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Salomon Phantasm 2: Was This, Now That
By Matthew Klein & David Salas

The Phantasm line has experienced a significant amount of change over its short life. The original S/Lab Phantasm was a light minimal racing shoe, the Phantasm 1 was a lightweight trainer/racing shoe and now the Phantasm 2 is a performance trainer (the Phantasm 3 will of course be an 11.4 oz road ultramarathon shoe, just kidding). Featuring a taller stack height and a thicker upper, version 2 fixes quite a few of the issues from the prior version, including an overly aggressive rocker, blisters at the toes from the upper and greatly improved flexibility. While it has strayed from its origins, the newest Phantasm becomes a decent plated trainer that can pick up the pace and has a clear place within the Salomon road line. 

Salomon Phantasm 2
Price: $170 at Salomon
Weight: 9.0 oz, 255 g (men's size 9), 7.6 oz, 217g  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 35 mm / 26 mm
Drop: 9 mm
Classification: Plated Performance Trainer


Matt: The Salomon Phantasm 2 is a plated performance trainer for those who want a shoe with a lower-volume upper and a cushioned, rolling ride. The thicker upper provides a solid hold with the unique combination of a slightly wider fit and a low volume. The midsole features a composite plate and a much softer and smoother rockered ride than previous versions, which combined with the 9 oz weight (men's size 9) makes it a solid option for daily training and uptempo workouts. Those who want a cushioned and rockered training shoe with a plate that can also handle some uptempo miles should take a look at the Phantasm 2.

The Salomon Phantasm 2 is a performance trainer that follows the likes of shoes similar to the Endorphin Speed, Adidas Boston, Zoom Fly, etc. The shoe uses a plate as a stiffening agent and a gently rockered profile to give you a shoe that can do a little bit of everything. The overall package is firmer, though cushioned enough for long runs. The Phantasm 2 shines best at daily efforts and controlled uptempo efforts.

: Adidas Boston 12, New Balance Fuelcell Propel 4
PAST MODEL: Salomon Phantasm


Matt: The Salomon Phantasm 2 fits me slightly short in my normal men's US size 10. This is mainly due to the fact that the upper sits so low across the toes. Those sensitive to pressure on their toes may want to consider going up a half size. The width is normal to slightly wider in the toe box although the lower volume creates a slight taper. This does loosen with time and opens slightly while still maintaining security from the lower volume. The midfoot fits normal width-wise with a non-gusseted tongue. The laces stay secure but each loop acts separately. This makes it time-consuming to get a good lockdown but once you do, they will stay in place.

Although I did have some heel slippage initially, I did not have to lace lock the shoe as I was able to get a solid lockdown in the midfoot. The heel fits normally with a large amount of heel collar cushioning. There is a flexible heel counter in the rearfoot that I did not notice due to the large amount of heel collar cushioning. I made sure to use socks with this shoe as the lower volume forefoot and the external toe guard does cause rubbing. While I have not had blisters, I attribute that to the protection from socks and would discourage going sockless in this shoe.

The Salomon Phantasm 2 fits true to size in my Men's 9.5 with a couple things to note. The shoe length seems fine, but the volume is a tad low through the forefoot. This gives a little bit of a squeezing sensation on the top of the laces just before your toes. It was not problematic for me, though noticeable. The width in the heel is normal to slightly wide, the midfoot normal to slightly wide, and the forefoot normal. The mesh is on the thicker end, though reinforced really well throughout. There is mild stretch to it, but it holds its structure without issue.

There is an internal heel counter present that is very padded and did not provide any irritation for me. The upper felt a little more built up than it probably needed to be, but it was secure throughout. 


Matt: The Salomon Phantasm 2 is a performance training shoe. It is extremely different from the lighter rigidly rockered Phantasm 1 due to its softer ride, more relaxed rocker and higher weight. Two layers of foam sit in the midsole with a slightly firmer top layer and a softer bottom layer under the composite midsole plate. The plate is stiff but a longer rocker at the forefoot makes for a far smoother ride off the front of the shoe. The heel has a large rocker as the previous version did but the softer sole makes the foam compress far more. There is a posterior lateral bevel, which combined with the softer bottom layer makes for a great softer heel transition. There is a 9mm drop listed, but it feels lower if you land at the heel given how much the sole compresses. Despite the stiff plate and rocker, there is some mild flexibility up front. The plate does flex a little, so those looking for an extremely rigid rocker will be disappointed but those wanting mild to moderate stiffness will do fine.

The 9 oz weight and softer ride do make the Phantasm 2 best for easy to moderate paced daily training. I have tried this shoe on a tempo run and a fartlek. I found it a little too relaxed for faster efforts but during uptempo runs it did extremely well. Normal paces a uptempo/steady state efforts were excellent in this shoe, making it a great shoe when you are looking for a consistent effort. This is not something I would race in personally, but those who want a plate in a less aggressive performance trainer may do well here (I would hesitate to full suggest these for marathons given the lower volume unless you go up a half size).

