Product Review – Salomon Sense Mantra Trail Running Shoes

A few weeks ago the very kind folk at Salomon sent me some of their Sense Mantra W trail running shoes to try. At the time I was in full-on Yorkshire Marathon training mode so haven’t really had an opportunity to test them until now. I’ve been taking things a bit easy since the marathon, just doing a few short, gentle runs, but with the Leeds Abbey Dash coming up this weekend I thought I’d better remind my legs what 10K feels like. So last Sunday me and the Salomons went for a run that incorporated a couple of miles of off-road along a river flood bank.

 I must admit that in the past I’ve always thought of Salomon more in the context of walking and hiking rather than running. I’ve had a couple of pairs of their walking boots and found them really good. I used to do quite a bit of long distance walking and many years ago bought a pair of their Exit Lo boots that really were as comfy as a pair of slippers. We walked zillions of miles together and I only recently got rid of them when they were virtually falling apart! I replaced them with another pair of Salomon walking shoes with Gore-Tex that are great, but I still kinda miss the old ones…

The Sense Mantras were so pretty and pristine it almost seemed a shame to take them out and get them muddy! I really liked the Quicklace system, which was very neat. So how did the shoes perform on the run? Well, what I liked most about them was that they’re very lightweight. Each shoe apparently weighs 210g, considerably less than my Brooks Cascadia trail shoes which are almost 300g. So even though the Salomons were supportive as I tested them by dodging potholes and running up and down the flood bank they felt no different to road shoes when I was running on the road. I imagine they’d be a good shoe to wear for winter road training as well as off-road running. Admittedly this wasn’t a very long run, but I’m hoping to get up to Dalby Forest in the near future to give them a proper trail workout. I really wish I’d had these shoes when I went on holiday to Brittany in August and did some running along the coastal path, they would have been perfect for that.

I also decided to canvass opinion on these shoes amongst my running friends. One of them, a fast runner who does loads of trail running, already uses Sense Mantras and loves them. Another friend who completed the Al Andalus off-road stage race in Spain this year is full of praise for Salomon trail shoes in general. So people who are much better runners than me are obviously big fans! I’m hoping to do some 10K off-road races as part of my training for the Manchester Marathon in April, so I’m sure these shoes will be seeing a lot more action over the next few months. They will certainly be the perfect holiday running wear in the future, ideal for both on and off-road.

Thank you so much for sending these to me Salomon. Lovely as York is, I am still very jealous that you all get to work in beautiful Annecy! I was there on a cycling holiday a few years ago and tackled the nearby Col de la Colombière. I hope to come back soon. Merci beaucoup!