Ultra Running & Reviews

Archive for August 14th, 2013

Salomon Sense Mantra £93.95

by on Aug.14, 2013, under Kit Reviews


box fresh, they look good. I like the colour scheme

I fancied a change from my usual Brooks shoes & thought I’d give the new Salomon Sense Mantra a go. They look great with the Salomon fancy colour scheme. The shoes arrived in plenty of time before my race (28 days) I ran in them leading up to my race on the NDW100, mainly off-road. The only bit of road I ran on was the first 100 yards to the moors from my front door.

The first thing that strikes you about these shoes is how low they are. At the back I could feel the pull on my Achilles tendon from the low profile but after the first 10-20 miles this eased off. They do take a bit of getting used to and they also need wearing in. I wouldn’t risk wearing these shoes straight from the box on race day, which I do with my Brooks shoes.

I do a lot of training in the mountains of the Lake District & found the Mantra’s a really stable shoe on loose stones & rocks. Looking at the sole I didn’t expect much of the grip but I was wrong. The only time I had a problem with grip was in the wet muddy conditions on the moors around home.

grip well on dry stones & gravel

grip well on dry stones & gravel

Another neat thing about these shoes is the lacing system which folds away neatly into a small pocket. Salomon have used this lace system for a while & it works well.

Salomon laceing system

Salomon lacing system

When I first looked at the Mantra’s before putting them on I thought the inner sock liner which goes down the side of your foot would curl up when the shoe got wet but I never had any problems with this when wearing the shoe.

toe protectors

toe protectors

They have a nice toe protector on the front made from rubber which seems to do a good job of keeping your foot from being hurt when you kick the inevitable stone or root out on the trail. On the theme of protection they have a rock plate in the sole of the shoe which protects from things puncturing your feet from the ground. This is a good idea for a trail shoe, sometimes a sharp stick or rock can cut your foot.

nice design & minimal sole

nice design & minimal sole

Another thing which struck me about the Mantra’s is how light they are. For a shoe with so many features they are pretty light.

So the perfect shoe then, which I’ll be using from now on? Well not quite, about 4 days before my NDW100 race I went for a 20 mile run and they holed in both shoes. On the inside of the shoe just where they bend from the big toe. Holes big enough to let in stones & mud. Thinking about it I should have taken some pictures of the holes & posted them to see if anyone else has had this problem. However I was in a hurry to get new ones before the race & forgot. If these do the same I’ll add an update to the review.

It’s not like I’d done any massive miles in them either, they were 24 days old. Only done around 250-350 miles! They were worn with Dirty Girl gaiters which stops most of the stones & mud from getting inside. Luckily I got them from SportShoes.com who managed to replace the shoes before my race.

Under the same conditions my normal choice of Brooks shoes last around 400-500 miles and cost around £50. So if you don’t mind paying twice as much for shoes that last half as long then maybe these are the shoes for you.

You may also need to try them on before you buy if you have broad feet. They are a bit narrow, so broad footed runners may find them uncomfortable.

What’s good?

nice colour

good design

neat lacing system

excellent grip on dry rocks

What’s bad?

expensive at £93.95 for 24 days!

What’s ugly? 

fell to pieces in 300 miles



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