Salomon Supercross - Women's Review
Cons: Huge fit needs sizing up, 10mm drop is not for everybody
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Salomon Supercross is an affordable award winner that excels over technical terrain and sloppy surfaces. The 5-mm chevron-shaped lugs and architecture makes it incredibly versatile and lightweight. Suitable for short training runs and ultra-distance marathons, this is one you need to add to your collection. It has a large fit, so be sure to size down at least a half size. It has a 10-mm drop from heel to toe, making it suitable for any runner, whether you are heel, forefoot or midfoot striker.
Cushioned and protective, this award winner is built to take on the rockiest, sharpest, and most technical terrain you can imagine.
It features ample cushioning throughout the midsole that feels quite comfortable without feeling like you're in platforms. In fact, it feels surprisingly low and protective. We ran for over 20 miles (straight) in these shoes over broken and sharp rocks, roots, snow, and more. Through it all, our feet felt quite protected, weren't too sore, and didn't feel any underfoot trauma. The outsole distributes the impact of sharp rocks underfoot well, so you don't feel them poke up to hurt your foot. The toe cap has a nice bumper that is hard and protective of stubs.
The continuous upper offers excellent protection from particulates. When we had friends running in other shoes, they had to stop to remove sand and gravel on one run that ascended 4,000 feet into the sky over only five miles. We waited patiently, without having to take our shoe off, as none of the particulates penetrated the upper, nor did rocks get flicked into its high collar.
This shoe does come in a GTX (water-resistant) version, but we only wore the regular shoe. When going through water, the upper wicked away moisture well. When it got saturated, it dried out quickly, adding to its versatility for wet terrain, including water crossings. It isn't waterproof or water-resistant, but it offers a little bit of protection. As a result, it became a go-to for some Spring runs where we'd run into snowfields or big river crossings. Plus, the traction holds on some slippery rocks, adding to our confidence bucket.
Not only is this shoe protective, but it balances sensitivity perfectly. The forefoot is about 10mm thinner than the heel, allowing you to feel the terrain quite nicely underfoot. While the outsole distributes impacts, the forefoot sensitivity still allows you to feel and maneuver around the trail with ease. While this is far from a barefoot running shoe, it'll give you the sensitivity you'd seek that provides confidence when barreling down steeps at top speed.
We absolutely love this outsole, making it among the best in this review. The 5-mm chevron shaped lugs are aggressive and bite into the trail when heading both up and down the steepest and most technical slopes. Given the pliable nature of the lugs (that wear down on rocks over time), we wouldn't recommend it for road running.
We tested it over several surfaces ranging from deep snow to loose dirt, and trail grades up to 36%. We also took this shoe out after heavy rains over clay soils. Through it all, it provided excellent traction, shed mud with ease, and kept us confident when traversing steep slopes filled with snow. This is typically the trail runner we reach for when we know technical terrain is what we should expect.
Stability is above average, but it's not the lowest or widest option out there. It features a 10-mm drop and a surprisingly wide foot platform. On uneven terrain, we are surprised at its lateral stability that gives us the confidence to move quickly over unstable terrain.
The shoe has quite a bit of depth to it, so you don't feel like you're standing on a high platform (even though it looks tall). The heel is well cradled while the upper uses a basic welded skeleton system (articulating with the laces) to provide stability, especially when your ankle wants to turn.
This is actually the shoe we chose for one of the most technical alpine trails in the area. On the downhill, we were able to keep the pace up while barrelling over roots, loose and stationary rocks, and more. During the 80 miles of testing, we only rolled our ankle once (a minor roll). In comparison to other shoes with this level of aggression and heel-to-toe drop, it's one of the most stable and low feeling shoes we've tested. This is another reason it easily wins as our favorite for sloppy and technical surfaces.
Comfort and Fit
This shoe is quite comfortable, but the fit runs big. When they first arrived in the mail, we thought we had ordered the men's version. Turns out, we hadn't. At a size nine, we have about ½ - one inch of additional room in the toe. While this actually worked out for super long runs where our feet started to swell over time, we'd recommend sizing down at least a half size if you want a fit that'll work for you. If you like a tighter fit, we'd even recommend sizing down a whole size.
It provides excellent cushioning underfoot that is responsive but not too "springy." After 80 miles of wear, it still hadn't broken down, and we were able to run 10 miles comfortably after it came right out of the box. The heel cup is nicely fitted and doesn't pinch at the Achilles, offering a good fit for most women with both narrow and wide feet. The collar is thin while the tongue moves easily into position.
The toe box is quite wide around the ball of the foot and tapers to a point. While this provides a nice, specific fit, and allows you to tiptoe easily over obstacles, our testers noted that their feet felt 'squished' to the front when charging downhill, especially when the grade kicked back to +20%. The laces are a quick lace system and feature an elastic strap across the tongue (most Salomon shoes have this feature). Our main tester prefers this system to the pocket as the lace stays in place, and it's faster to put the shoe on and take it off. However, some women prefer the pocket.
A size nine shoe weighs in at 10.35 oz. In comparison to the competition, that's a little heavier, however, it's lighter than other options that offer this much protection, comfort, and rugged durability.
We think this shoe offers an excellent value that deserves a Best Buy award. It is affordable with outstanding durability. After 80+ miles, we see no wear and tear. The lugs still seem perfectly intact (with a tiny bit of wear from dry trails) while the outsole shows no wear around the collar or outsole. We expect this shoe to last upwards of 400 miles or more. Plus, the midsole didn't compact after just a few runs like other contenders. Overall, an excellent value.
The Salmon Supercross quickly became a new favorite for its performance over sloppy surfaces and technical terrain. It's stable with excellent traction. While the fit is quite huge and a bit weird, it works for a variety of foot shapes. It'll offer the comfort you seek for long trails, especially when tackling snow, slippery mud, loose rocks, and more.
— Amber King
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