Salomon S-Lab Ultra 3

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Jorge MaravillaBeth PascallReid CoolsaetGary Robbins
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Salomon S-Lab Ultra 3: Review

“A trail shoe which prioritises grip and protection.”

Overview


The Salomon S-Lab Ultra 3 is a trail running shoe engineered for runners who tackle challenging and technical terrains. This shoe is recognized for its precise fit, responsive cushioning, and exceptional grip on unpredictable surfaces.

Key Features:

  • Protective Design: The shoe offers robust protection against rocky trails and technical terrain, ensuring a safe and comfortable run.
  • Responsive Cushioning: Equipped with Energy Save midsole technology, it provides a responsive ride that balances protection and ground feel.
  • Advanced Grip: The Contagrip outsole delivers reliable traction on various surfaces, from muddy paths to rocky inclines.
  • Breathable Upper: The Matryx mesh upper ensures breathability, keeping feet cool during intense runs.

The Salomon S-Lab Ultra 3 is an ideal choice for trail runners who prioritize protection, traction, and a breathable design for long-distance runs. Its responsive cushioning offers benefits for both competition and daily training on diverse terrains.

Based on our monitoring of prices across the internet, it's currently in the most expensive 10% of running shoes today.

Verdict

The consensus on the Salomon S-Lab Ultra 3


The Salomon S-Lab Ultra 3 has garnered acclaim for its performance on technical trails, offering a blend of stability, protection, and traction that is hard to match. Its sticky lugs and Energy Save midsole provide a ride that is both protective and nimble, making it a top choice for rocky and complex terrains. Runners seeking a shoe that excels in technical conditions will find the S-Lab Ultra 3 to be a worthy investment, despite its premium price point. While the shoe's durability is debated, with some users experiencing wear after intense encounters with sharp objects, others report longevity exceeding 600 miles. The shoe's precise fit and breathable upper contribute to its comfort, although some may find the collar tight and the lace pocket cumbersome. Overall, the S-Lab Ultra 3 is recommended for experienced trail runners looking for a reliable and versatile shoe that can handle a variety of trail conditions.

Comparable Shoes




The Salomon Speedcross 6 is a good alternative for those looking for a shoe with epic traction and a beefier overall design. While it is less expensive than the S/Lab Ultra 3, it offers similar performance features, making it a viable option for budget-conscious runners.



For runners seeking a more affordable option, the Brooks Divide 4 may be worth considering. Although it comes at a lower price point, it does not match the S/Lab Ultra 3 in terms of performance features, particularly in challenging trail conditions.



The HOKA Torrent 3 is favored for slightly less technical terrain, offering a more relaxed fit for the foot. It is a suitable choice for runners who desire a bit more roominess in the upper without sacrificing a technical fit.



The Saucony Peregrine 13 appeals to those seeking a lighter-weight shoe that still provides a snappy feel. It is an excellent choice for runners who want to maintain speed without the harshness associated with race-level shoes.

7 Salomon S-Lab Ultra 3 Pros & Cons


4 Pros

Outstanding performance on technical terrain, offering stability, protection, and traction.
Responsive cushioning with Energy Save midsole that balances protection and ground feel.
Breathable Matryx mesh upper provides a comfortable and secure fit.
Durable and sticky Contagrip outsole ensures reliable traction on diverse surfaces.

3 Cons

Premium price point may be a barrier for some runners.
Some durability concerns with the upper when encountering sharp rocks.
Tight collar and lace pocket design can cause discomfort for some users.

In Depth


Upper

The Salomon S-Lab Ultra 3 features an updated Matryx mesh upper that enhances breathability and comfort. This design choice makes the shoe suitable for warm weather and long runs where ventilation is crucial. The upper's construction provides a snug fit that adapts to the foot, offering a secure feel even on uneven terrain. However, some runners may find the collar tight, and the lace pocket design has been noted as difficult to use.

Midsole

The midsole of the S-Lab Ultra 3 is crafted with Energy Save technology, which offers a responsive and protective ride. This feature is particularly beneficial for long-distance runs where underfoot protection is essential. The midsole's design does not include a rock plate, but it effectively disperses the impact from sharp objects, ensuring a comfortable run without compromising ground feel.

Outsole

The shoe's Contagrip outsole is praised for its durable and sticky nature, providing trustworthy traction on a variety of surfaces, including muddy and rocky trails. The measured lug depth of 3.5mm ensures a firm grip, making the S-Lab Ultra 3 a reliable choice for runners who encounter diverse trail conditions.

Size/fit

The S-Lab Ultra 3 offers a neutral fit with a regular-width toe box that accommodates different foot shapes. The shoe's fit is described as specific, and it is recommended that runners try on the shoe to ensure a comfortable fit. The precise fit contributes to the shoe's overall stability and comfort during runs.

Comfort

Comfort in the S-Lab Ultra 3 is achieved through a combination of a breathable upper, responsive cushioning, and a secure fit. The shoe's design minimizes extraneous movement, even on technical descents, providing a comfortable experience for the runner. However, the tight collar may require runners to wear higher socks to avoid discomfort.

Cushioning

The cushioning in the S-Lab Ultra 3 strikes a balance between sensitivity and protection. With 27mm of total stack in the heel and 19mm in the forefoot, the shoe offers enough cushioning to protect against rough terrain while maintaining a close-to-ground feel that allows runners to sense the trail beneath them.

Breathability

The Matryx mesh upper of the S-Lab Ultra 3 ensures that the shoe remains well ventilated, making it an excellent choice for running in warmer conditions. The breathable material helps to keep the feet cool and dry, reducing the risk of discomfort during extended runs.

Stability

Stability is a standout feature of the S-Lab Ultra 3, with a design that provides a low-to-the-ground feel and excellent lateral support. The shoe's broader base and specific fit contribute to even impact distribution, allowing runners to confidently navigate technical terrain.

