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Salomon DRX Bliss: Salomon's Take on Stability
By Matthew Klein

While Salomon is known to be a trail company (at least in regard to running footwear), it has only recently made a decent effort onto the road. A variety of shoes have been released, from racing shoes to daily trainers to even a few maximal shoes. What has been missing that is classic for companies ensuring all their bases are covered (other than a super racing shoe) is a stability shoe. The DRX Bliss is their first true attempt at a guidance/stability shoe. Featuring newer concepts in guidance, the DRX Bliss is a decent first attempt in this category, although some modifications may need to be made in future versions. 

Salomon DRX Bliss
Price: $169.95 at Salomon
Weight: 9.4 oz, 266 g (men's size 9), 7.8 oz, 222 g  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 34 mm / 26 mm
Drop: 8 mm
Classification: Mild/Moderate Stability/Guidance Training Shoe


Matt: The Salomon DRX Bliss is a guidance-based training shoe for those who want a centered ride in the heel and forefoot on the road. The upper fits slightly snug throughout the length of the shoe, providing a classically secure Salomon fit. The midsole runs firmer despite being on the taller side with a foam that works best for easy and daily miles. The stability comes from a chassis that runs from the heel to the forefoot and plenty of sole flare. This makes for a somewhat guided ride in the rearfoot and forefoot, although the narrowed midfoot brings the shoe back to neutral in that area. A stiffer ride for those wanting guidance from sole flare and some side walls, the DRX Bliss provides a unique ride that will work for a unique runner. 

Bach: Salomon's had a big year with a fresh lineup of footwear that completely revamps their road running lineup. Typically known for their trail shoes, Salomon's road game in the past has been relatively quiet and limited. With shoes like the max cushion Aero Glide, slimmed Aero Volt, and now new guidance-based, modern stability trainer with the DRX Bliss, there's a wealth of new options to choose from that sets a new direction for the brand. The DRX Bliss provides an experience that feels very on-brand with other releases this year that emphasize width and centering on a moderately high platform.

: ASICS GT 2000 11, Puma ForeverRun Nitro, Saucony Guide 16


Matt: The Salomon DRX Bliss fits me true to size in my normal Men's US Size 10. The width is slightly snug throughout the length of the shoe with a lower volume fit, particularly in the midfoot. Those with normal volume feet will find this to have a snug fit while those with lower volume and narrow feet will do best in this upper. The tongue is moderately thick and non-gusseted. I have had some issues with sliding but have not tightened down the laces due to how snug the midfoot already is. The heel features a flexible heel counter with moderate heel collar cushioning. This makes for a snug fit, particularly with the chassis on the medial and lateral side. The security is quite good thanks to the snug fit outside of some mild tongue slippage. This is a shoe I would recommend using socks with as the inner liner is a little rough. 

Bach: The DRX Bliss fits fairly true to size in my Men's Size 9.5. The heel counter is totally flexible - unique for a stability shoe - but provided a good hold for me. I did lace lock the shoe for extra security. The midfoot fit comfortably for me with no issues. The upper in general reminds me of the Sense Ride ride upper which I also enjoyed greatly. The one issue I really had was the forefoot. The volume is okay, but the shoe tapers on the medial side a touch and was a little snug around my big toe. I have this same issue in the Sense Ride. I didn't have toe nail issues, but just felt a touch of pressure there during longer efforts. Shorter to medium efforts were fine, and I made it through my longer run mostly fine, but just had a mental note of it during my later miles. I


Matt: The Salomon DRX Bliss is a training shoe that has a forefoot that can handle some uptempo work and a heel that doesn't. The midsole is full-length "Energy Foam" which runs on the firmer side. The material works best for easier efforts and feels a little flat. There is more foam in the heel, while the forefoot feels closer to the ground and a little snappier. This makes it feel solid getting on your toes for some uptempo work but the large, excessively flared, squared-off heel feels really clunky with any pace changes. There is an 8mm drop listed, which is about what the DRX Bliss feels like. Despite a decent heel bevel, there is a large amount of posterior and especially medial and lateral flare. This makes the medial side feels stable but the lateral side makes for an extremely early heel landing that throws the foot inward at contact. This makes heel transitions clunky and rough. The midfoot and forefoot transition much more smoothly. The forefoot is stiff and somewhat rockered, which combined with the firmer ride makes for a bit faster transition off the front. This can feel a little clunky at slower speeds, making for an odd match of a heel that does better at slower speeds and a forefoot that does better at uptempo ones.

