by Don Reichelt
I have wanted to run in the Snowcross since Salomon first launched it. Living in Colorado and playing often in the snow packed mountains of Rocky Mountain National Park, it just seemed perfect for winter running. I’ve run in and loved most of the Salomon shoes I’ve tried, so my hopes were high when this beauty showed up on my front porch.
Listed at $200, it’s definitely an investment. But in a world where people are waiting in line to buy $250 shoes to use a handful of times, is the Snowcross 2 a keeper? Here are my thoughts.
This is a Salomon running shoe. To me, that in itself says a lot. As with other Salomon shoes, it’s extremely well-built with careful thought going into design and function. The design of this shoe clearly mimics a cross-country ski boot with its zip-up, ankle-high design to keep snow out. It’s warm and waterproof; I had zero issues with warmth when running in the coldest mountain conditions, and the bootie snapped tightly around my ankle, keeping it dry even while post-holing in the high country.
When I first unboxed the Snowcross 2, I was concerned it would be extremely stiff and uncomfortable while running. This turned out to be silly, and the comfort quality was incredible. When running on a mixed-conditions trail (some snow, some packed ice, and some dry spots) I was impressed with how it transitioned between the various surfaces.Shop Salomon Snowcross 2
My negatives of this shoe have nothing to do with individual components. This is a well-built shoe, and outside of the $200 price tag, nothing individually raises a red flag. However, this is a case of the individual pieces being better than the whole. Overall, I just don’t see this shoe as useful.
While the tread on this shoe is rather aggressive, I found it really didn’t work well on ice. For a winter specific shoe, there’s a high likelihood that you’ll encounter ice, and this shoe just didn’t live up to my expectations when running on frozen surfaces. If you’re going to make an expensive winter specific shoe, why not add carbide tips like other brands have done? It’s disappointing that I still need to bring my ice spikes with me for runs in this shoe. The tread is great in extremely fresh snow, but do you really need to commit to a $200 shoe for conditions you can’t predict? Nike’s 4% may be a whopping $250, but at least you know exactly when and where you’ll get its best use; with the Snowcross 2 you’ll end up sitting around and hoping for a powder day.
The main way I could see myself using this shoe in the future is as a snowshoe running shoe. But that begs the question—why such aggressive tread and a steep price for a shoe used primarily for snowshoeing?Shop Salomon Snowcross 2
Salomon Snowcross 2 Conclusion
This is the most confusing shoe I’ve ever loved. It fits, feels, and runs as well as you’d expect a Salomon trail shoe to run. However, I feel it’s just too specialized to recommend this to most people (or anyone, honestly). It really doesn’t have a wide range of use in my quiver, as there are cheaper options I think are more versatile for 99% of runners. A simple trail shoe with some 3/8-inch sheet metal screws will perform better in icy and snowy conditions than these will. (Bonus pro-tip- add a drop of gorilla glue on your shoe screws before you put them in!)
If you’re looking for a shoe to use once or twice a year on fresh powder runs, or maybe use with some snowshoes, this is one of the better options on the market. But even me, living just outside a vast mountain range, I even find it hard to justify using this over other more reasonably-priced options.Shop Salomon Snowcross 2
Robbe is the Digital Marketing Manager for Big Run Media/BITR. He lives in Baltimore with his wife and two sons and runs with the Faster Bastards. His favorite race distance is the marathon and his favorite beer is anything but Blue Moon.