The outsole has additional reinforcement in the forefoot and heel. I am wearing through the exposed bottom foam layer quickly after 25 miles although the heel reinforcement is holding up. Although the last version had terrible durability, I do expect these to last longer but still expect slightly below-average durability due to the early wear I am seeing. Given the smooth outsole, it is especially important you keep these on road as there is no additional traction. Salomon has far better shoes for trail running, so I would suggest you check those out and keep these on firmer surfaces.

The Salomon Phantasm 2 is a shoe that dabbles in a couple categories. Being a performance trainer, it is a shoe that should be able to pick up the pace when needed. I do think it can in most situations, though it shines best at controlled efforts. Daily efforts and long run tempos seemed to do the best for me in the Phantasm 2. This is not a shoe I would really like to take to the track or for harder road intervals. The overall ride is firm, but cushioned. The 9mm drop feels true and the shoe does transition like a high drop trainer. The heel bevel and toe spring is noticeable, but feels gradual enough to allow you to transition the way you like to without being rolled forward really quickly. The plate does seem to give a little more rigidity and pop to the shoe when picking up the pace, but due to the weight and geometry this still shines at controlled efforts.

Outsole traction felt pretty decent and I was able to take this on some trail as well. I do seem to be biting through the posterior lateral heel quicker than I thought I would. The rubber in that region is pretty thin relative to most shoes. I think the life of the shoe will probably be fine, but I think the shoe leans far enough towards the daily trainer a little more rubber there wouldn't hurt. 


Matt: The Salomon Phantasm 2 is a neutral shoe with stable components. Sidewalls are present in the medial and lateral posterior midfoot that provide mild guidance at that point. There is a significant posterior lateral bevel that creates a mild lateral bias at heel strike that may work well for those that need mild medial heel stability. The midfoot narrowness is slightly offset by the posterior midfoot sidewalls. The wider forefoot sole, plate and rocker provide further mild guidance although this is slightly offset by the softer sole. This makes the Phantasm 2 a neutral shoe with some mildly stable components, although it does not fully qualify as a stable neutral shoe. 

The Salomon Phantasm 2 is a neutral performance trainer. With that said the stability is not too bad. The upper is secure and keeps you on the platform. The overall firmer package combined with decent underfoot traction helps keep you feel grounded. The sidewalls are integrated pretty well in the medial and lateral rearfoot/midfoot. The platform itself is a little narrow through the midfoot and the foam undercuts the medial portion of the midfoot as well. This does seem to increase the eversion speed for me a tad (subjectively), but the sidewalls seem to help. This is a neutral shoe that has a touch of stability elements.

Thoughts as a DPT: Training in Plated Shoes
By Matthew Klein

As more shoes have come out with plates, including the newest round of performance trainers, many have wondered if training in plated shoes is beneficial or not. As usual, we must remind our readers that plates only play a small part in the efficiency benefits found in super shoes (Dominy & Joubert, 2022; Healey & Hoogkamer, 2022; Nigg et al., 2021). Many plated racing shoes have been found to have little or even no benefit over traditional non-plated racing shoes (Joubert & Jones, 2022). This is due to missing all the pieces, including a maximal stack height, a true super foam, a low weight and the correct execution of a plate with the other variables. Therefore, the addition of a plate within a training shoe simply adds additional stiffness to the sole. Some may benefit from that while others will not (Mcleod et al. (2020). 

As certain people will benefit from this and others will not, plates in training shoes will be appropriate for some people and not others. Plates simply add stiffness to the sole, which will need to be appropriately offset with a rockered sole to allow for a proper transition. Those whose mechanics line up with this will simply shift muscular work from the ankle up toward the hip/knee. This may be helpful for those with issues at their ankles OR those who tend to prefer a hip or knee movement strategy during running. Shoes with stiff rockers that are appropriately rockered may also be great for those who do not have toe mobility (Hallux Rigidus). Those who want to maintain the flexibility of their feet may not do well long-term in these plated trainers. Those whose mechanics do not line up with the plate will also find themselves working harder to transition through the shoe, potentially increasing load through the ankle, calf and lower extremity. Just because a new shoe type comes out does not mean it is appropriate for everyone. Just because a new shoe type comes out also does not mean it is dangerous. All shoes are tools and it should be our continued goal to figure out specifically who benefits most from them and who needs to consider being careful with how much they use them. 


Dominy, Trace A. and Joubert, Dustin P. (2022) "Effects of a Carbon-Plated Racing Shoe on Running Economy at Slower Running Speeds," 
International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Proceedings: Vol. 2: Iss. 14, Article 15.

Healey, L. A., & Hoogkamer, W. (2022). Longitudinal bending stiffness does not affect running economy in Nike Vaporfly shoes. Journal of sport and health science11(3), 285-292.

Joubert, D. P., & Jones, G. P. (2022). A comparison of running economy across seven highly cushioned racing shoes with carbon-fibre plates. Footwear Science, 1-13

McLeod, A. R., Bruening, D., Johnson, A. W., Ward, J., & Hunter, I. (2020). Improving running economy through altered shoe bending stiffness across speeds. Footwear Science12(2), 79-89.