Purpose-wise the DRX Bliss is best for moderate distance training efforts. The lighter weight does give it some ability to handle some pace changes, but the clunky heel makes that challenging unless you get up on your toes. Despite the somewhat taller stack height, the firmer ride makes this best for short to moderate-distance efforts. It becomes too firm during longer efforts for me but if you want something that isn't soft for distance this may match your needs. Traction wise this shoe will work best for roads and light well-groomed trails. The large cut out in the outsole does attract rocks, so rocky trails are not a great idea. The traction is average on normal and wet road. Durability wise I have 30 miles on my pair with almost no wear on the outsole, so I expect an above-average number of miles with the thick and tough outsole material. 

Bach: It's quite surprising how light the DRX Bliss is at 9.4 oz, 266 g for men's size 9. It puts it just barely under the Saucony Guide and feels very similar on foot in a lot of ways. This opened up a little more versatility with the shoe than I see in other stability models. I was able to do both easy miles and some uptempo miles fine, which is exciting when it comes to a stability-oriented trainer. I do agree with Matt that the heel is a little clunky, but as a runner who tends to be midfoot forward I found the shoe to have a good ride in that regard. A really good ride in fact. The transition midfoot forward is smooth and easy to turn over. The ride is firmer, but a comfortable firm rather than slappy. This also helps with the shoe's versatility in being able to pick up a little bit. There's a mild rocker that helps shove you along comfortably. The shoe in general is on the stiffer side, but not full stiff front-to-back like a brick, with some very minor flexibility in the forefoot.

The Energy Foam is a fairly standard EVA, but it does feel light on foot. The shoe has a fairly generic feel on the road, providing more cushioning than responsiveness. It being just a fairly well-balanced shoe weight-wise on foot, the shoe does a decent job of moving and tackling mileage. Hills can always feel a little plodding in stability footwear, but the DRX Bliss felt a bit more active and easier to ascend in than other models I've tried this year.  I'm a lighter runner in general and found the DRX Bliss to be a good match with me compared to a shoe like the Kayano where I felt I needed to do a little bit more work in to engage. It might be a good contrasting shoe to consider if the Kayano didn't work for you but you want a decently high stack, geometry and guidance-focused ride.

The traction of the shoe is fine. It's got a fairly healthy, wide base that helps provide a decently secure feeling on the road as far as outsole is concerned. It's not the most tacky outsole though; I would stick to roads and sidewalks. There's plenty of outsole that does exist and I expect it to last a good amount of miles.


Matt: The Salomon DRX Bliss is a guidance shoe. The most obvious method is the medial and lateral chassis that runs from the heel all the way through the forefoot. These provide noticeable pressure in the heel on both the medial and lateral sides, slight pressure in the midfoot and are more integrated in the forefoot. The medial and lateral sole flare also add a large amount to the guidance. The flare in the heel feels more clunky but the large amount of flare in the forefoot makes it feel naturally centered. This makes both the heel and forefoot feel quite stable. The midfoot feels more on the neutral side due to the narrow sole offsetting the benefit of the chassis. Those that want the feel of a mild post in the heel without feeling biased one direction may enjoy this shoe while those who want a wide forefoot sole with a large amount of flare that provides stability will enjoy this shoe. 

