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Salomon Ultra Glide 2 Review: Middle of the Road (Trail)
By Nathan Brown

When I think of Salomon, my head goes to the outdoors: my first pair of hiking shoes were Salomon, my first camping apparel was Salomon, and my first hiking boots were Salomon. Therefore, I was excited to try out the update to the Ultra Glide series. My experience in Salomon road shoes has been sub-par, with the cushioning being too firm and the geometry lacking smooth transitions (with my most recent test being of the Aero Blaze). However, how would their technology and shaping translate to the trails? A great look is through the Ultra Glide 2, their middle-of-the-road model in the trail line in regards to cushioning. 

Salomon Ultra Glide 2
Price: $139.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 9.2oz, 260g (men's size 9), 8.4oz, 240g  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 32mm (heel), 26mm (forefoot)
Drop: 6mm; Lug Depth: 3.5mm
Classification: Trail Running Shoe 


The Salomon Ultra Glide 2 is a trail running shoe that can suit many purposes. It is cushioned enough for longer distances, firm enough to feel connected to the ground, and has more shallow lugs that allow it to work well for mild trails but still handle some more technical terrain. It operates on a moderately stiff rocker, but adapts well to the surfaces underfoot. This is a bit of a do-it-all trail running shoe, with the only limitations being in significant speed work or in muddier terrain.

: HOKA Speedgoat 5, Saucony Exodus Ultra 2


The upper of the Ultra Glide 2 is mostly a traditional mesh with only minimal protection built in through some synthetic overlays in the toe box. These overlays help prevent some water or moisture from getting in through the toes, but the rest of the toe box is open to the elements so for truly wet days your feet will get wet. I found that the exposed mesh upper holds moisture as well, which isn't ideal on muddy trails or on rainy days. 

In regards to fit itself, the entire shoe is of moderate width and maybe fits a touch long, but nothing of concern. The heel is very padded and hugs the heel well and remains secure. The tongue is also thick and gusseted. It rides a bit high out of the throat of the shoe, as it has a pocket for the quick lacing system. I found that the tongue was padded enough to avoid irritation higher up on the ankle, but still felt a bit awkward until it softened up a bit. The lacing system is Salomon's Quicklace system, which is a "drawstring" mechanism with a non-stretch cord. It took me a run or two to figure it out, but once I did, I found it to be very easy, comfortable, and modifiable. I was able to loosen or tighten certain eyelets depending on where I wanted more security or breathing room, and it remained consistent throughout the run without any issues or slipping. I have taken this shoe on 2.25-hour runs without needing to adjust the laces. 

Overall you get a well-fitting, comfortable, yet rather traditional mesh upper with some water protection, but nothing too technical for more extreme conditions. 


My maiden voyage in this shoe was a 15-mile slog in deep slow and slush. And I enjoyed every second (pretty much). We got an unexpected dumping of 5-7 inches, so I took out the Ultra Glide 2 and was very happy overall. I didn't get any hot spots, the cushioning was good on the snow (not too soft or firm), and it transitioned nicely from heel to forefoot. The only issue was that the mesh upper held some of the water from the slush by the end of the run.

Let's talk more specifically. The cushioning is on the slightly firmer end, which I found worked out really well when on terrain, particularly because the full-length rocker mitigates any abrasive landings that can occur with firmer foams. Speaking of the rocker, the heel is centrally beveled, but it is long enough that it avoids excessive landing on the lateral aspect of the shoe, making landing in the heel comfortable. If you land further forward you will hit a part of the full-length, gradual rocker which is also smooth. The forefoot has some rigidity due to the full-length rubber outsole without any flex grooves. Again, due to the rocker, it worked well at various paces and allowed for feeling smooth at various paces. At slower paces, the forefoot would flex enough to feel comfortable, and when picking up the pace it would seem to hold shape to help with a bit more propulsive feel. The cushioning is a bit on the firmer end, but the rocker platform keeps it from being abrasive upon landing. Additionally, the firmer foam pairs really well with trails that are a bit softer. Again, I've taken this shoe over 2 hours without any irritation or wishing I had more cushion. 

Now let's talk about terrain. The 3.5mm lugs do a nice job with grip on grass, some rocky terrain, and mild dirt. They are also mild enough to handle some road-to-trail if you have a mile or two to get to the trail. However, when it comes to very wet conditions, the lugs just aren't deep enough and the grip suffers.


This is a neutral trail runner. The rocker sole seems to help with forward motion, there are mild sidewalls, and the full-contact outsole doesn't narrow too much in the midfoot. The upper and lacing system is also very secure. That said, there is not a remarkably wide base or sole flaring to move this shoe into the stable neutral category and therefore it's a true neutral trail running shoe.

By Nathan Brown

As I mentioned, the cushioning Salomon has used in the past hasn't been the most exciting on the roads (the caveat is that I haven't tested the Aero Glide). I have found it too firm, and until recently the geometry led to very abrasive landings. However, when it comes to trail running, I found the EnergyFOAM midsole (which is the same as the recently-tested Aero Blaze), fantastic. part of this could be geometry, as the Ultra Glide has a bigger bevel and a more full-length rocker. However, they both have 32mm of foam in the heel, making them comparable. So this brings us to a conversation of the impact of cushioning on our body both from a shoe and ground surface perspective.

We've talked before about how studies have shown that when running on a softer, more compliant surface, our body reflexively takes that into account. What we see biomechanically is that when on a softer surface the leg has an overall greater stiffness. The hip, knee, and ankle go through a collectively less joint excursion to counteract the more compliant surface underneath. What is of note is that some of these studies are done in barefoot on different surfaces. This means that what matters for our running experience is not only what we put ON our feet, but what we put UNDER our feet. Running on trails will be more compliant than road, and therefore the interaction between a certain midsole and a runner may feel better (or worse) depending on the surface you are on.

This is likely why (outside of the Endorphin Edge) we haven't seen many of the highly compliant foams seen in road racing shoes make it to the trail yet. The complaint nature not only is more difficult to control on rocks, roots, and sharp turns, but a compliant foam on top of a compliant surface may be too much to handle for many.


This shoe has a lot of things going for it, but I think the upper could be the area of improvement. They do have a GTX version of this shoe, but it also has a 3.5mm lug depth. I think it would be interesting to diversify the two models and give deeper lugs to the GTX option so that the outsole gets a better grip in muddy conditions (which is when you'd want GTX anyway). I'd also like to see the regular model have an upper material (including the heel padding and tongue) that is less absorbent. This would make it even more versatile for weather types because as it is, it isn't the best choice for anything wet.


The Ultra Glide 2 is a versatile trail running shoe that can be used for casual trail running, hiking, and long-distance trail running. The cushioning is best for those who like to feel the ground underneath while still getting a good amount of protective feel. It also is good for those who don't want a bulky trail shoe that keeps somewhat of an ability to be nimble on the trails. It's best for those who are on mild trails, or rocky/rooted more technical trail that isn't overly wet or muddy. 



Fit: (Overall good, fits a bit long, and upper soaks up water)
A (Good for the long run with a really nice rocker and sweet spot of cushioning)
Stability: B+ (Neutral, with full contact outsole, mild side walls, and smooth rocker)
DPT/Footwear Science: A- (Nothing remarkable, but hits the sweet spot for matching cushioning with surface and does the little things right)
Personal: A (My go-to trail option right now)
Overall: A- 


Salomon Ultra Glide 2
Price: $139.95 at Running Warehouse

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Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your
local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the people at Salomon for sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run as well as a warm-up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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