Today, we take a look at the Salomon Sonic Pro 2. After looking around the interwebs, I haven’t seen too many reviews of this shoe. Part of the reason may be that in spite of Salomon being quite active on the trail and off-road markets they are really just dipping their toes (pun intended) into the road shoe market.
This is really a shame because all of the things which make their trail shoes great are really brought to the table in their road shoe offerings – and I’d say these kicks are a little more than road shoes – they are really road-to-trail or trail-to-road shoes. These would be perfect on any road and/or single track in northern California.
The great thing about this shoe and I’d wager most of the Salomon shoes, is that they keep on doing the things that they do well: making high-performance shoes that are worth the cost (more on that later). The upper is light and flexible yet durable. The toe box is wide for splay. The Salomon patented Sensifit sock-liner (which I love, love, love) locks your foot in place especially useful on a downhill (so your toes don’t shift forward). These forego the quick laces, but the replacements feel equally sturdy with a reasonable amount of giving.
Weight. Relatively speaking, at 8.4oz they are pretty light (not as light as the Sonic SLAB Pro’s) and have a relatively quick snap in your cadence. Something I did not expect is that they drain fairly well with good air flow through the mesh – this is something that I’m sure will be appreciated a TON on hotter days.
Flex. These shoes pivot across a 3-dimensional axis which allows you to corner like you’re on rails. Even with an 8 mm drop (which I know is high by some standards) this additional flexibility makes it hard to tell for the casual runner.
In short, they are bringing the technologies that work so well in a trail shoe to the road. And they work. And the looks well: killer. Salomon seems to get that sometimes simplicity in style equals awesome – and these are no different. I really like the dark navy/black and they really pop on the streets.
Cushion. Not unlike most faster shoes, they don’t have ample cushion. These shoes are designed for the fast runner. And although I am not one these days, I find them perfect for moderate runs, tempo runs, and the occasional fartlek session. While I wouldn’t consider these minimal shoes, they certainly are not exactly plush for the stack height. I could see this being a great shoe for a half or full marathon. Less so for an ultra-marathon.
Cost. While you generally except that Salomon is going to be on the higher end of the spectrum, finding these shoes retailing at as high as $180 is way too high for most people (myself included). The only hope is that with that extra money what you’re paying for is some decent durability and quality that doesn’t often exist at a lower price point. In general, I’d say that’s where the money goes – we’ll have to wait and see if that’s the case here. Your best bet with most Salomon shoes is to enjoy them when they go on sale.
Ever since the Sense Mantra 3, I’ve been looking for a road shoe from Salomon that can bring a light, fast package to both on/off the trail and initial miles indicate that this may be the best yet. Personally, I’ve been gravitating more and more to shoes with a lower stack height – it’s hard to find that balance between comfort, speed, weight, and durability. The Sonic Pro 2 seems to be moving in the right direction.