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Salomon Pulsar Trail Pro 2 Review: Aggressive
By David Salas 

The Pulsar line is a performance and racing series within the extensive Salomon Trail group. They all feature rockered midsoles with a variety of stack heights, plates (some, not all), and purposes.  The Pulsar Trail Pro 2 continues upon this by having a responsive midsole, rockered ride, and TPU plate package combined with an interesting upper to keep debris out. It sits as a shoe best for aggressive terrain during faster or racing efforts. The shoe certainly delivers a responsive and versatile ride, although has a unique fit that may or may not work for some people. 

Price: $159.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 9.1 oz, 260 g (men's size 9), 7.9 oz, 225 g (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 33 mm / 27 mm
Drop: 6 mm 
Classification: Trail Racing Shoe


The Salomon Pulsar Trail Pro 2 is the premier trail racing option for the Salomon lineup. The shoe features a versatile lug pattern, a responsive midsole, and a carbon plate. The upper uses a speed lacing system to allow for quick on/off and swelling accommodation. The upper is also a combination of stretchy mesh and knit. This is a lightweight trail running shoe for someone looking to push the pace.

: Saucony Peregrine 13 ST


Upon putting my foot in the Pulsar Trail Pro 2, the shoe fits my foot like a glove. The upper is very snug throughout, though has stretch to it and feels like a sock extension. The speed laces are easy enough to work with and provide a surprisingly good lockdown. The upper material is a stretchy mesh with a knit tongue region. The whole thing feels like a wrap to your foot. There is no heel counter, though there is some reinforcement from the plastic fabric in that region. On road this shoe felt very nice and the upper was integrated well.

Unfortunately, when I took this through trails I found the upper was too stretchy and took away from enjoying the trail experience. I found my food would translate quite a bit medially and laterally and it made me hesitate on certain sections. The good lockdown did not seem to combat the stretchiness of the material. Ironically this shoe felt better on road and packed dirt in fire road conditions. The shoe did not shine well at all in technical sections and actually made me think more about my footing. The shoe feels like a performance road shoe with a trail outsole.


I really wanted to love this shoe. The upper was definitely a deal breaker for me. Outside of this I found the traction to be good and versatile. The lugs don't feel overly deep and feel like they can tackle a large variety of terrain. The midsole and plate integration is done pretty well and I easily do strides or run faster efforts in this shoe. The platform itself is gently rockered throughout, though still follows a relatively flat-like geometry. The foot base is normal through the heel, slightly narrow in the midfoot, and normal to slightly wide in the forefoot. The shoe transitions quickly and makes you want to push off the forefoot. The resulting experience is definitely lightweight and responsive. The upper had too much stretch to it for me and I found myself fighting the shoe in technical sections or where there were a lot of turns. On road and well-groomed trails there was no issue, though I found my feet working hard and my brain planning my steps too much when running in moderate technical trails. As much as I liked the feel on the road, I did feel this did well in the category it was meant for. It is light and fast, but if you have any security concerns with uppers this is not your shoe.


The Salomon Pulsar Trail Pro 2 is not a stability shoe. This shoe is geared towards running quick times over trail racing distances. The shoe has a traditional racing shoe last being somewhat narrow throughout, though does have a mildly wide foot base in the forefoot. The traction underfoot is pretty good and allows for good versatility of trail condition. The big kicker in this model is the upper. The upper has too much stretch to it and I found myself changing my approach in technical sections or in areas where there were a lot of turns. The shoe feels like a road racing shoe with a trail outsole. The outsole traction does not feel like enough security and I did not have a great experience with the upper in the trails. There was simply too much stretch medially and laterally and I felt translation in my foot. The volume and the lace lockdown was actually pretty good, but enough to overcome this. 

Thoughts as a DPT: To Be or Not to Be
By David Salas

Trails are interesting. There is so much variety to them and so many random needs from shoes. The Pulsar Trail 2 is aimed at being a lightweight nimble trail shoe to race in. In a lot of ways this gets accomplished, though it misses the mark in one of the largest ways: the upper.

The upper security is actually pretty darn good statically or running in a straight line on a road. The upper holds your foot snug like a sock and the speed laces make sure to keep your foot on the platform. This experience changes when you start to venture out into mother nature. The upper has a lot of stretch to it. This is great for swelling accommodation, though it moves around too much medially and laterally. I found myself actually changing certain approaches in lines on trails because of this issue. Upper security and trust can drastically change a runners experience in the shoe. If there is too much translation of the foot medially or laterally, the foot and ankle stabilizers are going to have to kick on so much more to keep the runner upright.

For me, I found this in my foot intrinsic muscles. My medial longitudinal arch and plantar aspect of the foot would be sore in both feet following runs in technical sections or areas that have a lot of turns running in this shoe. The other elements of the shoe are done well and this is still that lightweight trail racing shoe. The runner just really needs to be sure-footed and nimble. If you aren't, this feels like a performance road shoe with a trail upper.


The biggest recommendation I can give the Salomon Pulsar Trail Pro 2 is to work on the upper. It would be a solid upper on road conditions, but has too much stretch for trail conditions. I don't consider myself an elite trail runner by any means but I have run enough to know when I am compromising my approach to accommodate a shoe. The medial and lateral stretch allow for too much translation. Perhaps adding some reinforcement in that region would help. Otherwise the shoe locks down well and holds the foot. 


The Salomon Pulsar Trail Pro 2 is a trail racing shoe for someone that wants a light, fast, and responsive option. The upper has quite a bit of stretch to it medially and laterally. If you are sensitive to foot movement or struggle with turns, this may not be the shoe for you. I had a hard time in technical conditions or in areas with a lot of turns and loose footing. Otherwise I can't deny this is a fast and responsive option. I see this being a solid racing option up to the 25k distance. There is enough cushioning for longer, though you need to be used to a performance-esque platform like this.


Fit: B (Standing statically great. Running on roads the upper is pretty good. There is simply too much stretch for technical trail conditions and I find myself changing footing. So it fits well but doesn't perform well in those conditions.)
C (Dang... lightweight, responsive, good traction. This would be a solid road option, but it is a trail option. The technical sections, uneven footing, and turns were actually harder because of the stretch in the upper. That was the deal breaker for me. In straights, road, and well groomed conditions this could be a fast option.)
Stability: C (If this were a road shoe it wouldn't be this low. The relatively narrow platform and stretchy upper make for a hard time in the trails though. Those that are very sure footed may not have issues, though I definitely struggle with foot translation and changing foot pathway.)
DPT/Footwear Science: C+ (Most of the ingredients are there, but one of the biggest ones aren't. The security of the upper to the platform is not great in trail conditions. Otherwise it is a very fun shoe to run in.)
Personal: C (I almost want to use this for roads. It's a fun shoe, though I struggle to use it in mild to moderate technical trails because of how much translation I have from the upper.)
Overall: C+ (There is a lot of good here, but it is off trails. The upper security is not great and so those that are very sure footed and like pushing the pace may be the ones enjoying this shoe.)


Salomon Pulsar Trail Pro 2
Price: $159.95 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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