The Salomon Sense Ride 4 is a wonderful, beginner-friendly trail shoe

Kerry McCarthy
·2-min read

From Runner's World

  • Weight 290g (M) 235g (W)

  • Heel-To-Toe-Drop: 8mm

  • Type: trail/neutral

  • Price: £110

Buy now - men's

Buy now - women's

RW summary

A good door-to-trail option with a Jack of all trades vibe

General comments

If you’ve not done much offroad running before but are considering plucking up the courage to do so: grab yourself a pair of these. They’re a wonderful beginner-friendly pair of trail wheels and very sensibly priced for what they offer.

How’s the cushioning?

The midsole cushioning that Salomon has used (the brand calls it ‘Optivibe’) gives a really good mix of softness and give without being too spongey, which adds to the beginner-friendly motif because the shoe was in its comfort zone when testers were plodding along rather than doing anything more ambitious – and the soft feel is perfect for that.

The upper

In contrast to the midsole, the upper is very much that of a trail shoe, with a focus on protection. It’s tough and rugged and coped well with being attacked by flying wood chips, small stones and other offroad debris. It’s also water-resistant enough to be good enough for most surfaces but if you plough through a larger puddle, be warned – it’s not completely water-resistant.

Get a grip

Traction was very good on a variety of surfaces - although it struggled in proper muddy conditions. If a 1 is dry pavement and 10 is a Glastonbury mudslick, we’d say the Sense Ride 4 is good up to about a 6.

Lacing up

The pull-tight Quicklace system was handy as always. If you’ve not used one: rather than traditional laces which can be tricky to adjust with muddy shoes or at speed (don’t forget Salomon is at heart a brand that’s all about mountain racing and performance), many Salomon shoes come with a system that involves simply pulling a reinforced cord to tighten the shoe and securing it with a plastic toggle. However, Salomon needs to change the position of the tongue pouch into which the loose ends of the cord are tucked - it’s hidden away under the rest of the lacing and is too difficult to access easily.

No big changes

Fans of the shoe will be pleased to note that the only real change from version 3 is the heel counter which has been made slightly more padded for extra protection. If you have skinny ankles you’ll find the rear of the shoe a better fit as a consequence too.

Conclusion

Good value for money. Buy this for multi terrain parkruns and runs where the focus is on exploration rather than performance.

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