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Reviews Salomon

SALOMON ULTRA-GLIDE REVIEW

THE BUZZ

The Salomon Ultra-Glide is a brand new maximally cushioned trail running shoe with a thick midsole platform that delivers a soft, smooth, rolling ride.

It’s geared for long-haul comfort for a wide range of runners, from newcomers to the trails to experienced mountain runners and veteran ultrarunners.

Salomon Ultra-Glide Review

WHAT’S NEW

The Ultra-Glide incorporates features of many of Salomon’s other successful trail shoes, but its most notable features are the new thick midsole cushioning that’s paired with a curvy rocker profile.

A sturdy, reinforced engineered mesh upper protects and secures the foot with a comfortable, wrap-like fit.  Salomon’s Quicklace system is the best single-pull lacing system in the business.

Once you slide your foot into the shoe, an easy tug on the Quicklace system pulls the Kevlar-enhanced laces equitably and secures the upper around the unique shape of your foot without any gaps or pinching.

It locks down the heel and saddle while giving the forefoot and toes the freedom of movement necessary for dynamic foot strikes on off-camber surfaces.

The flexible outsole is made from an updated version of Salomon’s multi-density Contragrip material that’s also found on its Sense Ride shoes.

It features an array of smallish 3-4mm directional soft and rigid lugs that provide good grip on hard rock, loose dirt and wooden steps with a reliably secure feeling no matter if the surface is wet or dry.

Our wear-testers loved the combination of fit, comfort, cushioning and protection the Ultra-Glide provides. It’s perhaps the most complete package of features Salomon has ever packed into one trail running shoe.

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The Salomon Ultra-Glide fits true-to-size with a medium-volume interior. The semi-pliable upper, gusseted tongue and one-pull Quicklace system allow it to accommodate a wide range of foot shapes and provide a snug, locked-down fit, while a slightly more spacious toe box (especially compared to other Salomon trail shoes) gives plenty of room for the toes to wiggle, flex and splay.

The step-in feel is soft and modestly plush, highlighted by the extra padding in the tongue and heel collar. The special sauce of this shoe is the flowy, energetic rolling sensation the rocker geometry provides in every stride.

The ride is smooth, soft and consistent as it transitions from a shock-absorbing feeling at heel-strike to lively pop at the toe-off phase. 

Salomon Ultra-Glide Review

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

Runners who appreciate a soft, max-cushioned ride on the trails will love the Ultra-Glide.

It’s not mushy soft like some thickly cushioned trail runners, and that gives it a runner slightly more intuitive feel for the trail for such a high-off-the-ground shoe.

It’s light enough to be fast, but it has enough structure to provide dependable, stable running on semi-technical trails.

If you like the high-stack feeling in a trail running shoe, you’ll love the Ultra-Glide as a trail racing shoe or as an everyday trainer.

Salomon Ultra-Glide Review

PROS: SALOMON ULTRA-GLIDE

The Ultra Glide features a super-soft Energy Surge midsole and a dramatically rocker profile that combine to serve up a smooth, rolling and responsive sensation in every stride.

Salomon footwear designers co-molded a piece of foam into the forefoot that, in combination with the outsole geometry, creates more ground filter and protection against rocks.

The engineered mesh upper is made from a soft, light breathable mesh that secures the foot and feels just as comfortable in motion as it does the moment the laces are secured.

It features subtly reinforcements that provide a touch of structure in the sidewalls for lateral stability and enhanced comfort. A durable toe cap offers forefoot protection against rocks, roots and other obstacles out on the trails. 

The Ultra-Glide was created with an accommodating road running last that allow it to appeal to a wider range of runners, but it still fits snugly due to the Sensifit “wings” that extend through the sidewalls and the Salomon Quicklace system that provide the wrap-like feel.

Salomon Ultra-Glide Review

CONS: SALOMON ULTRA-GLIDE

Because of the chunky midsole cushioning, the Ultra-Glide gives off less of a proprioceptive feel for than the connective feeling most Salomon trail shoes are known for having.

If that’s not your jam, you might not like running in the Ultra-Glide.

