My friend has been of fan of Salming shoes ever since he discovered them several months ago. The recently became available in Canada so I ordered a pair of the Elements to try them out. Salming currently offers free shipping and returns for a risk free experience. And to sweet the deal, use the code baranoski20 when ordering for 20% off!
The first thing I noticed about these shoes was how light they were. At 8.2 oz the women's shoe is super light. It is a "natural" fitting neutral shoe with 4mm drop. There is no rock plate and the twist test yields a very flexible sole with dense foam that doesn't seem to compress over time. A very roomy toe box, minimal stack height, sock-like fit, and killer tread combine to produce a very responsive, cushioning shoe that feels like a part of your foot. My wide foot doesn't fit into very many shoes well, but this shoe felt super comfy after just a few runs.
I recently ran the Grand Canyon Ultra 50 Miler and decided to put these shoes to the test. I had broken them in for 80 miles on dry, muddy, grassy and technical trails. The shoes performed well, but with the lack of rock plate I was worried that there might not be enough protection for sharp rocks and hard ground later in a run > 5-6 hours. I was pleased to discover that they held up really well during my run along the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. I didn't notice the rocks later in the race, and appreciated the energy savings that came with wearing a super light shoe.
This week I tested them on a longer climb up the mountains of Vancouver Island. The forefoot is very flexible which allows for great toe off while climbing, however my great toe needs a little more protection in this regard and I'll be adding a small rock plate to the forefoot of the shoe if I am doing a run with longer climbs (as planned for the Fat Dog 70 in August).
My only real complaint with this shoe is the laces. The upper is super soft and flexible which results in a socklike fit, but also tends to gap around the ankle and rearfoot, especially on steep climbs. If I use a heel lock lacing technique this all but disappears, however the laces are too short to accomplish this without skipping an islet midfoot.
Salming Elements are great neutral trail shoes for all trail conditions including hard packed single track and gnarly terrain. Just be careful transitioning into this shoe if you are used to a motion control or stability shoe as it certainly delivers the "natural running" experience that Salming promises.
In case you haven't noticed, I'm trying to become an Ambassador for Salming and need to win this social media contest in the next 4 days. So if you haven't already voted for me, please do! And share with your friends. Because I think this post proves that I'm already being a good ambassador and I could use some free shoes :) Thanks!