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Salomon Index.03 Review
By David Salas and Bach Pham

The Index series from Salomon was created as part of Salomon's major sustainability initiative to try and create a fully recyclable shoe that performed. The project focuses on designing a model that could both serve the original purpose and find a new afterlife rather than going straight to the trash yard. The Salmon Index.03 is the third in the line, designed to be repurposed into ski boots for a second life.

Salomon Index.03
Price: $160 at Salomon
Weight: 8.78 oz, 249 g (men's size 9), oz, g  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 29mm/20mm
Drop: 9mm
Shoe Purpose: Training shoe, Lifestyle

Pros: Sustainability efforts, comfortable for standing and light running
Cons: Upper a little sloppy for running


The Salomon Index.03 is a sustainable shoe from recycled materials that is designed to have a second life in ski boots. The overall design is very neutral with decent comfort. The shoe is intended for one run per week, per Salomon's website. This will serve as an active lifestyle/running hybrid shoe.

This replaces the Index.02 which emphasized highly on the afterlife aspects of the shoe. Version 3 focuses on dialing in the shoe's performance by lightening the InfiniFoam midsole and cutting weight through reduced material (a bonus to Salomon's goal of reduction, reduction, reduction).

Finally there's the afterlife aspect. On the tongue of the shoe is a QR code which runners can scan to register the pair, print a shipping label, and drop the shoe off at a shipping center free of charge. The shoe goes back to Salomon where it is washed and disassembled into parts for their ski boot.

Similar Shoes: Adidas SL
PAST MODEL: Salomon Index.02

(To learn how a shoe should fit, check out our full podcast on fit by Matt Klein.)

David: The Salomon Index.03 fits true to size in Men's 9.5 for me. The shoe has a pretty forgiving width throughout and a relatively minimalist feel to it. The upper material is relatively thin and decently soft on foot. The width in the heel and midfoot is slightly wide with a normal width forefoot. The length is a little long. The tongue is mild to moderately padded. I did not have any issues with biting from the laces. I did not have any issues with heel slipping with this shoe, though I did have some levels of foot translation with the upper material. The material does have some stretch to it and can feel a little insecure when placed in running situations. This was mostly noted medially and laterally in turns. There is no heel counter and very mild reinforcement to the upper material throughout the shoe. The undyed appearance and aesthetics of the shoe are pleasing and neutral for most outfits. The shoe is only intended for 1 run per week, per the companies website. I view this shoe more as an active lifestyle shoe versus a true running shoe. I feel that from a general comfort standpoint this shoe does pretty well with standing and walking. It isn't too bad for running, but I am not sure I would want this fit for daily training mileage. If I was on a quick trip somewhere and was sneaking a run in, this could do the trick. 

David's Typical Size: Men's US Size 9.5
Shoes that have fit David well: Nike Vomero 17, Saucony Ride 16, Puma Velocity Nitro 3

Shoes that have fit snug: HOKA Arahi 7
Shoes that have fit large: Salomon Aero Glide

Bach: The Index.03 fit my feet very well in my usual Men's Size 9.5. There was decent width not just in the toebox, but in the midfoot as well. I would not call this shoe wide, unless you have narrow feet. The volume is very close to be low in the toebox. There's no heel counter, but the upper holds itself together fairly well. The heel is unique flexible, but stiff around the edges. You definitely have to untie the shoe to get your foot into the shoe (for terrible people like me who don't like to unlace after every run - note, you definitely should for best performance unlace after run). For casual use, it's a little annoying to have to unlace to slip the shoe on which has made me gravitate towards other shoes when I'm in a hurry.

The fit overall is comfortable, perhaps a little too comfortable as it feels fairly relaxed on foot rather than dialed in like the Salomon Sense Ride. The shoe overall should be fine for narrow to medium sized feet, while wide foot runners probably will want to pass on this one. Sizing on the shoe also goes up only to a Size 14.

