Product Review: Salming A2 Distance Running Shoe
I am very fortunate to be able to review a lot of different items as they come my way. Some are much better than others, obviously. As much as I love reviewing tech-y gadgets, my real love is running shoes. If I had my way, I would have one pair of every brand in my closet. Not to hoard, but to be able to run more efficiently, and choose the shoe for whatever terrain I am going to run for the day. I love the science behind running shoes, to me it's as geeky tech as a laptop.
Today's review is all about a relatively new company here in the USA. Salming is a Swedish company. I was introduced to their products by a team mate and friend Stefan, the Running Swede. In talking with him about the products, I began to be very interested in these shoes. I searched the Salming website and read all the reviews I could before deciding to ask for a pair to review, and thus I am here now ready to talk about my experience with Salming.
After looking at all the choices of shoes, I decided on the A2 Distance shoe. Being that I am a heavier runner, (currently 225lbs), I need a little more cushioning underneath my feet. Since my Achilles tear in late August, I have had to stick with a higher drop shoe for the most part. I did start running a couple of months ago, though I am limited to only 2-4 mins at a time. I have consistently been putting mileage on these shoes, since I do walk a lot inbetween my running intervals. The miles have added up and I think now I probably have about 40 miles on them. Enough for me to give you a good idea of my thoughts.
Now let's get down to business. Not knowing what size to order, I went for the largest size they have, 10.5. Sometimes I wear a 10, other times an 11. I figured if I got the middle, I'd be safe. Safe I was, but, I really could use a pair of 11's. I find them to be a lot less wide than I am used to. I am now conditioned to running in Skechers, which are fairly wide and fit me very well. Slipping into the Salming shoe for the first time made me worried that I would have to send it back.. but after a couple of good runs, I fell madly in love with this shoe! I do have to mention that I favor thicker socks. Needless to say, I put on a thin pair and these shoes fit better than I thought they would.
I have been on a search to find a shoe that had just the exact amount of cushioning that I wanted under the ball of my foot. I am a midfoot striker, and when I run long distances, my feet get tired and sloppy, and I start to heel strike. I have been trying all along to find the shoe that would be cushy enough, but not too much. I finally found it! The shoe holds up very well for me. The cushioning in the front took a little bit of time to get used to, as my shin muscles in front were weak. After a couple of runs, the soreness went away and I was good to go!
Take a look at the picture below. The Salming company believes in "natural running" so, the shoe itself is a 5mm heel to toe drop. You can see the difference in how the shoe holds up with a heavier runner in it. If you notice, the forefoot section is not compressed flat. It still has some give to it, which I like.
These shoes are light, and a bit firm, like most running shoes. The shoe has a 24mm stack height in the heel
and 19 in the forefoot, which gives ample cushioning.
There are more good qualities in this shoe than negatives. I have to say that I wish they were not so narrow at the toe, and that they would carry a size 11 for women. I guess I could buy the men's version like I often do, but most of the time I like the women's colors better. The top part of the shoe with the pink S is an overlay and it feels and looks plastic-y. Sorry, that isnt a word, but I couldnt think of how else to describe it.
Here are some tech specs from the Salming website:
Torsion Efficiency Unit™
Responsive without being overly supportive - The Torsion Efficiency Unit™ brings sturdiness to the shoe. It is appropriately placed to generate maximal running efficiency. The Distance model features a semi-transparent TPU, while the Race model is powered by a lightweight carbon fiber torsion unit.
Outer Sole – Lightweight
Lightweight yet with sticky characteristics, our blown rubber compound is strategically placed to provide you with great grip in all slopes, twist and turns you might encounter.
Outer Sole – Tear & Wear
This particularly durable outsole material is used to further enhance the long-lasting characteristics of the shoe. The special rubber compound will get the most mileage possible out of your shoes.
The distance from heel to the ball of foot (62% of the shoe) has been designed with extra stability, which ends in the so-called “ballet” line, a 75° angle. In front of the 75° line, we have equipped the shoe with greater flexibility to stimulate the foot’s natural movements. The TGS 62/75° feature assures that the shoe bends in exactly the right places, stimulating the foot’s natural lateral and forward movements.
The shoe itself breathes very well, but aesthetically, it makes me feel like it's a little outdated. I can totally understand the wrapping up over the big toe, which keeps the upper from ripping in a place that many softer shoes do. I love the laces... they stay put really well. I like the colors very much also. The RunLite midsole adds responsiveness and protection while still maintaining a low weight, which is a plus.
I have to say that I was so pleasantly surprised by this pair of shoes. What I expected to have happen, wasn't even close. I found a good fitting, light and very comfortable pair of shoes that I totally fell in love with. If you are looking to try something new, these might be the ones to try. The price is a little high at $150.00, so I am hoping to get lots of runs out of them... but especially since I am heavier than most runners, time will tell!
If you have run in these, please share your thoughts! I'd love to hear what you think about them. :)
You can find the comment area at the bottom of this page: HERE