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The Salomon Ultra Glide Brings Cushioning to the Trails

New trail runners and big mileage ultrarunners will love the comfort-first approach of this shoe.

salomon ultra glide
Lakota Gambill

The RW Takeaway: The Ultra Glide breaks with tradition and packs more cushioning and comfort into a shoe suitable for veterans and beginners alike.

  • Softer than Salomon’s trail shoes have historically been
  • Versatile on crushed gravel and technical singletrack
  • Sensifit wing system locks you in

    Price: $140
    Weight: 10.1 oz (m), 7.8 oz (w)
    Drop: 6 mm
    Type: Trail

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    Traditionally, Salomon’s speedy kicks earn their reputation for being fast, for sure, but they’re also quite firm, aggressive, and narrow—better suited for elites than midpack runners. The Ultra Glide is Salomon’s softest and most accessible trail shoe, with cushioning that most runners will appreciate.

    Lakota Gambill
    Salomon Ultra Glide Trail Running Shoes

    • Softer than previous Salomon trail shoes
    • Excels on easy trails and technical singletrack
    • Quick-lacing allows for fast adjustments

    • Slips a little on flat, wet rocks


    To get a solid read on the versatility of the Ultra Glide, we put it on a half-dozen of our most demanding trail runners, including Jim Blandford, who climbed one million vertical feet in 2020. We used the shoe on everything from gentle trail trails (with nothing more than crushed gravel) to steep, rocky scrambles in the Adirondack Mountains. Collectively, we’ve logged hundreds of miles over three seasons to compare its performance as trail conditions change.

    The first time I wore the shoe was on day 5 of a 327-mile FKTrun in April. After more than 250 miles, the hills, rocks, and hours piled up, and I was craving more protection for the final stretch. The upper provided enough protection for my tired feet when I inevitably kicked rocks and roots, while the rocker design and extra cushion underfoot took the sting out of pavement and extra-rocky sections, enough for me to make it through the final 75 miles.

    In our testing, though, we found that it stumbles a bit on big mountains. Runner-in-Chief Jeff Dengate put it to the test in the Adirondack High Peaks, climbing 5,000 feet over seven miles, then descending a vertical kilometer in less than three miles. The shoe held firm on runnable ground and while climbing over boulders, but the traction didn’t inspire confidence on flat, wet slabs of rock near the summits. In those conditions, it’s better to reach for a shoe with sticky rubber designed for wet terrain.

    salomon ultra glide
    The thick sole feels stable on technical trails.
    Lakota Gambill

    Cushioned and Stable for Technical Trails

    The Ultra Glide is by far Salomon’s most cushioned trail shoe but, don’t be fooled, it’s not the squishiest ride around. We found it’s plush enough to impress our Hoka fanatics, thanks to a lightweight midsole that combines EVA and Olefin for a more forgiving ride. That combo of compounds makes the foam durable and springy. While many tall-stack shoes can feel unstable on technical terrain, the Ultra Glide feels incredibly planted. Even with its high stack—38mm in the heel and 32mm up front—the shoe doesn’t squish and roll over rocks and roots like you might expect. It still feels as stable as racier shoes like the S/Lab Ultra 3, even with the extra 12mm of cushion.

    A More Accommodating Fit

    Unlike the sleek and slim profiles Salomon and other European running brands are known for, the Ultra Glide has a more “North American” fit because product manager Mike Ambrose guided the shoe’s development. That extra volume and a precision fit make it suitable for those who are just dipping their toes into trail running. But, as the name suggests, it excels for experienced runners who are logging ultra miles, too. The upper mesh is breathable but noticeably more padded than the Sense Ride, and it retains the Sensifit wing system from the S/Lab Ultra 2 to help lock down the midfoot and adapt to changes as the miles add up.

    Salomon’s signature Quicklace system securely locks your foot down and makes it easy to adjust the tightness on the fly. And, as always, the flopping laces tuck into a pocket on the tongue so you don’t need to worry about snagging them on anything along the trail.

    salomon ultra glide
    The rubber outsole delivers excellent underfoot protection.
    Lakota Gambill

    All-Over Protection

    The Ultra Glide also gets extra protection without adding much weight. Lightweight overlays on the upper provide extra protection from rock strikes. Salomon’s Profeel film and a full-coverage rubber outsole ensure maximum protection underfoot from rocks and sharp surfaces—enough even for the rocky Appalachian Trail near Runner’s World HQ in Pennsylvania. “I like that it protects under the heel,” notes one tester, “A lot of really cushioned shoes rely on the foam to absorb pointy rocks, but this shoe really protects your heel.”

    That protection is durable too. After over 150 miles, the outsole is still almost as good as new, with only minor wear on the outside of the heel, and no chipping of the lugs.

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