Typical Size: Men's US Size 10
Shoes that have fit Bach well: Nike Pegasus 40, Saucony Guide 17, Mizuno Wave Inspire 19, Saucony Endorphin Speed 3, Nike Structure 25
Shoes that have fit snug: Hoka Arahi 7, Asics Kayano 30, Puma Electrify Nitro, Brooks Hyperion, Hoka Clifton 9 GTX

Shoes that have fit large: Hoka Gaviota 5, Reebok Floatride Energy X

Doctors of Running Checklist

Is This a Good Shoe for Walking: Yes
Is This a Good Shoe for Standing: Yes
Is the Forefoot Flexible: Yes
How Flexible is the Shoe: Moderate
Is This a Good Heel Bevel: Decent
Recommended for Haglunds: Potentially for walking
Recommended for Sockless: Yes
Durability Expectation: Below Average to Average


 The Salomon Index.03 is an interesting shoe in that the intent is for low mileage. The shoe is really only intended for one run per week and so I want to make sure that is in consideration for this review. The Salomon Index 03 performs quite well as a leisure shoe and active lifestyle shoe. Being in a clinic I have found this works really well for standing, walking, and occasional bursts throughout the day. For running I found it to be "acceptable.".The ride of the shoe is actually pretty nice, but there really isn't much reinforcement on this. The heel bevel is very gradual and on the smaller side. The forefoot tells a similar story. The shoe has decent flexibility to the platform throughout. This shoe really lets you use your own mechanics for running.

The InfiniFoam was surprisingly nice and a midsole that I really didn't have any issue with running on. It has an element of softness without being overly mushy or compliant. The outsole traction was simple but effective for most functional usage I could ask of it. The big thing for me was the upper. In standing and walking situations, the upper is comfortable and does well. When you start running the lack of reinforcement begins to show itself. There is definitely some stretch medially and laterally, which made my lower leg have to work harder from a stability standpoint. The longest run I had in this shoe was 8 miles, and that is about as far as I would want to go in them. These make your legs work through larger ranges of motion, but also to stabilize some of the rotatory forces. The relatively flat platform does make for a great standing and walking shoe though. I think if I really only used this shoe for some gym sessions, walking around town, and 5k run once or twice a week it would do really well. I do struggle to run larger mileage in it however.

Bach: I didn't actually mean to do one run a week in the shoe, but that is almost what I did for most of my runs. I agree with David in that this is a versatile shoe for everyday activities with running really as a secondary activity for shoe. It actually transitions really well from front-to-back which is its saving grace. The foam underfoot is just adequate, not providing anything snappy or responsive. It doesn't feel particularly protective, though there's a decent amount of cushion underneath. The shoe is best for daily runs on the shorter end of things. People who are looking for a nice blend of everyday use and limited running might really enjoy this functionally speaking, but from a pure running perspective it feels slightly lacking cushioning-wise. Once a week when you want something a little more grounded and just to log miles is really its best spot, which is a limited use case for most high volume runners.

The traction of the outsole was fine on wet surfaces. I had no issues running through freshly-rained roads and didn't get any slippage. I would stick to road surfaces. On dirt and grass, it felt a bit plodding.

Like David, I did find this a great shoe for just daily activities. The undyed white looks good and the shoe in general is both clean and low profile.

(Learn more about stability in our full guide)

 The Salomon Index.03 is definitely not a stability shoe. This may be one of the most neutral shoes I have ever run in. The upper holds your foot, but does still require some work from the lower leg to stabilize the medial and lateral forces. This is mainly due to its stretching tendencies medially and laterally. The platform does not have too many stability components built in. There is some gentle sole flaring through the forefoot and heel which is noticeable though. Outsole traction is decent for most situations. The flatter heel and forefoot do make for a decently stable standing platform however.

Bach: The Index.03 is a very straightforward, classic neutral shoe with no forms of stability. The slightly firmer sole is the only saving grace that makes it feel not unstable, but the shoe overall is not inherently stable. The sole is fairly narrow from front to back. The relaxed upper adds to the neutral-ness of the shoe. If you are running in shoes like the Nike Pegasus or Saucony Ride and do fine you should not have issues here, but if you tend towards shoes like the Brooks Launch GTS or stable neutral shoes like the Clifton 9, you may want to pass on the Index.03.