Nigg, B. M., Cigoja, S., & Nigg, S. R. (2021). Teeter-totter effect: a new mechanism to understand shoe-related improvements in long-distance running. British Journal of Sports Medicine55(9), 462-463.


Matt: The Salomon Phantasm 2 is far more comfortable and smooth riding that the prior version. It sits as a plated alternative to the Aero Glide within the Salomon line, while the Aero Volt and Phantasm CF have taken the appropriate places of the lightweight trainer and plated racer. While the ride has improved, I have some suggestions to further improve this shoe. The first is the toe box and volume. The volume is so low that it does limit this shoe to shorter mileage due to pressure over the toes. I think this shoe could have a far more comfortable and wider forefoot if a little more volume was added up front height-wise. My second major suggestion is to increase the durability of the outsole reinforcements. Softer midsoles generally have worse abrasion resistance. This needs to be offset for durability purposes, especially at this shoe's price point.

The Salmon Phantasm 2 is actually a pretty nice performance trainer. With that said I think it leans on the trainer side of that combination. One thing I noticed immediately was that I was tearing through the posterior lateral heel. I don't normally kill shoes and if I'm ripping through that as fast I am I do think they need to adjust the rubber amount and increase durability. I do think the midfoot platform could be widened slightly to compliment the sidewalls and make for a more stable ride. The upper is also on the thicker end and does not feel very performance like. The volume is also low through the forefoot and those sensitive to pressure might find this squeezing. As noted above this feels more like a trainer and I'd like to see some slight modifications to make this feel a tad faster on foot for a performance trainer.


Matt: The Salomon Phantasm 2 is for those looking for a lower volume but slightly wider performance trainer with a plate that handles consistent and uptempo paces well. The upper has some wiggle room but still sits low enough to provide security. The ride is rockered and softer but not aggressive, making it an option for longer efforts if you go up a half size to offset the toe pressure from the lower volume. Those who like the ride of Salomon trail shoes may find a road alternative here. While this is plated, the mild flexibility and smooth rocker make it more accessible for those who want a plate but don't want extreme stiffness.

While the Phantasm 2 is a performance trainer, its softer ride makes it a little more specialized for daily training with the extended ability to stick to or pick up the pace. Its high cost make it a more niche product that may work better for Salomon loyalists but there are certainly improvements in comfort and use over the prior version. The Phantasm series does seem to have an identity crisis and Salomon needs to figure out where exactly this shoe will stay. The price point is a bit high for a training shoe, so some adjustment may be needed particularly with the early wear. That said, Salomon is making progress with their road line, although further work is certainly needed.

The Salomon Phantasm 2 is performance trainer for those that want the option to pick up the pace a little, but prefer to be in a comfortable effort zone. The shoe has a firmer ride to it and feels like a light high drop trainer. The plate gives it a little more rigidity and pop to it when the pace picks up, though this shines best at controlled tempo paces. Those that like a snug feel and a thicker upper will find that in this shoe.


Fit: (Slightly wider fit in forefoot offset by low volume. Normal width with push heel collar)
Performance: B/
B+ (Solid plated daily trainer that can handle some uptempo efforts)
Stability: B/B+ [Neutral] (Mild midfoot sidewall offset narrow midfoot and softer sole)
DPT/Footwear Science: B- (Nothing new here. Same product relaxed with loss of performance edge instead of refinement)
Personal: C+/B- (Far better than the last version but incredibly redundant among plated trainers. Also overpriced for a trainer)
Overall: B

Fit: (Low volume in forefoot, thick material for performance trainer)
B/B+ (Decently smooth transitions, high drop trainer feel with a little uptempo potential, durability issues)
Stability: B (Good sidewalls, traction, upper security, though medial undercut and narrow midfoot take some stability away)
DPT/Footwear Science: B (Not going to change the footwear world, but a nice compliment to the performance trainer category)
Personal: B- (I like this more as a daily trainer, but did enjoy it on a long run where the pace picked up a tad but stayed under control, durability and price make it hard to give it a higher grade)
Overall: B


Salomon Phantasm 2
Price: $170 at Salomon (available now)

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Asics Magic Speed 3 - A big update offers a softer, more versatile platform
Brooks Hyperion - The Hyperion offers a lightweight, low stack flat
Brooks Hyperion Max - A brand new lightweight trainer from Brooks
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Hoka Mach X - Hoka's new semi-Peba foamed, Pebax plated performance trainer
Mizuno Wave Rebellion Flash - A lightweight, firm and nimble trainer packed with tech
Puma Deviate Nitro 2 - A versatile training companion to the Elite
Puma Liberate Nitro 2 - This mid-6 oz shoe offers an old school, low to the ground trainer
Saucony Kinvara Pro - Saucony throws in a new plated trainer that aims to help a variety of runners
Topo Athletic Cyclone 2 - A huge upgrade lends PEBAX to this nonplated performance trainer

Find all Shoe Reviews at Doctors of Running here.

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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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Adidas Adizero Adios 8

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