Salomon Ultra Glide 2 Trail Runner Review

Salomon are renowned in the outdoor industry for producing consistently brilliant gear and apparel, ranging in application from skiing to ultrarunning. Although their reputation stems from consistent success in mountain sports, more recently you may have seen their sneakers catching fire in the influencer scene. Or maybe not — who are influencers anyway?

The Ultra Glide 2 is no exception to this trend, proving that it is possible to blend function and form. These exciting new trail runners build on the success of the original Ultra Glide, pushing the boundaries of comfort, performance, and durability, all while looking fresh.

Over the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to put these shoes to the test. As the miles accumulate during hikes through varying mixtures of weather conditions and terrain, I’ve consistently been impressed by their performance.

Salomon Ultra Glide 2 At-a-Glance

Performance meets good looks worthy of an influencer. Image via Solomon

  • MSRP: $150
  • Weight: Men’s 9.8oz | Women’s 8.3oz
  • Stack height: 32mm (heel), 26mm (forefoot)
  • Drop: 6mm
  • Lug depth: 4mm

Intended Use

The Ultra Glide 2 is intended to be a comfortable, yet lightweight, all-around trail-muncher. It’s not Salomon’s lightest or most responsive trail runner, nor is it designed for a super-specific purpose like some of their muckier shoes, but it is supposed to do most things well. Long miles shouldn’t be a problem for the mega stack height, and the traction should be adequate on all but the most rugged of routes.

Salomon Ultra Glide 2 Features

Here, my Quicklaces are dangling free, but a stretch pouch at the top of the tongue will hold them secure.

  • Quicklace: If you’ve ever worried that you might forget how to tie your shoelaces, or if your knots are notoriously insecure, then Salomon has you covered. This single-pull lace system makes securing the shoe and getting it off simple and quick.
  • Max cushion: The stack height of this shoe places it firmly in the maximal cushion category of trail runners. This means that even without a rock plate, the Ultra Glide 2 should offer protection all day, on all types of terrain, while providing a cushy ride.
  • Reverse camber rocker: This is a fancy way of saying that these are designed to roll smoothly heel-to-toe, which is supposed to promote a smoother stride.
  • Contagrip All Terrain rubber: Contagrip is Salomon’s proprietary outsole technology, which combines different compounds and tread patterns for specific performance characteristics. This All Terrain version attempts to find the perfect balance of durability and traction for applications across a wide variety of surfaces and conditions.
  • 6mm drop: This is a pretty average number for running shoes. Unless you’re on the zero-drop bandwagon, then this will likely feel unremarkable.

READ NEXT — One Simple Trick to Keep Your Shoelaces Tied on Your Next Hike

Fit & Comfort

I found the roomy fit to be comfortable, no matter what I was standing on.

Salomon has done an outstanding job of designing a shoe that feels like it was made for my feet. However, of course, everyone is unique and will interface with this shoe differently. In the past, I’ve found that shoes from this brand are on the tighter side, but with the Ultra Glide 2, my wider feet felt comfortable and secure.

The single-pull, Quicklace technology helps the midsole to cradle the foot, giving a secure, snug, and customized fit, with no knots required. And I found the toe box to be nice and roomy without leaving me sloshing about.

How did the Quicklace perform?

Before trying them, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the lack of traditional laces on these shoes, but I’ve come to love this system. The ease of use means that I don’t think twice about removing my shoes during a short break, which is helpful for preventing blisters and resting my feet, allowing me to hike further in a day. Another nice feature is the lace pouch located on the tongue for stashing the excess cord and keeping potential snags to a minimum.

The only downside of the Quicklace was that I sometimes had difficulty getting the bottom laces as tight as I wanted them. Instead, most of the pressure ended up at the top of my foot, near the ankle. With some fiddling, I usually got the fit I wanted, but it did take some… fiddling.

The Upper

While the upper mesh is on the warmer side, it does a good job of repelling trail detritus.

