Shoe ReviewsTrail

Salomon Supercross Performance Review

What You Need To Know

• Budget-friendly version of the venerated Speedcross with a more forgiving fit
• 10.9 oz, 10 mm drop (29/19), Energycell midsole, Contragrip TD outsole
• Stable ride, precise fit, and solid traction
• Likely to be the #1 shoe for French tourists visiting the US

Working out of an office in Rockefeller Center is good for two things: year-round Rockette sightings and deep insights into the footwear choices of French tourists.

You think I’m kidding? On any given day I can spot at least 10 people wearing the Salomon Speedcross, as well as a backpack or man purse emblazoned with a small French flag (lest anyone confuse them with a Canadian). It’s an aggressive choice for casually walking around the streets of New York or standing two abreast on escalators.

Which is why I think the Supercross (marketed by Salomon as a cheaper and less mountain-specific version of the Speedcross), will be the number one choice of French tourists going forward.

Turns out: it’s also pretty good on the trails. I put about 50 miles in on the shoe in three runs: two long runs in technical terrain with a good amount of elevation, and one park run that was a mix of road and mellow trails.

salomon supercross side

The Good

Salomon is known for making secure-fitting, well-built, bombproof shoes capable of handling gnarly terrain. The Supercross is no different. This shoe was designed as a more approachable Speedcross, from which it borrows heavily, even if there are a few design departures or material differences.

The rip-stop upper serves to both securely lock the foot into the shoe, and also handily keeps out debris and deflects anything that might want to dig into your foot. I have some issues with the upper, which I’ll cover below, but overall it’s incredibly durable so far, has great foot hold, and is very comfortable.

Inside the shoe, things are smooth and seamless, as Salomon is known for. The interior is very comfortable, and the OrthoLite insole does an admirable job of providing support while also repelling stink.

The shoe may weigh over 10 oz., but I have to use that cliché review line and say that they really do feel lighter when you have them on. And because the fit is precise yet comfortable, it truly draws your attention away from the weight factor. I’ll chalk part of this vanishing act up to the Kevlar quicklace system, which allows you to quickly dial in the right tension with the assurance that it won’t loosen over time like conventional laces. I still don’t think it’s perfect, but more on that below.

Salomon is known for grippy, toothy lugs, and the Supercross doesn’t disappoint. They have slightly shallower, chevron lugs than the Speedcross at 4mm. The rubber is also Contragrip TD, as opposed to Contragrip TA in the Speedcross, which is a meant to be a little more durable, if a little less grippy on wet surfaces.

I didn’t notice any issues on wet or dry surfaces, including mud, wet roots, and wet rocks. It’s maybe a little less grippy than the Speedcross, but overall it’s solid. The well-spaced, chevron lugs are positioned to aid climbing in the front and descending in the back, and they clear mud very well. Overall, the outsole is fantastic and I’ve seen much less wear than on the Speedcross.

I have a narrow heel and a somewhat wider forefoot with a low arch, so I’ve struggled fitting into Salomon’s shoes in the past. It hasn’t stopped me from wearing them, but I’ve also had to be careful about how many miles I put in each run.

I was pleased to find that the Speedcross feels just a bit wider all around than some of the offerings from the Sense, S-Lab, or Pro series. You’re never going to confuse these with an Altra, but overall, I think the last will work for a greater variety of runners. If you’re looking for a wide toe box, then swipe left (is that still a thing? I literally had to google the meaning, since I’ve been married for like 60 years).

I generally take a size 12, but I typically go up a half size in Salomon since they’re so narrow. In a 12.5, the Supercross is a bit long for me, so I’d definitely suggest trying these out in your normal size.

In the wild, I thought the shoe performed its best on steep ascents and descents, favoring technical terrain and eating up mud and loose rocks without being too soft-ground specific. I think it’s a pretty versatile shoe, and at $110, I think this shoe is a real bargain for a mountain shoe. It’s not perfect, but considering the comfort, solid upper, grippy outsole, and durability, I think this is a really good price point for this shoe.