TECH SPECS

Salomon Ultra-Glide Tech Specs

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Men's Salomon Ultra-Glide Review
MEN’S SALOMON ULTRA-GLIDE COMING SOON
Women's Salomon Ultra-Glide Review
WOMEN’S SALOMON ULTRA-GLIDE COMING SOON
Categories
Asics Reviews

ASICS GEL-CUMULUS 23 REVIEW

THE BUZZ

One of the classic legacy shoes in the ASICS line, the ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23 is a neutral everyday trainer with sufficient cushioning, a comfortable ride and a versatile, do-everything vibe. It’s been updated slightly from the previous edition, with a slightly softer feel and a more forgiving ride.

ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23 Review

WHAT’S NEW

The previous edition of this shoe was pretty good, so ASICS smartly didn’t change it too much. The biggest changes are that there is little bit more Flytefoam cushioning in the midsole and a new gender-specific construction. The gender-specific construction allows the shoe to more optimally flex and adapt to men’s and women’s footstrike patterns.

FIT, FEEL, RIDE

The ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23 has a classic ASICS fit. It is perfectly true to size length-wise and not too narrow and not too wide. The step-in feel is comfortable and moderately cushy, but not overly plush.

It has an easy-flexing demeanor in the forefoot, but the slightly lower-to-the-ground forefoot provides good feel for the ground. The shoe feels slightly firm as you transition to the toe-off phase of a stride. That allows it to run at moderately fast speeds, although it isn’t quite as plushy and comfortable as a result.

The ride is smooth, semi-soft, natural and consistent, but not exceptionally energetic or bouncy — especially compared to other shoes out there with more advanced foam midsoles. 

ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23 Review

WHO IT’S BEST FOR

This is a great entry-level shoe for new or novice runners, but it can also be a reliable everyday trainer for experienced runners who log modest mileage every week. It’s one of those shoes that does everything pretty well without having one exceptional feature, and that’s a good thing.

Its wheelhouse is slow and moderate paces, but it’s versatile enough to handle faster paces for shorter distances, though not quite peppy enough for speed workouts or racing.

ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23 Review

PROS: ASICS GEL-CUMULUS 23

The new, one-piece engineered mesh upper is smooth, soft and comfortable, wrapping the forefoot while accommodating for a wide variety of foot shapes. It really helps dial in a connective, comfortable fit and makes up for the lack of a gusseted tongue. 

The rear of the shoe is comfortable, secure and supportive. This is thanks to a rigid internal heel counter and copious amounts of padding around the heel and ankle collar. Also, it has a slightly softer, and more shock-absorbing GEL component.

The outsole has been reconfigured with more segmented narrower bands or soft rubber in the forefoot and a lateral decoupling groove pattern of firmer, more durable rubber in the rearfoot. The new configuration contributes to the softer more accommodating ride without giving up traction or sturdiness in every stride.

ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23 Review

CONS: ASICS GEL-CUMULUS 23

This shoe actually got slightly heavier — by about a half ounce — compared to the Cumulus 22. That might not seem like a lot, but it was enough to put at the higher end of the everyday trainer category. It’s not heavy, just heavier than last year’s edition.

TECH SPECS

ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23 Review | Tech Specs

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ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23 Review
COMING SOON – MEN’S ASICS-GEL CUMULUS 23
ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23 Review
COMING SOON – WOMEN’S ASICS-GEL CUMULUS 23
Categories
Brands Reviews Saucony

SAUCONY ENDORPHIN PRO REVIEW

SAUCONY ENDORPHIN PRO – SHOE REVIEW

by BRIAN METZLER | JUNE 2020

THE BUZZ

The Endorphin Pro is Saucony’s long-awaited entry into the world of long-distance racing shoes. The Endorphin Pro features a carbon-fiber plate embedded in a soft, resilient midsole foam.

This new style has been in the works for two years from Saucony. It debuted on the feet of Saucony pros at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in February in Atlanta, including women’s second-place finisher Molly Seidel.

