Salomon Sense Mantra – Final Thoughts

The fact that I’m still not quite ready to retire these shoes probably tells you all you need to know.

A trusty workhorse of a not-quite-trail shoe
A trusty workhorse of a not-quite-trail shoe

To date, I’ve run 554 miles in these and it’s only really the grips on the sole that are showing any sign of wear and tear. While I’ve stuck to road shoes for my main pair, I’ve used these for runcommutes up and down the canal towpath, for Parkruns, and for the occasional jaunt up a fell or two in the Lakes. Oh, and for the Longest Day Run 2014, which was for me a gentle potter around 42 miles of the Peak District with some wonderful friends.

And to be fair, those are the types of run that these shoes were made for: firm paths and uneven ground, where you need a bit more grip than a road shoe, but where you still need to be able to run on stretches of firm ground or tarmac without sliding around like you’re running in studded football boots. And where it’s not really muddy enough to justify a traditional trail shoe.

So whereas I may have given the impression in my first impressions that these are trail shoes, they are not. Not really.  Put them to work climbing up or down a muddy hill or on winter grass sessions at the club, and they slide around almost as much as any other road shoe, while those with Mudclaws and the like ease away into the distance.

So why have I still not invested in a pair of ‘proper’ trail shoes? Well, because in all other situations I run in, these do the job. Yes, I could have used a pair of deep-lugged shoes for grass sessions, and probably for a few of my runs on the fells. But if your idea of a trail is, like mine most of the time, a flat-as-they-come stretch of disused railway line, a well-trodden and dry lakeland footpath, or a 4 mile stretch of impeccably maintained canal towpath, then these are perfect.

So there you have it: a really good all-rounder of a shoe. Comfortable, light, really securely fitting, with a bit of support and a better than average grip. I’ll be sad to retire these – which is why I’m not ready to, not just yet.

* Disclaimer: The lovely folk at Salomon gave me these to review

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