By Jahla Seppanen
Salomon, a name synonymous with the rugged outdoors, has a foot in climbing, hiking, racing, running, skiing and snowboarding. However, the apparel, footwear and equipment manufacturer has experienced sweeping success with the growing urban and trail running categories, expanding its reach once more with four new 2016 footwear models, a range of apparel and a new pack – a little something for every type of trail user.
The Sonic Pro’s aesthetically clean outer design is actually highly technical. Designed to boost urban adventures and running, the light body made with breathable open mesh upper and 3D stretch air mesh makes it easier to spring down the sidewalk, promoting tempo and increased intensity for speed and interval workouts. And even though you’re in the concrete jungle as opposed to the uneven trail, the Sonic Pro still accounts for unexpected dips in whatever the track may be. A high abrasion Contragrip outsole, combined with high traction Contragrip sole and EnergyCell (cushioning technology) add a bit of security to the lightweight contender, because after all, people on the street might prove to be bigger obstacles than cacti and snakes. MSRP $140
If the track is technical then steer toward the Wings Pro 2, made to suit all types of trail conditions. Salomon recognized the anxiety that often accompanies runners descending a technical trail, when momentum can overpowers deliberate footing. This is the real trouble spot, where the majority of accidents occur. The company’s trademarked EndoFit and reinforced SensiFit holds the foot in place and works with the shoe’s Quicklace system to keep feet snug yet comfortable (no loss of circulation here). A dual density mid-sole protects against rocks underfoot and Wet Traction Contragrip is a back-pocket tool you’re thankful to have when the weather unexpectedly turns. This wet weather grip is distinguished by its deep and sharp-edged lugs made of two different rubber compounds. Wave slipping and sliding goodbye. MSRP $140
Not all trail runs have to be about grit and grime. With the popularity of recreational trail running for those who really do just want to smell the roses, without the torture of terrain, Salomon created the Sense Pro 2. Softer landing and easier transitions come about from the protective yet smooth design and technology. Mixing EndoFIT with Ortholite Impressions and SensiFIT yields a premium foothold, even if the track doesn’t require tons of grip. A technology called Energycell+ absorbs shock while promoting rebound. But no, it won’t do the running for you. MSRP $130
There are two kinds of adventurers: those who plan a route and complete a set distance on a set path, and those who never have a plan. If you find yourself without an answer to the question, “where are we going?” Salomon’s Crossamphibian will best prepare you for the unknown. This shoe promises to usher a new movement of wet/dry performance footwear that combines a running bottom and wet gripping sole with stretchy mesh upper. The revamped water shoe dries fast and promotes ventilation, and yet is sewn tight enough to prevent rocks, mud, and bugs from entering the shoe. MSRP $120
In the realm of apparel, the Elevate LS Hoodie satisfies both performance and comfort, which is always a plus for high-price apparel investments. A hoodie made for the early riser, the super soft and loose fitting piece is ideal for a morning warm up, before or after yoga, or anytime you want lightweight comfort. The hood has a crossover base for easy fit and the bottom hem has a longer, flattering silhouette. Beneath the surface an AdvancedSkin ActiveDry and ordor-control fabric keeps the material dry and smelling fresh. The days of soggy post-run coffee dates are done. MSRP $70
Lightweight, breathable, you’ve heard all that before. But how about flattering? Those who know Salomon know it’s going to be a high performing top, but the new 2016 Elevate Tank Tunic for Women incorporates style cues into its cut. The slightly looser fitting tank, made with patented AdvancedSkin ActiveDry and a stretch jersey fabric, has a longer hem, which elongates the torso for a more flattering line. The tunic is versatile as well, and can be worn both over a sports bra or, for cooler weather, over a cami to keep your mid-section warm. MSRP $40
The problem with most performance tights are they fit in some places and don’t in others, making it nearly impossible to find a perfect pair. Salomon’s Elevate 3/4 Tight features a wide and adjustable waistband, making the pant usable for a wider range of users. This adjustability is also great when you consider how your own body may fluctuate throughout the years. Since the apparel will still work, don’t make fit a reason to buy another pair. Elevate’s stretch fabric makes them great for running, yoga, hiking, cycling, or pretty much any kind of active movement. Even running out for errands is an excuse to wear the Elevate, since its unique color patterns make the technical piece a lifestyle crossbreed. It seems Salomon is adapting to the Athleisure trend like many other outdoor brands. Only these tights will be more moisture wicking and efficient at temperature regulation than Big Box alternatives. MSRP $70
And yes, a sports bra to match. The Medium Impact Bra uses the same AdvancedSkin ActiveDry technology as Salomon’s other 2016 apparel, wicking moisture in perhaps the most necessary area of all. Without this wicking, painful chafing ensues. The Medium Impact Bra is also sophisticated for its seamless design—another step toward no more irritation. Salomon also made the sizing easy to select, with a straight-forward Small, Medium, and Large option. However cookie cutter those sizes may sound, there is also self-adjusting to tailor exactly to your shape. The padded cups are removable, and the medium support should keep secure through easy runs and hikes. MSRP $48
Although not a piece of apparel in the traditional sense, wearing the S-Lab Peak 20 Set will feel as natural as putting on a shirt to go out running. Ideal for alpine running, superlight mountaineering and fast hiking, this pack takes stretch fit and a completely stabilizing design to promote fast speeds in a comfortable way. There is convenient access to the 20L compartment, and both the pack and the load are easy to compress for maximum stability when only filled part way. If you need more storage, two 500ml soft flask solutions are available. Other details of the S-Lab Peak 20 construction include elastic pockets, a 4d pole holder, and two shoulder expandable pockets. The pack fabric boasts a silicone coated waterproof 500mm 70D nylon triple ripstop, so water won’t get in and the trail won’t tear through. MSRP $225.