Saucony Endorphin Pro - What's New

WHAT’S NEW: SAUCONY ENDORPHIN PRO

The Endorphin Pro is a brand new racemshoe that represents the best of Saucony’s engineering and design efforts. It’s built on Saucony’s SpeedRoll technology, a forward-leaning geometry that propels you forward with the feeling of continuous momentum, so you can run faster and more efficiently without running harder.

The Saucony Endorphin Pro feels light, firm, energetic, efficient and smooth, especially at faster speeds.

Saucony Endorphin Pro - Fit and Feel

FIT-FEEL-RIDE

The Saucony Endorphin Pro fits snug and lean around your feet from heel to toe with a tiny bit of wiggle room in the toe box. The step-in feeling is soft, but the interior comfort isn’t overwhelmingly cushy and plush. It’s a lightweight shoe that without much structure — there is no heel counter and barely there upper, though the sockliner is highly molded and provides additional support in the heel and arch.

The magic of this shoe becomes apparent once you put it in motion. We found it to be light, lively and surprisingly stable during our initial training runs. It has a decidedly stiff flex demeanor, but it produces a buttery smooth rolling sensation from the moment your foot impacts with the ground to the moment your forefoot lifts off the ground to start a new stride.

For those reasons and more, we consider this race shoe to be one to be among the very best of this new class of carbon-fiber-enhanced racing shoes.

WHO’S IT BEST FOR?

Runners who are training with performance-oriented goals in mind will love the Saucony Endrophin Pro. It’s light, it’s fast and it’s efficient. It makes running fast speeds smoother and easier and can help take you down a path of progression in your fitness and your racing goals.

The secret sauce of the Endorphin Pro is SpeedRoll Technology, the combination of the new ultralight PeBa-based PWRRUN PB foam midsole cushioning and the full-length, S-curve carbon fiber plate embedded in the middle of it. The curvy carbon-fiber plate acts as a lever that propels a runner’s foot forward after impact, but it also reduces energy exerted from the muscles of the forefoot as it lifts off into a new stride and decreases fatigue in the lower calf muscle and Achilles tendon.

PROS AND CONS: SAUCONY ENDORPHIN PRO

Saucony Endorphin Pro - Pros

Pros: Saucony Endorphin Pro

The Endorphin Pro has a moderate 8mm heel-toe offset, which falls into the modern sweet spot of heel and forefoot stack heights. It doesn’t feel as high off the ground or as egregiously bouncy as some of the other shoes in this category.

The lightweight upper of the Endorphin Pro is breathable and accommodating, thanks to the FORMFIT technology that wraps a runner’s foot and ensures a personalized, locked-in fit for optimal performance.

This shoe has been in the works for nearly two years and has helped Saucony elite athletes Jared Ward, Molly Seidel, Parker Stinson and Noah Droddy run fast times, set records and achieve new levels of success.

The Endorphin Pro is a part of a series of shoes that includes the mid-range Endorphin Speed and cushier Endorphin Shift. Each shoe shares some of the same basic design tenets and materials.

Each of those shoes will be released in July 2020.

Saucony Endorphin Pro - Cons

Cons: Saucony Endorphin Pro

To keep the shoe extremely light, Saucony used only small sections of durable rubber on the outsole, so there is a lot of exposed foam that is susceptible to wear and tear as the miles add up.

It’s not a huge detractor (as most shoes in this category are built with similar outsole design constructs) but it’s a reminder that this shoe should be reserved for racing and key speed workouts.

TECH SPECS: SAUCONY ENDORPHIN PRO

Saucony Endorphin Pro - Tec Specs

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BRIAN METZLER

Brian Metzler has run races at every distance from 50 meters to 100 miles. He has wear-tested more than 1,500 pairs of shoes, is a three-time Ironman finisher and occasionally participates in the quirky sport of pack burro racing in Colorado.

He’s the founding editor of Trail Runner magazine, is a former senior editor at Running Times and editor in chief at Competitor Magazine. He’s the author of “Kicksology”, “Running Colorado’s Front Range” and the co-author of “Natural Running: The Simple Path to Stronger Healthier Running” and “Run Like a Champion: An Olympian’s Approach for Every Runner.”