Thoughts as a DPT: Finding Purpose
By David Salas

There is so much that goes into buying a shoe. In today's market you see shelves on shelves of different offerings all pushing a different agenda. Some are looking to fast, while others are looking to be comfortable. Some shoes take on different angles. The market does seem to have a surge in "everything shoes" lately. When I say this I refer to the shoe that you can go to work, the gym, and even run in the same pair of shoes. The Salomon Index 03 slides into this category, with a twist. 

The Salmon Index.03 takes on a sustainability approach. I am happy that Salomon publishes the intent of where the recycled materials will go (ski boots). Not all companies give you a vision of what they will do with materials. The market for the Salomon Index 03 lies in those wanting to have a small role in environmental issues, while still having a shoe they can enjoy across a variety of activities. The most difficult thing to do in the shoe market right now is find purpose. It is so easy to get lost in the weeds when it comes to defining the reason behind the production of a shoe. For being an everything shoe, I feel the Salomon Index 03 did quite well with standing, walking, and light jogging. I do find it hard for serious running efforts, even if it is only one longer run. The purpose feels pretty direct in this model, and I hope they can continue to push for a recycled option that can perform in the running category well too.


I know the aim of the shoe is for sustainability. With that in mind many things are left off of the shoe. I do think the upper could benefit from a little more security though. There is a very small amount near the foot bed medially, but it would be nice to have something to keep the upper from stretching so much in turning situations. Otherwise I didn't have an issue with flatter geometry or ride.

Bach: I think the shoe for the price point needs a bit more performance to make it worth a consideration for high volume runners. The midsole isn't bad necessarily, but lacks protectiveness for longer work to make it feel compelling enough to drop $160 US. We're in a category of both performance shoes and durable long distance trainers, and this fits neither category well.

It is worth considering what direction Salomon wants to take with the shoe. Shoes like the Hoka Transport which is entirely focused on everyday lifestyle usage found popularity over the last year and would give Salomon a new angle for the shoe. If it is to be focused on running as its primary use though, a lot more comfort or responsiveness is needed to make a compelling case for the running marketplace at this price point.


David: The Salmon Index.03 is a shoe that will work for someone that wants it to be an every day shoe alongside some occasional running. The shoe works really well as a standing, walking, and athleisure shoe in some regards. It is not bad at running, though definitely requires some more muscular demand than some other shoes out there. Per the website, the shoe is aimed at having 1 run per week. With that in mind this is definitely more of an every day sneaker that you can run in, versus a running shoe that you can dress up.

Bach: The Salomon Index.03 is best for someone who wants a sustainable everyday use shoe and wants to get the very occasional run into their week as part of their overall fitness. This is not a shoe for a high volume runner looking to log 20+ miles a week. For people who have a balance where running is only a small part of their overall physical fitness, this could be a unique choice. I really enjoy what Salomon is working towards and conceptually love the path they have taken with the Index in terms of end-of-life. I hope they are able to continue working towards a world where the Index can both hit its sustainability goals while also meeting the needs of runners.


Fit: (Comfortable upper material, accommodating fit from heel to toe, though material does stretch a decent amount medially and laterally when running.)
B (The shoe works incredibly well as a lifestyle and light activity shoe. I do wish it would do a little better in the running department. I felt upper did effect some work in the lower leg. The heel can be a tad clunky when running as well. For short runs it will do just fine, but it isn't necessarily a top choice in that department for me.)
Stability: B (Very neutral offering. Slight sole flaring through the forefoot and heel. Decent traction. Loose upper and somewhat compliant foam.)
Value: B (160 is a lot for a lifestyle shoe, but if you can make it work for running alongside lifestyle it could be a nice combo)
Personal: B (I actually do wear this a lot when standing/walking, though I really haven't ever gone back to it for running)
Overall Design: 


Fit: B (Very comfortable for average use, but could be more dialed in from the running side. Solid for just general use)
B- (Though a fluid ride, feels too limited in its protective properties)
Stability: B- (Not unstable, but also very neutral overall with no stability mechanics in place)
Value: C+ (High price comes from the uniqueness of the shoe, but the performance category does feel matching)
Personal: B- (Love the concept, but a difficult shoe for me to fit into my weekly use)
Overall Design: B-


Salomon Index.03
Price: $160 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, Santa Barbara, Danbury and Stevens Point areas, we 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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