Thursday, January 25, 2018

Salomon Sense Pro Max - Product Review

So after much deliberation... I have chosen Salomon Sense Pro Max to be the successor of my go-to trail shoe after the retirement of my much celebrated Hoka Challenger ATR...

This shoe caught my attention only because it was on sale. :) I have been reading up on Altra, Topo shoes & constantly monitoring prices of Hoka Challengers/Speedgoats etc.. but with events looming I knew I couldn't wait forever to secure new pair of go-to trail shoes ..

I knew nothing of the the Sense Pro series after deciding to stick to the generally wider & cushioned range of shoes which Salomon is not exactly known for...

But lo & behold.. I was most intrigued when I read that the Sense Pro Max is Salomon's first stab into maxi-shoes... that's a first. And with stack height higher than the Challenger, it was also in line with my search for cushioned shoes.

I was further convinced when I read on more than one website it was suitable for wider feet as well...... it was an easy choice from then on.

I've only really run 10km to date in them, but it was enough to tell me this:

What I absolutely love:
  1. The snug-fit 'endofit' sleeves that all websites been going on about, truly feels awesome.. in fact it's so nice that I prefer to wear these shoes barefoot! This also means you can more or less forget about pairing them with thicker trail socks.. 
  2. The trademark quality Salomon upper with quality lacing.. its a fact - Salomon care about quality & I always feel I am paying for something with quality whenever I buy Salomon.. I love it.
  3. The maxi-ness of it all.. 
  4. The road-trail combi... 
What I don't quite love:
  1. It's not exactly wide....? bit narrow for the toe-box section in fact.. I was a bit let down because I was expecting the same wide fit as XT Hornet... and whilst it doesn't feel restrictive like most Salomon shoes and the upper does stretch... I feel that what some websites are stating ie. they are good for wide feet is a tad misleading?... or perhaps people need to fully aware that all these terms of very much relative.. ie. your wide is not the same as my wide... or maybe explain that the upper will accomodate wide feet? so I would highly recommend for people to check your feet against my measurements - and then make a call on these shoes. In all fairness these shoes are likely to start stretching & moulding to my feet - and in fact time will tell whether I have more to say re the fit for wider feet.. 

You can see Hornet is the real wide here... SPM not so much..

See the difference in fit? 

You can see how the upper stretches & mould to the shape of your feet... Just hope they will stand the test of time
What I have yet to love:
  1. I have yet to discover how they feel over longer distances & on fully technical trails.. 
  2. I have yet to see how long-lasting the upper material is.. especially where the sides of my feet are stretching against.. 
What is worth remarking:
  1. The sizing for Sense Pro Max is indeed true to size.. compared to other Salomon's - very very very confusing for online buyers & I hope Salomon starts aligning their product sizing to have some consistency across their range. The picture above shoes SPM at UK8.5 and XT Hornet at UK9.5 - and as it turned out, they felt about the same to my toes... one really needs to be mindful with this one.. 
  2. Sole - it's no longer by Ortholite... it's by good ol Salomon.. eventhough it states on the tongue that there is some Ortholite involved here .. see below

Maybe a deliberate call to keep the sole thin ... 

I will certainly have more to yak about on these shoes as I hit some serious trails with them... stay tuned folks!!

Other reviews:


I've done about 200km on these shoes to date - on the technical trails the shoe does feel a bit stiff on the little rocks & edges - and my old ankle injury have been tested few times I must say. It isn't as cushioned as compared to the Hokas. So despite its 'maximalist' title, this shoe does feel more like a normal cushioned shoe. Slightly on the stiff side to be exact. Sorry Salomon but its true. On the plus side, the stiffness of the outsole would also means is that the shoe will certainly be tough enough to last a while. Certainly not great news for old bones like mine.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Baw Baw Trail Run Festival

Yup. Did the 21k 2 years ago & just getting a bit nostalgic tonight of my fitter days & felt like writing something :)

Overall recollection of the 21k event is... I shat myself, I remember panting a lot .. I recall running this event knowing I would suffer due to lack of training, so yea... make sure you train your elevations! It is a mountain event afterall.

Overall route impression was.. challenging undulations & mixed bag wrt terrain, runnables + single trails + semi-technical to technical.. one would want to ready running through certain sections that have undergrowth covering one's view of the single-trails that are laden with roots & rocks.. going fast along these sections (esp downhill) would require nimble feet, strong ankles (& decent flexible shoes - stiff shoes will likely result in rolling one's ankles)..

Or one could go slow :)

Expectedly this wasn't my best run in my best form. I ran simply to satisfy my trail-running-in-mountain itch :)

Would I recommend the event - absolutely. If you're pretty seasoned trail runner.. this event would make a decent challenge. I heard from friends the marathon distance is sweetly brutal as well. If you've just started to love trail-running, then take it easy on yourself for this one & just soak in the beautiful Baw Baw when you're out there..

Happy running folks! Need to get back on my feet soon.

*Pant pant pant..