Bach: While the Bliss is a guidance shoe, I really felt like geometry was the biggest thing that DRX Bliss has going as far as stability. The wide base does a good job of centering the runner and providing a big, slightly firm platform that provides much of the stability, along with sole flaring on both sides. This is a solid shoe for runners who tend to push out or inward. The guidance portion of the shoe looks dramatic, but honestly didn't feel tremendously noticeable to me after the first mile. It's far less obtrusive than Brooks GuideRails or Hoka's J-Frame and disappears on the run. The forefoot is very stable, similar to the ForeverRun Nitro (which has some similarities here in being a highly stable forefoot shoe, and less stable rearfoot).

There are fairly large sidewalls that come from the chassis that wraps the medial and lateral side of the shoe. This also contributes to keeping you very centered in the shoe. There's also some structured overlays that go over those, adding to the upper security.

While there is some narrowing at the midfoot, but I overall felt fairly confident in the DRX Bliss. There is also nothing obtrusive underfoot, making this a pretty solid flat foot runner option. It being relatively mild mannered throughout almost makes me want to classify the shoe as just a solid stable neutral option as it doesn't differ that much from some max cushion trainers out now, but the shoe has a good amount of centering through all the elements that elevates it into a stability category.

Thoughts as a DPT: Balancing Sole Flare
By Matthew Klein 

We have talked extensively about how sole flare can influence movement in both positive and negative ways. Sole flare medially and laterally can resist movements in those directions. However, when put too far laterally, sole flare can also cause early initial contacts for either heel or forefoot strikers. This can influence movement velocities into pronation, often accelerating them (Nigg & Bahlsen, 1988; Nigg & Morlock, 1987). This requires high eccentric capabilities from the muscles that control pronation, including muscles like the posterior tibialis and can increase stress on tissues sensitive to fast poorly controlled pronation like the Achilles tendon.

Lateral and posterior flares do increase impact forces if the sole is firmer (Nigg & Bahlsen, 1988). Only softer midsoles have little to no impact. The firmer midsole of the Salomon DRX Bliss is not soft enough to escape from this. The significant lateral flare not only creates an early initial contact but also makes the shoe feel firmer due to what may be an increase in impact forces. This further adds to the clunkiness at the rearfoot.

The best way to address this is to add a significant posterior lateral heel bevel. There is a centered heel bevel present in the DRX Bliss that does not offset that excessive lateral flare. The majority of heel striking runners (who are also the majority of runners overall) land at the posterior lateral aspect of the heel during both walking and running (Neumann, 2016). Placing an angled bevel/rounding the heel would be the best way to smooth this out, reduce the rate of pronation (this is a stability shoe), and potentially reduce impact forces (Nigg & Morlock, 1987). 

These concepts are not new and we are certainly not the first to talk about them. If the goal is to guide and centralize mechanics, you must look at the full transition of the foot throughout the gait cycle. The goal is not to force it into the center when it is not supposed to be there but rather to guide it through where it works best. This is the essence of the preferred movement pathway and guidance concepts we have been talking about (Nigg et al. 2017). So rather than trying to centralize the heel at the rearmost portion of the shoe, guide it in from the posterior lateral side. That is why I keep talking about the need for a posterior-lateral bevel in so many shoes. 


Neumann, D. A. (2016). Kinesiology of the musculoskeletal system-e-book: foundations for rehabilitation. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Nigg, B. M., & Bahlsen, H. A. (1988). Influence of heel flare and midsole construction on pronation supination and impact forces for heel-toe running. 
Journal of Applied Biomechanics4(3), 205-219.

Nigg, B. M., & Morlock, M. (1987). The influence of lateral heel flare of running shoes on pronation and impact forces. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise19(3), 294-302.

Nigg, B. M., Vienneau, J., Smith, A. C., Trudeau, M. B., Mohr, M., & Nigg, S. R. (2017). The preferred movement path paradigm: influence of running shoes on joint movement. Med Sci Sports Exerc49(8), 1641-1648.