While I found that the engineered mesh upper offered good breathability, these shoes ran a bit hotter than what I’ve come to expect from similar trail runners, such as Altra. This was likely due to the Ultra Glide’s plush cushioning and thick tongue, which is especially pronounced around the mouth of the shoe. It’s comfortable, just a little bit warm.

Another positive was the mesh’s ability to repel small particles of dirt and dust. Less crud in my shoes meant less abrasion, and therefore happier feet. And the mesh was impressively durable, with no visible signs of deformation throughout testing.

The Ride

The Ultra Glide 2 looks like a normal shoe, but it rides a bit differently from the average trail runner.

The unique ride is one of the first things that I noticed when I moved into these shoes. My stride felt effortless, each step soft, yet responsive. The maximally cushioned midsole is comfortable and provides good energy return, which, combined with the reverse-cambered rocker, returns a ‘cloud-like’ feeling.

Even more impressive is the staying power of this comfort. I’m used to feeling the quality of the ride suffer as the miles accumulate, especially with a shoe as plush as the Ultra Glide 2, but so far these have held up beautifully.

Traction & Stability

Salomon’s Ultra Glide 2 is equipped with a Contagrip rubber outsole that I found to be both durable and grippy, even on wet rocks and roots, to a certain extent. The Energy Surge foam midsole delivers impressive shock absorption, allowing for a stable and comfortable ride even on uneven terrain.

The All Terrain version of Salomon’s Contagrip was adequate on most surfaces, just not sloppy mud.

The 4mm lugs were adequate, but they were also a weak point on certain terrain. There is a lot of space in the tread pattern, and I found that the average-depth lugs were easily choked with mud, which resulted in ice-skate-like slides. The heel brake was also less effective than those that I’ve had on other trail runners, meaning that once I started to slip out, it was difficult to regain traction. That said, traction related to pure friction was just fine.

Durability

A trail runner needs a shoe that can withstand the rigors of the trail. Here, the Ultra Glide 2 does not disappoint. The engineered mesh upper held up well against rocks and debris, and the toe cap provided additional durability and protection where it was needed most. Furthermore, the outsole exhibited minimal signs of wear even after logging substantial miles, which corrects a criticism of the original Ultra Glides.

As with most shoes that we hikers abuse, I suspect that the first signs of degradation will appear around the ankle opening. The plush cushioning will lose its bounce and become more rigid as dirt becomes ingrained in the material.

Performance & Value

Are these shoes as plush as a fluffy sheep?

In the Ultra Glide 2, Salomon has crafted comfort, stability, and durability into a trail runner that has the looks to match its performance. I really believe that the soft and cushioned ride of the midsole allows me to push greater distances on the trail.

And although I can’t believe that I’m saying this, at $150 the Ultra Glide 2 costs sits middle of the pack in terms of cost. That’s not a number to take lightly, but it is roughly average these days. However, given the high performance and durability, these shoes offer a good bang for your buck.

Salomon Ultra Glide 2 Pros

  • Quicklace allows for quick on and off during quick breaks.
  • Excellent fit and comfort, with a roomy toe box.
  • Outstanding traction on various surfaces besides mud.
  • Durable construction.
  • Responsive cushioning.

Salomon Ultra Glide 2 Cons

  • Not as breathable as other popular trail runners.
  • Tricky to adjust the fit of the lower laces.
  • Easily bogged down in muddy conditions.

Final Thoughts

On trails like this, the Ultra Glide 2 is perfectly at home.

The Salomon Ultra Glide 2 trail runners are an impressive piece of footwear that caters to the demands of hikers seeking comfort, performance, and durability in a stylish package. With good traction, responsive cushioning, and a comfortable fit, these shoes will feel right at home on most well-defined trails. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or gearing up for your next thru-hike, the Ultra Glide 2 is an outstanding choice for your next adventure.

Shop the Men’s Salomon Ultra Glide 2

Shop the Women’s Salomon Ultra Glide 2

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Disclaimer: This pair of Salomon Ultra Glide 2 was donated for the purpose of review.

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