Durability

While the S-Lab Ultra 3's durability has been questioned due to the upper's susceptibility to damage from sharp rocks, many users report a lifespan of over 600 miles. The shoe's build quality suggests that with proper care, it can withstand the rigors of trail running for a considerable amount of time.

Grip

The grip of the S-Lab Ultra 3 is a highlight, with the Contagrip outsole providing secure traction on various trail conditions. The lugs are designed to handle everything from muddy paths to rocky inclines, ensuring a safe and stable run.

Flex

The S-Lab Ultra 3 offers a moderate level of flexibility, allowing for natural foot movement while maintaining enough structure to support the runner on uneven terrain. The shoe's balance between flexibility and support is well-suited for trail running.

Who should buy the Salomon S-Lab Ultra 3?


The Salomon S-Lab Ultra 3 is best suited for experienced trail runners who frequently encounter technical and challenging terrains. It is ideal for those who value a shoe that provides a secure fit, responsive cushioning, and exceptional grip. Runners with a preference for a breathable and protective design will appreciate the features of the S-Lab Ultra 3, making it a strong contender for long-distance races and training sessions.

Who should not buy the Salomon S-Lab Ultra 3?


Runners who prefer a softer, more forgiving cushioning may not find the Salomon S-Lab Ultra 3 to their liking, as the midsole is on the firmer side. Those with wider feet might struggle with the shoe's regular-width toe box, and individuals looking for a budget-friendly option might be deterred by the shoe's higher price point. For those seeking a more roomy fit or a softer ride, alternatives like the HOKA Torrent 3 or the Saucony Peregrine 13 might be more suitable.

Salomon S-Lab Ultra 3: What's it good for?


The Salomon S-Lab Ultra 3 is well-suited for long-distance trail running, ultra-marathons, and training sessions on technical terrains. Its protective design and responsive cushioning make it a reliable choice for runners tackling rocky trails and steep switchbacks. The shoe's advanced grip ensures stability on muddy terrain and off-road conditions, while the breathable upper keeps feet cool during intense efforts.

4 Salomon S-Lab Ultra 3 FAQs


Is the Salomon S-Lab Ultra 3 suitable for muddy trails?

Yes, the Salomon S-Lab Ultra 3 is equipped with a Contagrip outsole and lugs designed to provide secure traction on muddy trails, making it a suitable choice for such conditions.

How does the Salomon S-Lab Ultra 3 fit?

The Salomon S-Lab Ultra 3 offers a neutral fit with a regular-width toe box. It is recommended to try on the shoe to ensure a comfortable fit, as the precise design contributes to the shoe's stability and comfort.

What type of cushioning does the Salomon S-Lab Ultra 3 have?

The Salomon S-Lab Ultra 3 features responsive cushioning with Energy Save midsole technology, providing a balance between protection and ground feel, suitable for long-distance runs.

Is the Salomon S-Lab Ultra 3 breathable?

Yes, the shoe's Matryx mesh upper ensures breathability, keeping feet cool and dry during runs in warmer conditions.

Salomon S-Lab Ultra 3 alternatives



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Salomon S-Lab Ultra 3
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released
Released
Jul 2020
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productAthletes
Pro athlete users

+10
Reid CoolsaetGary Robbins

+5
Elov OlssonRyan Woods
Weight
Weight
289 g
11 g
289 g
M: 204 g
W: 170 g
M: 258 g
W: 207 g
Forefoot
Forefoot
23 mm
23 mm
M: 18 mm
W: 16 mm
28 mm
Heel to toe drop
Heel to toe drop
8 mm
8 mm
4 mm
3 mm
6 mm
Heel
Heel
31 mm
27 mm
M: 21 mm
W: 19 mm
34 mm
Terrain
Terrain
MudTrail
MudSnow/iceTrailMudSnow/iceTrailMudTrailMudSnow/iceTrailMudSnow/iceTrail
Brand
Brand
Salomon
SalomonSauconyHokaScarpaSaucony
Support Type
Support Type
Neutral
NeutralNeutralStabilityNeutralStability
Pronation Type
Pronation Type
Neutral pronation
Neutral pronationNeutral pronationNeutral pronation
Strike Type
Strike Type
Fore/Midfoot strikeHeel strike
Fore/Midfoot strikeHeel strikeFore/Midfoot strikeFore/Midfoot strike
Arch Type
Arch Type
High arch
High archHigh archHigh arch
Shoe Type
Shoe Type
LightweightMaximalistLow dropLightweightLow drop
Breathable
Breathable
Rock plate
Rock plate
Techs
Techs
Gore-Tex
Waterproofings
Waterproofings
Waterproof
Environmental Characteristics
Environmental Characteristics
SustainableVegan Ⓥ
0

Salomon S-Lab Ultra 3: what the experts say (1 review)

Salomon S-Lab Ultra 3: 2 Expert video reviews

Salomon S-Lab Ultra 3: 1 Manufacturer video

Salomon S-Lab Ultra 3 characteristics and specifications

Specificationsvs Average
Model
3
Released
Jul 2020
Measurements
Weight
289 g
Heel to toe drop
8 mm

Evolution of the Salomon S-Lab Ultra product family

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AuthorTom Green
Tom is the founder of geerly. Based in West London, he found his passion for running in his mid-30s. He’s best at longer distances, and is a regular at the London Marathon, where he's edging closer to sub-2.40. He started geerly because he found it frustrating when shopping for running shoes spending ages trying to find the best deal in his size, and wading through verbose, waffling reviews clearly designed to appeal to search engines rather than be helpful to users. For geerly he's passionate about writing reviews that get straight to the point, and helping runners find the right gear at the best price.
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