Salomon Sense Ride 4 - Women's Review
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
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Salomon Sense Ride 4 - Women's
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|$130 List||Check Price at REI|
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|$145.98 at Amazon||Check Price at REI|
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|Pros||Great value, sticky rubber outsole, sheds mud well, moderately cushioned, sensitive||Light, very protective, excellent mud shed, superior traction, surprisingly stable||Excellent traction, great balance of foot protection and sensitivity, specific fit, durable outsole||Lightweight and streamlined, durable elements, very sensitive, precise fit, protective upper, stable on technical terrain, fun color options||Sensitive, stable, precise fit, great for technical surfaces|
|Cons||Lacks stability, crease across the forefoot causes a pinch point||Narrow fit, runs small, rigid construction takes time to break-in||Higher heel is less stable, lugs wear down on pavement||Expensive, no extra room in the toe box, tongue requires readjustment, zero drop design is best for only some||Heavier, 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 haul||Stable and deliciously sticky, this contender is just a crusher all the way around, built for training runs and long distances alike||An aggressive trail shoe that is built for the steepest and most technical trails out there||Our favorite for its low profile and zero-drop design that feels like an extension of the body, ready to tackle technical terrain||A 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%)|
|Comfort And Fit (15%)|
|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
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
— Amber King