Matt: While I applaud Salomon for making an attempt within the stability category, there is some serious work that needs to be done in the next version. The fit is plenty secure and will work well for those with lower volume/narrow feet. However, I would highly encourage Salomon to gusset the tongue for better security. The sole design is certainly stable in standing but while running some modifications need to be made based on normal human gait. The midsole is too firm for the lateral heel flare to collapse correctly as outlined above. Either the foam needs to be far softer or there needs to be a significant posterior lateral heel bevel.

My other major suggestion is to get ride of the posterior flare. We have talked about this so many times about how this causes an early initial contact. The heel is the most clunky part of the shoe and cleaning up the posterior flare and adding an appropriate posterior lateral bevel would greatly improve the ride. Finally, if this is to be a true stability shoe, there is no need to narrow the midfoot. The weight reduction from toning down the posterior heel flare could be used to add to the midfoot width. Given Salomon is following a more guidance-based approach, this is a must for a true guidance/stability shoe. 

Bach: Besides the rearfoot cleanup Matt mentioned, I'd love a little smidge of space around the big toe just to relieve any pressure there fit-wise. The shoe otherwise is a very unique entry that I've enjoyed a good deal and provides something that is both similar and different to other entries in the market. A quickly fading category, it's a welcome sight to see.


Matt: The Salomon DRX Bliss is for those individuals with a slightly narrow/low-volume foot wanting a centered shoe with stiff guidance in the heel and natural guidance in the forefoot. Due to the clunky heel, those who land farther forward will enjoy this shoe more. Due to the foam, those who want a firmer ride, especially in the forefoot, will do better.

The DRX Bliss is certainly a guidance/stability, although to what degree is up for debate. The heel is certainly centered with the chassis and it feels like a mild stability shoe. The forefoot feels far more natural but is still decently stable. This is an interesting shoe that still needs some refinements but does a solid job of adding something unique to the market. 

Bach: The DRX Bliss is a shoe for those who want a guidance based, mild stability trainer for everyday miles. It provides a good platform for flat feet runners and runners who prefer to be more midfoot forward in their stride. True rearfoot runners will find the ride a bit clunky, in which case I would likely recommend something like the Kayano which delivers a better heel-to-toe transition. For my preferences - a lighter weight, comfortable, balanced and mildly rockered trainer - this nearly checks all my boxes.

One issue for runners may be price, which this does top off in the higher end at $170. The Brooks Launch GTS 10 has far less stack, but does come in at an excellent price of $110 for those looking for a more budget option. Anyone looking for a higher stacked guidance option that is a bit less guided than any Brooks GuideRail model or the Hoka Arahi which has a decent amount of motion control through it's J-Frame, should check out the DRX Bliss. The Saucony Guide 16 is also a decently comparable model that strikes a similar note and ride, but the DRX Bliss may be more interesting to supinators due to its lateral stability.


Fit: B+ (Slightly snug/low volume fit with flexible heel counter and secure fit)
B (Clunky heel with firmer, slightly stiff forefoot. Best for daily miles and a little uptempo work off the front )
Stability: B+ [Mild Stability] (Guided, stable but clunky heel. Flared forefoot with naturally guided transition)
DPT/Footwear Science: B (Solid use of the chassis for stability on both sides, but poor heel design and narrowed midfoot misses the mark for making this a smooth riding and well-rounded stability shoe)
Personal: C+/B- (While I appreciate this shoe, the clunky heel kills it for me. I appreciate Salomon trying this but a great deal of work needs to be done before this is a go-to choice for me.)

Fit: B+ (Comfortable fit from heel through midfoot. Big toe is a bit snug)
B+/A- (While the heel isn't great, the midfoot to forefoot has a great transition to me and was a good match to my mechanics. The shoe has some decent versatility to it)
Stability: B+ (Geometry provides from of the shoe's support. Borderline stable neutral rather than stability)
DPT/Footwear Science: B (Some design elements could be further cleaned up, but there is a lot of promise long term)
Personal: B+ (I really enjoyed the DRX Bliss. My major complaint comes from the snug big toe reducing comfort during longer efforts)
Overall: B+


Salomon DRX Bliss
Price: $169.95 at Salomon

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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 USA 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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