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Reviews > Footwear > Trail Shoes > Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 > Owner Review by alex legg

Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 trail runners
Owner Review by Alex Legg
September 20, 2011





                        

Reviewer Information:

Name:  Alex Legg
Age:  29
Gender:  Male
Height:  6'4" (1.9 m)
Weight:  195 lbs (88 kg)
Email address:  alexlegg2@yahoo.com
City, State, Country:  Tucson, Arizona, USA

Backpacking Background:
 
I grew up backpacking in the Rockies.  I hike ranges near Tucson, Arizona during winter, Colorado during summer.  I carry a light pack, mostly water.  I tend to camp with a tarp whenever possible to reduce the weight of my two person tent.  Primarily, I do day hikes, but I am known to spend 5 days out.  Temperatures range from extreme winter to 100 F (38 C), and elevation from 2000' (600 m) to 14,000 (4,300 m).   I bag a mountain every weekend, and walk my dogs through deep sand and overgrown mesquite trees in our local washes.

Product Information and Specifications:

Manufacturer:  Salomon
Year of Manufacture:  2011
URL:  http://www.salomon.com/us/
Listed weight:  32 0z (907 g)
Weight as delivered:  30 oz  (850 g) each
Length:  13.5" (34 cm)
Width:  4.5" (11 cm)
Size:  US Men's 13
Available sizes:  US Men's 7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5, 10, 10.5, 11, 11.5, 12, 13
Color:  Grey and Black, Yellow trim.
Available Colors:  Blue and Grey, Red trim; All Black, Grey trim; Blue and Black, Grey trim; Orange and Red, Grey trim.
MSRP:  N/A

Product Description:

The Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 trail runners are a lightweight, breathable, and stable trail running shoe that can handle most anything except water.  They have a Quick-Fit lacing system that tightens around my foot in a way conventional laces can't.  The reason for this is an extra point of contact where the laces are pulled in from the outer side of my big toe.  Once tightened, the laces can be easily tucked into the pocket on the tongue.  The laces tighten similar to a stuff bag or back pack.  The hardened rubber toe is no comparison to that of a boot, but does offer a way to minimally protect the toes while running on a very lightweight shoe.  An important factor for me considering the excessively rocky terrain that dominates many of the desert mountains near Tucson.  I especially like the breathable mesh lining which I can feel a breeze through on the hot Arizona days.  The soles have the Salomon logo, and are multi colored.  

I was surprised at the amount of traction, having never walked on a Salomon sole before.  The soles are soft and flexible.  These shoes fit me like a glove.  They take absolutely no time to break in and are extremely comfortable.  They have great traction, and can be worn as an everyday shoe.  I always wear thin ankle socks with no discomfort.

Field Conditions:

I initially bought the Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 trail running shoes the day before a hike up Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  This was an all day trip up to 14,110' (4,301m) covering 26 miles (49 km) round trip.  It was a warm day with temperatures ranging from 55 F (13 C) before the sun came up, to 75 F (24 C) by mid afternoon.  No rain this day, and minimal snow near the summit.  

I then took the shoes to stay with family just outside Roosevelt National Forest in Lyons, Colorado.  I spent 3 weeks bagging peaks and exploring canyons.  Much of the terrain covered was on wild game trails and old mining trails.  The elevation ranged from 5,000' (1,524 m) to 11,500' (3,505 m).  Temperatures ranged from 45 F (25 C) to 90 F (50 C).  When the rain came I found myself wishing I had a waterproof shoe.  Wet grass and breathable mesh do not mix well.  My socks were quickly drenched and my feet got cold.  Luckily there was no snow.

When I got back to Arizona I was quick to take the drive to Mt Wrightson, the highest peak nearby standing at 9,453' (2,881 m).  It was a beautiful day with monsoon weather in the morning, bringing much needed rain and a 65 F (36.1 C) temperature.  As the day wore on the heat crept up on me at 85 F (29 C). This trail gains 4,033' (1,229 m) one way.  A steep climb for only a 10.8 mile (17 km) round trip.  This is a rocky and difficult trail at times.  I was impressed at the sturdy nature of the Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 trail runners.

Almost daily, I venture into nearby washes in Tucson with my dogs.  I walk on a very sandy riverbed amidst heavy growth of mesquite bushes.  Although there is literally no elevation gain, staying steady at 2,398' (731 m), the heat has been excruciating, remaining above 100 F (38 C) well into the evening.
            
Performance:

Over the past four months, I have easily put a few hundred miles (483 km)  on the Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 trail running shoes.  I found that they performed great as long as they didn't get wet.  For me they are an ideal shoe for the hot summer months in Tucson.  The Quick-Fit lacing system has far outweighed my initial predictions.  I found that it takes no time whatsoever to loosen up the laces on an easy section of trail, letting my foot relax for a few moments before quickly tightening them again to continue up the steep incline ahead.  There is no way I can tie my conventional shoe laces faster than I can tighten these.  Literally in mid step, I can pull them from the pocket, clamp down on the plastic handle, and stuff them back into the pocket.  I also found that the soles of the shoes held their own on everything from slick rock, to snow, to gravel.  They handled the terrain commandingly whether on or off trail, or while trying to avoid getting wet and rock hopping.  These shoes took zero time to break in, and I can hardly tell that they are on my feet.  The weight of the Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 trail running shoe is the lightest of any shoe I have ever worn.  At this point there is still little to no wear on the shoes except for a few scratches on the outer sole that are perfectly acceptable.  

I have been a "boot guy" my entire life.  I feel my ignorance of trail runners has cost me years of unnecessary work.  Sure, boots are important if I'm trudging through mud and snow for ten days while carrying 60 lb (27 kg) on my back, but all the day hikes and peak bagging that I have done could have been so much easier...  1 lb (0.45 kg) on my feet is like 5 lb (2 kg) on my back.  I am at this point totally enamored with this shoe.
            
Summary:

The Salomon XA 3D Ultra 2 trail running shoes are basically the best thing I have ever put on my feet.  Super lightweight, breathable and sturdy.  I couldn't ask for a better shoe.  I have been wearing them exclusively for about four months now with the only downfall being when they get wet and water saturates my socks.

Pros:

1.  Lightweight
2.  Breathable
3.  Quick-Fit laces are awesome

Cons:

1.  Not going to last like a backpacking boot.
2.  After 20 miles or so, the lightweight feature becomes a burden as I can feel every rock under my foot.
3.  Not waterproof.




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Reviews > Footwear > Trail Shoes > Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra 2 > Owner Review by alex legg



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