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salomon supercross top

The Bad

From the marketing materials, it seems Salomon is envisioning the Supercross as a door-to trail shoe. I shit you not. From the Salomon site: “Whether it’s a daily lap around your urban park, an escape to the local trail, or something more rugged, this shoe will grip on all terrains while offering a generous cushioning to make every run great.”

I put this theory to the test and ran to my urban park— in this case, Brooklyn’s Prospect Park– and you know what I found? Running with this shoe on pavement is not unlike running in a really comfortable soccer cleat. It’s not garbage on pavement, but it’s really not something meant to handle more than a little bit here and there.

Okay, so with such an aggressive outsole it’s obviously not gonna be a road monster. Still, on hardpack trails, I found it road a bit harsher than something like the Saucony Peregrine ISO, which has similar chevron-shaped lugs but a little better ground contact, as the gaps between the lugs aren’t so pronounced. I’m not saying this isn’t a good all-around shoe, but it definitely favors softer ground or steeper grades than buffed-out hardback trails.

The ripstop upper is both a gift and a curse. It really minimizes any chance of debris coming in, but it can also get hotter than July. I expected them to drain as slow as a frat house toilet, and while they weren’t horrible, I wouldn’t say they’re quick drying. With that much closed mesh it’s just something you’re gonna have to get used to. Overall, I think the security and protection from debris outweighs the heat and drainage issues, but it’s one to grow on.

I think this might be the first Salomon trail shoe I’ve tried without a gusseted tongue, and it seems like a mistake. If you’re going to give us a foot-hugging, debris-repelling, ripstop upper, why not gusset the tongue so it doesn’t slide around?

Salomon’s quicklace system is polarizing, and I can see why. On the one hand, it’s awesome to be able to simply tug on the loop at the top, get the right tension, and go. On the other, it can put pressure across the top of your foot in some places, and isn’t as customizable as conventional lacing.

While I thought this implementation of the quicklace system works well in terms of foothold, I can’t understand why they made the laces so long. You’re left with a lot of excess cord and it doesn’t seem like trimming it would be easy. To make things worse, instead of using a lace garage like most of their higher-end shoes, they saved a few pennies and instead gave you a small, elastic loop midway down the shoe that you’re supposed to tuck the excess cable into.

Scott used to (still does?) use a similar loop on their Kinabalu, which works well for conventional laces, but it really doesn’t work that well for the Supercross. At least once, I snagged the quicklace on a branch, sending my foot sideways. Whatever money they saved not putting in the lace garage, I’d happily pay to make sure I don’t go arse-over-elbow mid-run.

I didn’t find the lack of rock plate a huge issue in terms of underfoot protection; however, I think it bears including in this section. If you have a more sensitive foot, the lower stack of the front might feel a bit thin. I personally liked the ground feel of the shoe up front, but be forewarned: a HOKA, this ain’t.

Speaking of stack height: I really don’t see why this has to be a 10mm shoe. I’m guessing part of it is just trickle-down design efficiency from the Speedcross, but you can definitely feel the difference. I’m not one of those folks who feels that Xmm drop is my sweet spot–all I know is that this ain’t it, chief.

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salomon supercross outsole

Salomon Supercross Conclusion

So did Salomon make a Speedcross for the rest of us? Or is this just a lifestyle shoe destined to protect the feet of tourists as they scale urban mountains (i.e. the staircase to the second floor of TGI Fridays)?

I’m happy to report that this is a bona fide, real-deal trail shoe, and it is a solid bargain at $110. Yes, the lacing system and tongue could use some tweaking, and it’s not gonna be a hot-weather shoe, but overall I think it’s a good option, especially considering its price. The grip, comfort, and durability really set the Speedcross apart, and I’m not gonna lie, it looks pretty sweet. It may not be as versatile as the marketing suggests, but I think it’s still a capable shoe that’s well worth the price.

Shop Salomon Supercross

Matt is an ultra-runner who lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife and daughter. He is the founder of Brooklyn Distance Running, a coaching practice to help runners become fitter, faster, and more focused. When he’s not tearing up Prospect Park, he’s out in the Catskills getting dirty on the trails.

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