performance Comparison


The Salomon Sense Ride 4 is a nice trail shoe that does okay in most...
The Salomon Sense Ride 4 is a nice trail shoe that does okay in most metrics. It crosses over to the pavement with ease, allowing you to explore all sorts of trails.
Photo: Amber King

Foot Protection


The Sense Ride 4 offers a protected ride with a rigid and reactive midsole. It has a stack height of 30mm in the heel and 25mm in the forefoot, with a medium amount of cushion. It doesn't have a rock plate, but the EVA and Optivibe composite foam is quite thick and protective, distributing impact effectively. The midsole is hard enough to withstand everything from long urban runs on the pavement to running over sharper rocks and roots on the trail.

The toe cap is reinforced with a breathable upper.
The toe cap is reinforced with a breathable upper.
Photo: Amber King

The upper mesh is made from a synthetic textile, with an update to the design in this iteration. While this updated mesh is multilayered and breathable in warm weather, it does collect sand, which is annoying on longer desert runs. Light rain will wick away from the upper, but it's far from waterproof. Luckily, it does dry quickly but had some trouble draining during our creek crossing tests. Overall, it earns an average score.

The EVA & Optivibe midsole is thick and well-cushioned offering...
The EVA & Optivibe midsole is thick and well-cushioned offering protection for most trails.
Photo: Amber King

Traction


The traction on this outsole is identical to its predecessor, featuring 4mm diamond-shaped lugs, spaced far apart enough. While the lugs aren't so long as to dig into the deepest of mud, it sheds clay-based particulates well, with the ContraGrip rubber offering sticky performance that inspires confidence while tip-toeing over rocky ridges.

The sticky rubber does well on rocky surfaces, shedding mud well in...
The sticky rubber does well on rocky surfaces, shedding mud well in our tests as well.
Photo: Amber King

This makes it a great shoe for scrambling and exploring more technical and off-trail surfaces. The lugs are pretty durable too, with a flat-top design that does well on pavement and buffed-out trails. Overall, we are pretty happy with the overall performance of this outsole. It doesn't compete with those that have super aggressive lugs, but it does well over most slippery and even soft surfaces.

A look at the ContraGrip outsole with plenty of durable lugs that...
A look at the ContraGrip outsole with plenty of durable lugs that offer a smooth transition from toeing the trail to liftoff.
Photo: Amber King

Sensitivity


Sensitivity is in the name. You can feel the undulations of the surface while dodging holes, rocks, and roots. The thicker EVA midsole offers protection, but vibrations through the foam translate into a vision of what the surface looks like. While it's not the most sensitive shoe tested in this review, know that you'll feel the trail, especially if you prefer a forefoot strike. Heel strikers will feel in their element too. We think the Sense Ride 4 does a good job at balancing protection while allowing you to feel the trail.

The thinner forefoot offers excellent sensitivity so you can feel...
The thinner forefoot offers excellent sensitivity so you can feel what's underfoot.
Photo: Amber King

Stability


The Achilles heel of this shoe lies in its stability. Several times when our testers got tired or were unsuspectingly gazing off while on the run, ankles were turned. The forefoot does have a wider toe box, which helps to promote balance, but the stack height is high. Additionally, the outsole of this shoe looks more narrow than the midfoot, not providing a wider platform for landing, and thus a steeper sidewall for more potential turns. It's not helped by the fact that the chunkier EVA outsole seems like a lightweight brick underfoot. While the upper does wrap the foot, and the fit feels streamlined, there's some work to do. We needed to be extra aware on uneven terrain or whenever we strayed from buffed-out trails.

While this shoe is flexible, we didn't think it was super stable. We...
While this shoe is flexible, we didn't think it was super stable. We experienced ankle rolls on more than one occasion on moderately technical terrain.
Photo: Amber King

Comfort and Fit


There's no doubt that Salmon did a stand-up job developing a comfortable shoe built to take on the miles. It features an 8mm drop with moderate to thick cushioning throughout the midsole. The ride is very responsive, taking a little time to break in. While it is durable, we did notice some flaws with the fit that we didn't see in the previous iteration.

A look at the fit. The toe box is wider in comparison to most other...
A look at the fit. The toe box is wider in comparison to most other Salomon shoes but falls into the "regular" width amongst other competitors.
Photo: Amber King

The durable midsole took us roughly 30-40 miles to break-in. The newest iteration has an updated lacing system that is set wider apart, allowing you to really cinch it down with a single pull, even if you have a narrower foot. That said, we did notice the laces slip after long days on the run. We also don't like that the pocket for the pull tab is hard to access, causing us to loosen the laces to tuck it in, which doesn't help to make an easy fit. It has a neutral feel with a little bit of support towards the median part of the arch.

We don't love the one-pull laces. While they are quick and easy to...
We don't love the one-pull laces. While they are quick and easy to use, the lace is difficult to stuff into the pouch without loosening the fit.
Photo: Amber King

One reason this shoe earns fewer points in this metric is because of a crease that we noticed at the forefoot of the shoe. This became an annoyance, digging into the foot, and causing a pinch point — this isn't an issue we experienced with the previous iteration. To ensure it wasn't just our main editor, we handed off this shoe to friends, who also verified this issue. While this issue may be one that we notice, and goes unnoticed by others, we have to give it a lower score than most. Aside from this issue, it'll fit anybody with a regular to narrow foot.

Weight


The newest iteration shaves a few grams off the previous model. We weighed a size nine shoe at 9.8 oz, earning it a low to average score in this department. The EVA midsole is a bit chunky, but the overall feel isn't bulky. For those that are seeking the lightest option on the market, you'd want to look elsewhere, but for most, this will do for a shorter training run or an ultra-distance adventure.

This shoe is a midweight option that feels light on the trail.
This shoe is a midweight option that feels light on the trail.
Photo: Amber King

Value


We love the value this shoe presents. While the fit might present an issue for some, it may work for others. For the price, few contenders are as durable and well crafted. It'll do well on most moderately technical trails. The previous version we tested is still going strong after 500+ miles, and we hope the newest iteration can do the same. After about 60 miles of hiking and running, it still looks like new, just starting to break into the midsole.

Conclusion


The Salomon Sense Ride 4 is a responsive trail shoe designed for comfort and protection. It has a unique balance, offering sensitivity on the trail, with a sticky ContraGrip rubber outsole, inspiring confidence on all types of terrain. It's best for those seeking a little extra cushion in the heel (it has an 8mm drop) and that want performance that can easily cross over from the pavement to the trails.

The Salomon Sense Ride 4 is a cross-over shoe that does well over...
The Salomon Sense Ride 4 is a cross-over shoe that does well over most surfaces. It's sensitive yet protective and a good choice for training runs or longer adventures.
Photo: Amber King

Amber King